"Goodbye, Nala."

Nala1 Nala2 Nala3 Nala4 We said goodbye to Nala today. She died at 5pm at our vet's office. It was one of the hardest things we've ever done, and I had no idea how hard it would hit me.

She was a great dog. Lois ran with her for exercise for about a dozen years. Nala never needed to be leashed on walks, runs or hikes. She was super smart, stubborn and well behaved (once she got past her puppy years). She'd go get her collar or Lois' slippers if we asked. She made hikes so much fun because her joy was contagious.

We got her when the kids were in first and second grade, so she's been a big part of our lives for over 13 years. Aaron came up with her name (the Lion King was big back then).

We almost lost her when she was about seven years old, so we feel so blessed to have had these last few years to enjoy her. Her last year has been hard and things had gotten much worse, so when she had a physical episode two days ago, where she had trouble breathing and was gagging for a day, we decided it was time.

She felt better today, and we were able to take the longest walk with her we'd had in months before we went to the vet. That made it harder to follow through, but being fully awakened by her almost every night, her incontinence and the latest episode made it the right time. We're very sad and feel like there's a huge hole in our lives right now, but we have great memories and much to be thankful for.