Dobie is my mother-in-law's best friend and has been for the past 14 years. Dobie has always been right there to clean up any scraps that my kids throw on the floor. "Dobie" was one of the first words my second daughter learned to say. Dobie has been an all-around great dog. Today, she breathed her last breath.

We knew this day would come sooner than later. Dobie has been very sick for the past several weeks. She hasn't been eating as much as she used to. She hasn't been able to control her digestive system, so to speak. This day was coming, but there was no plan or preparation for when it was going to happen.

Today, my wife wanted to see Dobie, so we decided to stop by to visit. That was when we showed up, we witnessed my wife's elderly grandmother cleaning a mess made by Dobie in the carpet. It was then that Grandma said it was time to put her down. Since we were there, and able, we offered to take her in. They accepted.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know how long it would take or how they would make it happen. It was all new to me.

When we got there, they were already alerted to why we were there. After some simple paperwork they brought us to a room and gave her a tranquilizer to help her relax. She was already relaxed, but it's still part of the process.

With an IV in her front leg, they pumped a clear pink liquid into her system. From there it seemed like it took less than a minute. That's it. One minute she's chillin' on a table. Less than 60 seconds later -- she lays perfectly still. No rise and collapse of her lungs. Her leg stopped shaking for the first time in a month. She was just perfectly still. It was a somber and humbling moment.

After a few minutes and half a box of tissues, we took her leash off and drove back to Grandma's house to deliver the news. During this trip, we also decided how to tell our children when they got home from school.

You always hear, when something like this happens, that they're "in a better place." I'm not so sure about that. I know Dobie was suffering the last few weeks she was around and now there's no pain, but there's a hole in my in-laws' hearts bigger than the one she made in their rose bushes. She's irreplaceable.

Hug the ones you love and take nothing for granted. Time is precious.

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