Today we said goodbye to our beloved coonhound, Dakota. We were able to spend five years, three months and ten days together. As I have said before, she was the perfect addition to our family.

There wasnít a day that she didnít come to greet us at the door upon our return from school or work. As soon as she had even a hint that someone was awake in the morning, she was up from her sleeping spot and ready for breakfast (even if we werenít). She would come in our bedroom and shake her head so that her ears flapped and her collar rattled. Once she was awake, no one was allowed to sleep until she was fed! This was our routine, and she had us well trained.

This morning was different. It was after the kids went to school and after my husband came back from work that he and I had to coax Dakota to her feet. She wasnít interested in eating her breakfast. Today, we went for a second opinion to the doomful diagnosis that was given to us two days ago. We were hopeful that we might hear something different that would selfishly keep Dakota around with our family for another year or two. This wasnít the case.

Dakota had a malignant mammary tumor that had grown with great speed since Christmas. In addition, another cancer had taken over her lymph nodes. The doctor said we could do an x-ray to see where it had spread. We could do surgery and chemotherapy treatments. Doing so would be costly, but, more importantly, it could only give us another 3-6 months with our girl. We did not want to put her through this torture. We gave up our selfishness to keep her self-worth of being the beautiful, strong coonhound that she had always been.

We have never had a dog quite like Dakota. She was stubborn to the core, yet such a gentle beast, with her big eyes, big ears, big paws and huge heart. She is missed.

The Raguindin Family

Dakota's Happy Ending Page

10 January 2011