It’s a complicated and strange time acknowledging and preparing for a pet’s death. On the one hand, it’s a universal experience familiar to most if not all pet owners. On the other, it’s still an incredibly difficult and painful journey no matter how it’s approached. It’s the “price of love” that animal companions will one day leave their human’s side. A worthwhile price but a steep one nonetheless.

A dog owners intimate knowledge of this process is exactly why the image of a dog’s contented smile on her last car ride still strikes a cord with readers even years later since it was first posted in 2015.

An old dog’s last ride.

With her chin resting on the window’s edge and her eye’s relaxed gazing out at the scenery passing by, you would think this was an average day for Libra the pit bull. But it was a special day. It was her last day.

It began when the Kramer family adopted a tiny pit bull puppy they named, Libra. While a generally, adorable and loving dog, Libra developed a special bond with the Kramer’s 8-year-old daughter April. As April grew up, Libra became a close ally and friend, even for resident kitten, Maxwell.

Fifteen years or so later, Libra began to show her age. The onset of severe seizures followed by the discovery of pulmonary tumors led to one conclusion. Libra was in a lot of discomfort and had very time left.

Libra lived a wonderful and loving life: YouTube

It’s the moment every dog owner dreads from the first moment they notice their pup is slowing down. It can be a very melancholy experience, but also beautiful chapter in a human’s life with their dog. It’s said that animals can sense when the time is near and will give signals that they’re ready. This is a gift. It means those last moments can be made truly special.

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After all she had done for April and the Kramers as a whole, the family wanted to give Libra the gift of a swift end to her suffering. And, with the pit bull’s health deteriorated suddenly and dramatically, they knew it was time.

That last ride can be really hard and tense as the finality becomes more real. Libra had always loved riding in cars and so as they rode to the vet, April rolled down the window so Libra could enjoy her favorite pastime. For thirty minutes, Libra rode with her nose out in the air, enjoying the breeze and the vistas and life.

Libra crossed the Rainbow Bridge, as they say, finding an end to her suffering and leaving a beautiful memory with her family and beyond.

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