All Dogs Go To Heaven

this weekend was one of the hardest weekends i have ever been through.
i did not plan for it to be this way. i actually was looking forward to this weekend for months.
it was the weekend my parents were planning on coming to visit. it was the weekend that they would stay with me and we would celebrate easter and my mom’s upcoming birthday. but it wasn’t that weekend at all.

let’s start at the beginning – thursday evening.
thursday evening, i received a call from my dad. naturally, i thought it would be about weekend plans, requests and flight information. but when i picked up the phone, i already knew something was not right. my dad was crying (sobbing really). he had just received a call from our dog’s (kelsey is her name) veterinarian. the vet had taken some tests earlier in the week to see why kelsey was having coughing fits. turns out she had lymphoma and it had spread all over her body. my dad was informed that kelsey had days (maybe weeks) to live.
when my dad told me this news i immediately told him that he and my mom could not leave our dear kelsey this weekend. that i would travel down south to them.
i needed to be with my dog during this time. my bones ached to be by her side.
i love my kelsey with every fiber of my being. she is/was the perfect companion.

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flights were booked for the following morning (thank goodness i already had work off). as soon as i went through the logistics of getting down there, all that was left was to cry. i prayed and i cried. i didn’t want my precious kelsey to suffer but i also didn’t want her to leave me. she was the spirit of my childhood home. she was in my wedding pictures. she comforted me through breakups. she loved me like no other could. i know it may sound silly to talk about a dog like this but this little dog of mine was more like a sister to me than anything else.


when i arrived at my childhood home on friday, kelsey immediately greeted me. she walked over to me, wagged her tail and i stroked her flowing golden locks. it was a comfort to see her doing okay despite the diagnosis. i mean yes she had trouble getting up but she is a 15 year old golden and so that happens. i took her on a walk with my parents and still everything felt the same. she was so happy to be with everyone.

saturday morning came around and my dad had made an appointment for her to see another vet to help with the pain. she walked around the vet office and traveled in the car just fine. when we got home, she was exhausted and went to her usual place by the piano to sleep. she slept for hours. later in the afternoon, she tried to get up and she couldn’t. her body wouldn’t let her. my dad lifted her up to see if that would help and it looked like she just couldn’t control her joints / bones because she almost immediately collapsed. she was hard of breathing and didn’t want any water or food. all of our hearts were breaking. we all raced to be by her side so she knew she was loved and to not worry about us. this went on for a couple hours. late into the evening when we realized she didn’t want dinner, we knew something was wrong. she was gasping for air and was no longer wagging her tail. she was deteriorating before our eyes and it was one of the hardest  things to watch. we decided as a family that there could be no more suffering. that this would be her last night. she was put to sleep in our home with her family completely surrounding her.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset my heart is still constantly aching. i woke up and couldn’t believe she was not there. was not there to greet me. was not there to bark at my dad to give her more food. was not there to slobber all over the kitchen floor. was not there to steal my socks. was not there to smile at me.

i am so grateful for the 15 years she was in my life. she was the biggest blessing. i am holding on tightly to the idea that all dogs go to heaven because she deserves it and more.


  • Emily Attwood

    Oh Emily, I am so sorry to read this. Tears filled my eyes reading through this! I know how hard it is to lose a pet. They really are family and like sisters/brothers. They are always there for you and love you unconditionally. I hope you can find peace in knowing she is no longer suffering. Thinking of you sweet girl <3.

    • Emily

      Thanks Em for your kind words and support. There is great comfort in the fact that she is no longer suffering but it is still so hard to let her go. xx

  • Sierra

    Emily I had the same thing happen to my dog just five weeks ago. We found out she had Cancer on her leg and was given three months to live. She was a champ through it all but finally we had to put her down. I still ache for her. But something that helped me is remembering that she is finally pain free. I’m here for you. Sending love and prayers your way!

    • Emily

      I so appreciate the love and prayers, Sierra. You are too sweet.
      I am sorry for your loss as well. It is such a hard time but the comfort of knowing she is no longer in pain helps. Cancer sucks!