Last month my family said farewell to Louie.

Louie was my shadow for almost exactly 10 years. My sister found him at the Wake County Animal Shelter in Raleigh, N.C., in 2007. I fell in love with him immediately.

My dog, Louie, was adopted from the Wake County Animal Shelter in 2007.

Louie was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. We found out he had cancer the weekend of my wedding anniversary. Every day since then has felt like the greatest gift to spend with him. I’m so thankful he put up such a good fight and stayed by my side the entire time I was pregnant with Samantha.

Louie in a bow tie

Dogs are such special creatures.

They love their humans unconditionally, which is a rare and wonderful thing. They bring us so much peace, joy, and happiness. But they also teach us really important lessons like patience, forgiveness, and acceptance. My boy taught me so much.


Louie was such a beautiful being; I feel lucky to have known him.

My sweet little Lou taught me so much about loyalty, our energy, and selfless love. He spoke such volumes with those sweet, soulful eyes. And even though his flatulence could clear a room and he always sat a little too close for my comfort, I feel like I’d give anything to have him here with me again.

I had hoped – by the time I had worked up the courage to post this – that I’d have much more beautiful words to share with you. Something more poetic and life affirming.

But I’ve got nothing.

A lot of emptiness exists.

It’s been a difficult time.

Try me again in a few weeks. Months. Years. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll have some wise words to share about the love of a good dog.

For now, all I have to offer are shoulder-shaking sobs.