I was a newbie when I became Scout’s vet 10 years ago. Her mom was a cool single lady who I always liked and Scout was a crazy young Golden.

At some point through the years, she started bringing her boyfriend in and eventually, we added him to the chart when they married. She was so happy for me when I was pregnant during the visit when Scout ate a sock, and shared that she too was trying. At the visit when Scout got into some Aleve I noticed she started to have acne and looked bloated as she shared the “trying” wasn’t working and they had started fertility drugs. After a few years, they began looking in to adoption. They would call for me to submit letters to adoption agencies that the dog was well behaved, Rabies vaccinated and they were responsible pet owners.

They followed me to various hospitals when I switched jobs or became a relief vet as Scout became an old arthritic Golden. When I opened my own hospital, her husband (a commercial landscaper) insisted on doing the new hospital’s landscaping at cost (free labor).

Over the years I stopped asking how the adoption process was going as they had many false hopes that never panned out. Until last year, when their dreams came true and they adopted the little cutie in this picture. The baby started coming to their visits too and I got to watch her grow over the year (she calls me “Auntie Monica”).

Tonight I was there for Scout and her family as they said goodbye and we let her go. I got to tell them it was the right thing to do (it was) and I saw the guilt leave their eyes. I got to be there for Scout, an old friend, who was so comfortable in my office she was snoring before she passed away.

This is not a sad story. This is what I love about my job. I watched this entire family come together and be a little part of their lives for a decade. I got to be an old friend to a dog who was ready to go and didn’t need to be scared or around a stranger in her time of need. And an old friend to her family who needed someone they trusted to give them permission to let her go. I love my job. RIP Scout.