when he took the first injection, his eyes got really big and he started to panic for what seemed like an eternity but was probably only two seconds. he calmed down, and sank into ashley's lap, his head overlapping her knee and into my hands and face. he's so big. everything about him is big. first and foremost his heart. his floppy ears. his huge head and neck. his boney butt. his presence. everyone loved him instantly. and he melted so many hearts instantly. i haven't met a pup like him - so willing to love and give. his beautiful brown, soulful eyes dripped with gratitude and love. so much love and so much gratitude. it was as if he was constantly thanking us for our love with his eyes. the spark in his beautiful browns - i'll never forget it.

the second injection followed, seconds later. this injection stopped his heart. or more accurately, it brought his heart to a halt in our earthly plane. nothing will ever stop his heart. we stared into each other's eyes this entire time, as he lay waiting, not knowing his fate. his eyes filled me with love, and so much gratitude. other emotions crept into my conflicted heart - sadness, helplessness, and fear. anger. trying so hard to find calm and peace. as he took his last breath, his tongue came out; his body full relaxed, at ease finally. no more pain. our eyes still locked. i kissed his face, and rubbed his big mouth and nose with my fingers. i read al fatihah. and then i thanked him. i told him i was proud of him, i loved him, and i thanked him again. as much gratitude as he had in his eyes and heart for me during our time together, i was grateful to him ten times over for what he gave me. i took more than him, and that is one of the ultimate ironies of trying to save a life - he gave me so much more.

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