Twelve days ago, we made the terrible choice to let our sweet basset boy Waldo cross the bridge. It is never an easy choice; he had been sick for nine months and no matter what we tried, we could not heal him. He was tired, no longer eating on his own, and his body was wasting away to skin and bones.

It has been a decade since we’ve had to make such a decision. Waldo was 12 years old, and we were lucky to have thousands of good days with him. The memories of those good days comfort me when I think about the last months of his life. He was on a slow decline and we did everything we could think of to stop it. I was consumed with being his main caregiver and obsessed with charting his food intake, his medication schedule, and his vet appointments with three different vets.

I try not to think about the last months now. I think about those good days that were filled with hundreds of hikes in the mountains and in the woods, hundreds of days lounging in the sun in our yard, and thousands of good meals and treats. I think about how he learned to open zippers and would constantly root around in our backpacks and my purse for food. How we had to buy lidded trash cans because of him. And how he would stand at the door and bark at us to let him out if he thought we weren’t moving fast enough. He was opinionated and lovely, and he deserved more time.

But, in the end, we all must leave this earth and it was his time. His body was tired. He was tired.

We are incredibly sad and we miss him. He had a big personality for being a smallish basset. He was our alpha, our Mr. Grumpypants, our sweet boy…

I hope he knows how much we tried to make him feel better, and that he forgives us. See you on the other side, schmoops. We love you.