It was a peaceful day, and it couldn't have gone any better. We kept the kids home from school and the entire day was all about Simba. Noelle baked dog cookies that she'd received for Christmas -- each one in the shape of a bone. While Simba wasn't interested (because he was barely eating anything by then), Marley was delighted to enjoy both shares of the baked goodies. We sat around as a family and spontaneously started sharing favorite Simba stories...photos...videos. We laughed at his antics and wept at the thought of missing them in the future. We ate tri tip from our favorite local vendor for lunch so that his last meal would be something delicious and special. And we probably took way more pictures than he cared for.
Late in the day we piled into our minivan and drove down to our vet's office. We were the last appointment of the day, so it was quiet. We brought Simba's favorite big pillow, which we laid on the exam table, making it a comfortable place to be. We huddled around him, petting and loving on him, making sure he heard from each of us one last time that we loved him and were so grateful to have had him in our lives all this time. Those are the last things he heard. And then he was gone.
Lots of tears and hugs and laughs about his barking later, we are feeling better day by day. There's a little shrine to him on an end table with his ashes, his collar and a rather perfect stuffed Husky that has a suspiciously similar look on his face that we used to get right before Simba barked at us with what we called his "crazy eyes." We miss him so much, but I can honestly say that I miss the Simba he was before he got sick. After he was sick, he wasn't himself, and I could tell he was less and less happy with life as each day passed. Our timing was perfect and he is at rest.
Goodbye, old friend.