Paw Prints on Our Hearts | Saying Goodbye to Shiloh

A true friend leaves paw prints on your heart.

We’ve known this day was coming for months, but it finally came time to put my oldest son’s beloved beagle Shiloh to sleep yesterday.

Every pet owner has stories to tell about their beloved pets, so I hope you’ll indulge me while I share some of mine.

I just need to talk about her today…

Saying goodbye to a pet dog is never easy. They leave paw prints on your heart. |

When my son Seth was twelve years old, he decided he wanted a dog of his own.

We weren’t sure what kind of dog to get, but we had watched the movie Shiloh and made what was probably an impulsive decision to get a beagle.

We didn’t have the money to buy one, so he and I worked together cleaning our church one day a week until we’d raised enough money to buy a beagle pup.

We went to visit a litter of beagle pups and Seth picked the cutest and spunkiest one.

This photo was taken right after we purchased her.


Seth quickly discovered that becoming a pet owner has its challenges.

I’ll never forget the night he wasn’t really sure he wanted that cute new puppy.

We were trying to crate train Shiloh, so she slept in her crate in Seth’s room.

Well, Shiloh wanted out of her crate and barked and howled, hoping Seth would let her out.

I was up late, and Seth came marching into the living room with Shiloh in her crate.

He plopped the crate down next to me, turned around, and went back to bed.

    Ummm … no way, son.

I marched straight back to his room with the crate and had a heart-to-heart talk to him about the responsibilities of owning a pet.

Pets are like kids – they might drive you crazy sometimes, but it’s your job to teach them and love them anyway, no matter how loud they scream (or howl).

Seth grew to love that howling little puppy of his and she’s been his “girl” for the last 14 years.

They grew up together.  He went from an awkward pre-teen into a wonderful young man, and she went from a howling little hyper puppy into a sweet gray headed old lady.

They’ve had a good life together.


Yesterday was a very tough day.

Seth got up and made her a special breakfast of eggs and leftover beef, then he took her for a car ride so he could spend some time alone with her.

I took the last photos I would ever take of the two of them together, then it was time to go to the vet.

We stayed with her, petting and talking to her until she took her last breath.

We both cried buckets of tears.

Then we came home and Seth buried his girl under our burning bush.

I’ll think of her every time I look out my window at that bush.

We’ll miss you, Shiloh.

You truly left paw prints on our hearts.

Saying goodbye to an old friend who left foot paw prints on our hearts -

Vaya con Dios,


You can read previous stores I’ve shared about Shiloh HERE and HERE.


  1. This is precious and heartbreaking. I know this pain so well. Tears and prayers for Seth and you.

  2. I am so sorry. It’s never easy when that time comes. We had a beagle for 16 years, they are amazing furry babies. I’m terribly sorry for your loss.

  3. Sherri S.. says

    Precious. So sorry for your loss.. pets are family.


  4. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved girl. I know how much she must have meant to your family. Hugs to you all.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. I never had dogs growing up so the ones I have now are my first dog loves. I can’t even bear to think of losing them but I know it will happen sooner than I would like to imagine. They so quickly find their way into our hearts and fill holes we didn’t even know were there. Sending love and hugs. Rest in peace sweet Shiloh.


  6. Sharing your tears, Angie…so heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for your loss…it’s such a hard thing for a family to go through. You were blessed to share each other’s lives. Sending love and a big xoxo your way…

  7. I’m so sorry to hear such sad news, Angie. Sweet Shiloh had a wonderful home and I’m sure she knew how much she was loved. She’ll be in your heart forever.
    Sending you a big hug,

  8. Jenny Young says

    We too have been through this.

    Our son was 10 when he got his black labrador. We had to put her to sleep last fall. Our son is married & we kept his sweet Daisy at our house in the country. He took off work to come, go with his dad to the vet & then help bury her on our land.

    The love of boys & dogs is such a precious gift & such a hard thing to lose as those boys become men. Realizing the sweet dog’s life is over is another signal that the boy has become a man. I am so sorry for your loss.

  9. So very sorry! They become our children. You are in my prayers.


  10. Sandi Dogget says

    Thank you for sharing this—-it touched my heart. Prayers for you & your son—it is always difficult to loose a family member (even a pet one). xoxo

  11. Oh Angie I am so sorry for your loss. I know this pain and loss all too well myself. Hope the memories of Shiloh will help ease your son and your pain. You gave her a great life and it is soooo touching that your son and Shiloh grew up together. So sweet. Sending you a comforting hug today.

