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Touching photo captures emotional farewell between a man and his best friend

Dogsarefamily_thumb By Dogs Are Family | June 18, 2013 | Comments (55)

Best friends Dakota and Adam share a tender moment

This photo shows Dakota's dad tenderly cradling her as they share one of their final moments together. Sara Robertson explains to DogHeirs that she took this photo of her husband, Adam, and their dog Dakota after learning they would have to say 'goodbye' her.

Sara writes:

"In the first week of March of this year my husband and I found out our dog Dakota had advanced cancer that had quickly spread into her lungs. We did all we could to try and ease her pain in the time we had left with her, however she deteriorated very rapidly and we were forced to say goodbye on March 15.

"I can truly say that was the most heart-wrenching and painful experience my husband and I have ever faced together. Every single day we think of our sweet Dakota and her amazing heart and spirit and I truly don't believe it will ever stop hurting.

"I took this photograph of the two of them in her final days, since she was my husband's first girl and was there for him through some very tough times before I even knew him. My husband Adam had written the most beautiful letter to Dakota that he read to her before we had to put her down, and I kept a copy so he can look back on it one day if he ever wants to remember the last words he spoke to her. 'Goodbye my little girl, my daughter, my muse, my inspiration, my saviour, my hero, my everything.' R.I.P. our sweet baby girl, we miss you everyday.'"



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Comments on this Article

It is a sad story to read about.
Austin, Sara Robertson here. I saw your comment stating that your Molly looks identical to Dakota. She was actually picked up at a local pound so we don't know her history completely -- however we do believe she was a husky/beagle mix. She would howl at times just like a beagle but had the exact coat/build of a husky. I hope this helps.
Toughest part of having pets is that their lives are so short. We had a rottweiler with cancer who was very stoic in his last days and they teach us about facing adversity with courage. After that we did not feed any pet foods with artificial colors or preservatives. It was the beginning of learning about natural foods for our pets.
This article has brought back the sad memories, and many tears, passed and present, of when we as a family had to say goodbye to our lovable furry companion. We shared 12 happy years together and the pain of her passing is still as strong today as it was the day we parted. One day we hope to meet again at Rainbow Bridge. RIP sweetheart we miss you lots......You may have left our lives but you will never leave our hearts.xx
I read your article and recognized Dakota to looks identical to my dog Molly. Is there any chance your aware of what breed mix. I've looking high and low for the answer.
I lost my little Peppers on December 22 at the age of 15. I fell in love with her when she was just a teeny pup and I cradled her face in my hands when she went to sleep. I miss her so much.
That Picture speaks a thousand words more than this small box could hold. RIP Dakota. God bless..!!
I felt the same thing when I kissed my Border Collie Patch goodbye. Same circumstances as beautiful Dakota. Two operations in 4 mo's and the cancer still got her on Dec 31st, 2006. I still miss her and shed a tear everytime I visit her grave in the back yard. These animals win their way into our hearts with true love for you. No matter what your flaws may be.
This broke my heart. My 15 year old Dachshund Pepper waited until I got home from being gone all day. She didn't look good and when i picked her up she cuddled in my arms. As she fading I finally whispered through tears, "Its okay Pepper. It's time for you to go." Within seconds, she was gone. This story and picture tugs at my heart and brings back the bitter sweet memory.
awwwwww it made me cry, so sad
"Our doors will always bear the scars of paws that wanted in, as will our hearts now that they're gone no more to be let in."
The end of a family member just hurts so much, human or pet, just lost my best friend mookie and the pain was such I had to change many things within my home to help cope without him. My help that took the pain away was a new one, and it sure worked. I still hurt for my mookie and will never totally get over it but Chester same breed and color sure helps. I feel you and maybe this could help.
omg that was s hert wrenchin made me cry :(
We lost our Golden Retriever in July 2011. He was a beautiful furry buddy. He had so much love and energy to share. He was my son's first dog and we were watching him for him. We had him in the back of the pickup..(something we never will and don't do again). We swerved and the dog fell out. He tried to hold on but his lungs were punctured..mine would be too if I hit the ground as hard as he did. Never never let your dogs ride in back of a pickup. We will never forget him. I cried and cried and cried.. for years now. My head hurts thinking about it and blame and shame cover me for not being a better person and taking better care of something we so loved....We love our family , they are our family as well as our child.. we love and miss them so much....so much..
i am so sorry for your family. i sent two dogs over the bridge this year- my 14 year old bernese mountain dog, Ro-Han and my 16 year old lab/pit cross Nasuli- Ro loved Suli all the days of his life, and she loved him too. Although i still have my 3 rescued pitties and work on saving dogs every day... i still miss those two so much. it is my pledge, that they will not die alone, i will be with them, and i have kept it so many times. i am so serious about this, that my vet allows me to take a dog nearing end home over night, with IV's and meds, whatever needs to be done. unless they have 24/7 staff willing to call me in my dogs don't stay at the vets overnight. there is nothing but time that can heal this wound... and truly... it is only every covered... it doesnt take much to reopen. sometimes the kisses of another furbaby can help.
I cried, too. My grandfather was a DVM as I was growing up & I comforted many dogs during their final minutes alive. It never got easier. I have a golden lab mix that is my everything. Being single @ 50 years old is tough, but my Swee (short for Sweetheart) makes it much less painful.
So well said Jean! The wonderful love dogs give us does unfortunately come at a price. The payback is when we lose them, and have to grieve for them. It teaches us about our humanity that we love and care for them so much and it hurts so much when they leave. I miss my first little girl even though she left me nearly 10 years ago now. I had her for 16 years and she was well loved and spoilt! Just remember they await us at the Rainbow Bridge.
awww so sad this made me cry :(
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