My sweet girl passed away peacefully today. She was guided gently on her journey by her Fort Collins family, Red Sage Integrative Veterinary Partners, and her first foster mom, Connie Fredman, who cared for her for the first four months of her rescued life until I adopted her.

We gathered at Maple’s happy place, Connie’s pond, and she ate a dog cake that one of the tech made for her. True to a Lab, she happily ate all of it and two hamburgers! The pond was glassy and calm. The air was crisp, birds were flying above us and a gentle breeze carried the sweet smells of fall. I know as she left me, she could see Kirby as her spirit swam across the pond to join him. She is running free again, chasing tennis balls, and swimming with no pain, no meds, Just absolute joy in her heart.

I am so grateful that these wonderful people were here with me today. They have been there to help me for nearly three years as we tried to give Maple the best life she could have with such a broken body. It’s a lonely and heartbreaking decision to have to let a dear family member go, but this decision was so much easier to make with their support.Maple, I will love and miss you always. You were a strong little Lab with such an optimistic nature. I loved your independence and your fierce desire to celebrate life, despite the challenges that you experienced. You taught us a lot about looking for the happiness around us, even when things seem hopeless.

Someday you will swim out to my canoe, sweet girl, and guide me home. Until I see you again……