  12. Mary Lee Moeny says

    We came to that with our Colby-dog. Our youngest had been his “Lady” for 15 years. He’d comforted her when she was sad, played and romped with her, was her bany-sitter when she was too old for one (“Keep Colby with you in your bedroom”) We cried, we all cried, then celebrated his life with an ice cream soda, telling all the Colby stories we remembered. “Do you remember when we ____ and Colby ____?”

  13. Sharon Smith says

    So sorry for your loss and sadness. What a beautiful furry friend, Hugs to you and your son.

  14. Putting a beloved pet to sleep is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

  15. Sandy McElroy says

    How sad we’ve been there so many times. They are family and it takes time for the heart to heal.Praying for you both.

  16. I am so sorry to hear about Seth’s precious Shiloh….as others have said it is never an easy task. I had to put our dog down by myself, so I know the heart break. I still to this day think I hear her jingling collar.

    Many blessing to you and Seth.

  17. This is one of the hardest things a pet parent has to do. I have been through it a couple of times already and I have a 16 year old Chihuahua mix and I know her time is coming soon. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Praying for you all.

  18. We lost our wonderful choc lab Molly about 4 months ago. When we thought my hubby was dying, she slept with me. When, after 5 months, my hubby came home, she was his faithful companion until she left us. We had her cremated so we have fond memories when we look at the urn. We could not even talk about her leaving us for awhile; our hearts were broken Right now we have decided not to have another dog. However, my husband is teaching our cat to walk on a leash which is definitely something to see!! Blessings and grace to you and your family.

  19. Kimberley A Mason says

    Thank you for sharing this moment with us. It really does help to talk about what our furry children mean to us. My condolences to you and your son. Love and Hugs.

  20. Soooo hard! I know the pain, they bless our lives and the loss is so very difficult. Prayers are with you.

  21. We know your and your son’s grief, Angie. We lost our big orange cat man, Casey, after just two years. Yet in that time he became my husband’s close friend and companion. It was a very difficult loss, especially since Casey had a rough start (we adopted him from a family who’d found him in a tree at an Applebee’s when he was just weeks old). He was such a force of energy and sweetness. He loved everyone and everything…with the exception of our crabby matron, Tabby. He lost his life to a car, perhaps trying to find his way back to the house where we’d raised him. The loss was devastating for my husband; it was a reminder that our time with our loved ones can be brief. Yet, we wouldn’t have missed this time with Casey for the world. He was truly unique and incredibly lovable.

  22. Renee Harris says

    In deepest sympathy Angie, Seth and the rest of your family. I completely understand the heartache you all are going through. I hope you soon will remember all the happiness you had with Shiloh.

  23. Renee Ulibarri says

    I am so very sorry for your loss. My mom says the animals are little angels in fur, sent down by God to watch over us. Now she will be at the rainbow bridge waiting till you meet again. May you be comforted by her memories always. Sending my condolences.

  24. So sad to hear of your family’s loss but after reading your story, it’s apparent Shiloh was loved and gave love. We’ve also lost several four legged family members and each one holds a special place in our heart, but time will help heal. Thank you for giving Shiloh such a wonderful life and making sure her final days were special. God bless you and your family.

  25. Angie, you have me crying too. Our dogs are so much a part of our families and they give us so much love. It is perfectly understandable that you would want to pay tribute to Shiloh. Blessings to you and your family for being such a wonderful family to take her in and make her a part of your life all these years.

  26. Thank you for sharing this personal story of a very difficult loss.
    Just like all of the loved ones lost to us, we have the wonderful memories
    of the time spent with them. I hope those can help with your healing of this loss.

  27. Teddee Grace says

    Oh, dear. That final photo of her looking up at him is almost too much. They are such trusting friends. I am so sorry for your loss. Please give my condolences to your son.

  28. My heart is so sad for Seth and you. Hugs of comfort I’m sending your way. Shilo was given the gift love and a good life. ?

  29. Marijean Jenson says

    I’m crying right with you Angie ! ❤??

  30. from a fur baby mama…thank-you for sharing. my heart aches for you…your son…your family. they’re family and mean the world to us.

