On Sunday afternoon, October 26, I gathered Scoutie in my arms and we sat the kids down to tell them that it was time.
Over the past several months, Scout had been getting progressively weaker, eating and drinking less, sleeping more.
And the preceding week while Grayson was out of town, he started having trouble climbing the steps.
I was afraid I'd have to take him to the vet before Grayson even got back from his business trip, but Scout didn't get any worse and continued to be completely interactive with us, loving on the kids, so I let him be.
But Sunday before last, we knew we had to talk to them.
It was incredibly difficult, and there were tears.
So many tears, from all of us.
There's no easy way to begin to say goodbye to a pet who's been such an integral part of your life for 16 years.
For us as a couple, Scout's been with us for all but the first three years of our marriage.
As for the kids, they don't know life without him.
I held onto him as we all talked about him and what would happen, how it would happen, how we'd all go on.
As Sunday wore on, we each seeked him out and spent extra time with him, giving him extra love.
A week ago Monday morning, more of the same before school. Nick went and got his iPod and took about 20 pictures of him before saying one last goodbye, giving him one final hug and kiss.
It's a powerful thing.
Not enough to overshadow the love that precious boy brought into our lives for those many years, though.
He was worth every tear I've shed and will shed. He was the best of the best.
The best, of the best.
The hardest goodbye.
May 24, 1998 - Oct. 27, 2014