My name is Kelly, and I grew up in a house where pets were people too. My mom worked as a receptionist at our local vet in Ohio from the time I went to school, and we always had greyhound rescues.

I know first-hand how hard it is to lose a pet— your closest confidant who loves you no matter what, that friendly face who would do anything for you— but that sharing any time you can with them is completely worth it. Earlier this year, my parents' dog Tucker went into heart failure after 9 happy years as part of our family. He was with me through a lot of life's big transitions: going to college, getting married, and moving out of my parent's house into my own. 

My mom called her old boss, our family vet, to come to the house late one night. Even though she doesn't normally make house calls, she came right away when Mom told her she didn't think Tucker was going to make it through the night. The vet confirmed our fears— Tucker would probably die slowly and painfully over the course of the night— and we made the difficult decision to ease his pain before things got much worse. Understanding this would likely be the case when she received my mom's call, our vet came prepared for the worst.

It is still such a relief to know that Tucker died surrounded by people who loved him, in his favorite spot on the bed, rather than in a sterile medical facility he didn't know. He was peaceful and ready in his last moments with us.

In the year since Tucker passed, my husband's job relocated us to the Reno area and my dad had his first birthday without Tucker. He was so close with that dog— they did everything together— and when I remembered the nose print we had done before Tucker was cremated, I knew I wanted to give him some way to keep Tucker close to him. That's how I found Heart's Companion, and I could not be happier that I did. I had a nose print pendant made from Tucker's nose print for my dad. He keeps in on his keychain so that he can always feel Tucker's nose in the palm of his hand. 

Our dog is just 6, but I know some day she'll leave us too. It means so much to me as a transplant with no roots in this city, that I'll be able to give Shelby the same in-home, stress-free goodbye that Tucker was able to have, even if I haven't known our new vet since I was a kid. I dread that day, but know it's inevitable. I am so glad Heart's Companion will be there when we need them.