  31. It’s so hard to say goodbye, even harder when you know it’s coming. I’m so sorry you had to say goodbye to your sweet girl. I have had to say goodbye to four of my girls, Muffin, Sable, Cody and Jesse over the years and it never gets easier.

  32. I am so sorry to hear about Shiloh. We had to put our chocolate lab Baxter to sleep 2 years ago & it was the hardest thing we have ever done. Like you my husband & I stayed with him until it was over & cried for days afterwards. I will say that even though you don’t think it will, it will get easier as time goes by.

  33. I almost didn’t read because I knew I would cry…but wanted to honor the memory of your sweet dog. Sweet story about your dog who was loved and loved back.

  34. So sorry. I know how you and your family feel, it’s so hard and heartbreaking. My dogs mean SO much to me, the bond is wonderful and when it breaks, it really hurts.

  35. I am so sorry about Shiloh and know how much it hurts. Dogs are such wonderful creatures and to know their love is very special. I know she had a good life with your son.

  36. Susan Sisson says

    Thanks for sharing your story. Love the pictures of your son and Shiloh. I see love and joy in their eyes. What a special bond. Pets always bring out the best in us. So sorry for your loss. It is so hard to say goodby to a beloved pet. Thinking of you and your family in this time of sorrow.

  37. Thank you for sharing your story, I’m truly sorry for your loss, it’s really difficult to loose a pet, they’re part of our family. Knowing she doesn’t have to suffer anymore, will hopefully in time bring you peace and solace. Cherish your memories and photos, as she will live on in your heart forever!

  38. I am so sorry for your lost, for me it really hits home, you see we just put our beautiful baby krinkle, who was a dachsund of 14 yrs old to sleep on Oct 20th and it’s been so difficult.

  39. I am nearly in tears reading this post about Shiloh, Angie. I have put two dogs to sleep and it just tore my heart in two both times. After the last one–my darling Chow Chow, I vowed I would not ever, ever do that again. I would just not get any more dogs. Well, I lasted about a year. Then I couldn’t stand it anymore. The quietness of the house when I came home from work, no one to snuggle with and life was just so un-full. So I hunted all summer in 2008 for a Standard Poodle. I had always wanted one. I finally found one that wasn’t too far away and that I could afford, so my daughter and I drove about an hour and picked up this darling curly-haired little pup. He has been like a stick-tight to me ever since. He turned out to not be a Standard Poodle, tho’. My groomer finally convinced me he was a Labradoodle. But he doesn’t shed and he has the wonderful personality of a poodle. It didn’t matter to me; I already loved him. So, I expect in the not-too-distant future I will be saying good-bye to my Tavi. And I will cry my eyes out just like you and Seth did with Shiloh. But would we have missed the chance to have them in our lives? Not on your life.

    Blessings to you and Seth and to dear Shiloh.

  40. It’s so hard to lose our four legged family members. My heart goes out to you. We just lost our 15 year old husky a couple of weeks ago. They certainly leave an empty spot in your heart.

  41. Johnette Beaver says

    My heart and prayers go out to you, we have been blessed with Nosey a lab/chow mix for 7 years, Annie a black lab for 13 years that we adopted on our Annieversary as my daughter called it and named her Annie. I vowed no more, It just hurt too much. Well a year after had to be put down due to lung cancer, I went out side to see the most beautiful black lab on my driveway. My husband was working outside and when I asked him why he hadn’t come inside and told me about the dog, he said I can’t get him to come to me because he is so scared and I didn’t want to break your heart. Well in less than 5 minutes he was in my lap. We spent over 2 weeks trying to find his owner and thought the Humane Society had found him but when we called a woman answered and listened to my story of trying to find them when she curtly said “we don’t have a dog” Well you don’t now is all I could think of. My husband said Annie went to heaven and came back as a male with brains LOL I said Annie went to heaven and got a lobatomy and came back as a male. We used to joke but honestly all of them have been nothing but amazing loving and loyal and I want to grow up and love like my fur babies. The vet said he was a dumped dog. One person loved him and one didn’t and dumped him. We name him Buddy and for almost 4 years he was as loving and sweet a dog as gentlemanly a dog as I have ever seen. Sadly on our Annieversary he was hit by a car. Why I don’t know, it tore my heart out to end his suffering but it was an act of love I didn’t know I had the courage to do. God gives and God takes away and I still say blessed be the name of the Lord. I have learned through the losses of our beloved pets that the love and joy they have shared are well worth the act of love we must do in the end for them. I pray for you sorrow to be filled with the joy of the memories of Shiloh’s love and faithfulness to you. RIP and one day you can play with her again.

  42. Bonnie Martin says

    Sorry to hear about your families loss. you and the family will have the memories to remember until you see her again..

  43. Carole Brannan says

    I understand your pain. We have been through this so many times and it never gets easier but we have to do what is best for out four legged friends. They know we love them right till the end and that is what matters. Sending my thoughts and hopes for better days for your family.

  44. Meghan Grace says

    Your post made me cry. I am sorry for your loss and your son’s loss. We have two rescue that are getting old and I dread that day that we have to make that decision-even though it will be a decision made out of love. Hugs to you and your son.

  45. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. There is no love like the love from a dog and when they leave us they leave the biggest hole in our hearts that can never be filled. I hope you and your son know your beautiful girl knew she was loved very much by you and that you all had the best life together.

  46. I’m so so sorry to hear of your family’s loss Angie. I pray y’all are comforted by the warm memories you will always have.

  47. Everybody that loves dogs has this same pain … and everybody should have atleast one Beagle in their lives … mine was Martha (… say it with a drawl ). My prayer for Seth is that he retains a bit of Beagle heart in his heart the rest of his life ( he’ll know what I mean ).

  48. We walked this path about 3 years ago when our beloved black lab, Toby had to leave us. We brought him home when our sons were ages 5, 9 and 12. He was their ‘fur brother’, accompanying them through their boyhoods and growing with them into manhood. Although it brought my sons the biggest heartbreak they ever faced, they couldn’t imagine not having had Toby in their lives. I’m so sorry for your loss, and hope you’re comforted by your many wonderful memories of Shiloh.

  49. My Abby, Bo, Blue, Gypsy and Jackson will meet Shiloh at the Rainbow Bridge and keep her company.. Until then they will have to be our “spirit dogs.”

  50. So sorry for the loss of your sweet pet!!

  51. So sorry for the loss of your puppy, dog, best friend and most loved member of the family. We had to have our dog put down twenty years and that still brings tears to our eyes. You love them more than you think possible. But, they bring so much to the family. Sometimes they are even the “best” member of the family. At our vets office our dog was named “the best dog in the world”. That was on his chart, on his cast and even when I called the office we were know as the parents of “the best dog in the world”. Your dog was lucky for all the years of happiness and love the she received and you did too. Just remember all the years of total love all the way around. Thank you for sharing with us. You will never forget Shiloh and will always have wonderful stories to share. Much Love….Sandi

  52. Oh Angie…I am so so sorry. I am sitting here for tears streaming down my face…I know what this precious pup meant to you all and I know your hearts are broken. I know the feeling oh to well and I have to openly admit I cry each day for my rescued angels. I always try to find the words to make things better…but I have not yet found them. The blessing is that you had each other for such a long and you all knew true love. I will be lighting a candle for your sweet sweet boy as he finds his way to the beautiful Rainbows Bridge where he will play…romp and wait for when you are together again (I for one hope and pray that it all comes true). Sending hugs…love…prayers … what a beautiful boy.

  53. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. We too had to put our beloved 3 legged cat, Dahlia down 3 weeks ago. She is buried in our back yard. The happiness and unconditional love that they give us is amazing. Your loss is so fresh and it’s true that time helps but I ended up adopting a little kitten that was the runt. She was also malnourished. The joy in seeing her putting on weight and running here and there has put a smile back on our faces and has filled our hearts. My wish for you and your family is that the emptiness that you are feeling eases and remember that there is a little creature out there that needs the love that you have to give. ❤

  54. I am so sorry to hear. This is a painful, painful process. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  55. My family and I have been there numerous times – more than I would like – so I know the feelings all too well. I hope God comforts you both today and in the days to come. Blessings!

  56. I just read your account of Shiloh and it brought me to tears. My daughter rehomed a wonderful 7 year old cavalier. The most placidly tempered of dogs buffy was. She went skiing, beach combing, wining and dining with my daughter and her partner, but then three years after arrival had enriched all of our lives she got cancer and in the end we had no alternative but to take her to the vet for the last time. It is still raw today and yet it all happened three years ago February 2017.
    I am so sorry for your loss and I am so sorry for ours too

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