For "National Dog Day" I wanted to share an old story about one of our precious dogs. Sadie was truly one of a kind and is so missed by my whole family.The original story was from November of last year.

For those of you who know me, I am the proud father of a 7-year-old boy and a 3-and-a--half-year-old girl. I also have two other kids in my house. Maggie and Sadie are our dogs. Maggie is a 10-year-old yellow lab, she is our shelter rescue dog and as we call her the "momma" dog. She is the one who will follow my daughter around to make sure she is okay when she falls and she is the first one to check on all of the kids first before she goes to play with us or Sadie.

Sadie is our 8-year-old Rottweiler who was my wedding gift from my wife.

Some folks wonder why I got a dog for my wedding gift. Well, to make the story short, when my wife and I were dating I got a Rottweiler puppy from a friend and Laura helped pick her out. Chloe was a part of my household for a short time before she died as a puppy. Sadie came from the same folks as Chloe, my first Rottweiler, and that is the short story behind why I got a dog for my wedding gift.

Sadie has been the dog that provides us the most entertainment, from the chasing of the bubbles, to the biting of the wagon wheels in the backyard with the kids. She has always been the protector of the kids, and the house, letting us all know if someone or something is coming to the house.

Monday, I noticed that Sadie was limping. Not bad, but a small limp. Later that night when we were feeding them dinner I noticed a knot on her leg and it looked like it was rather painful. But Sadie never made a sound, no whimpering, no crying. She just acted like nothing was wrong.

Yesterday afternoon I took her to the vet to make sure there was nothing serious like a sprain or a break. After x-rays I got the worst news I could have received. Sadie has bone cancer. It was the cause of the small knot on her leg, and now I have a tough decision. Our options are to have the leg amputated at the hip. Even with the amputation there is still a less than 60 percent chance she will live, or I have to treat her with medications until the time comes to [let her go to doggy heaven] and put her to sleep.

As I picked up my kids from daycare that afternoon there were very surprised that Sadie was with me. The dogs do not ride in the Jeep that often so to them it was a treat.

I am now to the point in the story with trying to tell a 6-year-old boy that his dog is dying. I am not sure how he will handle the news. Surprisingly, Grant did so good when my dad died last year from a stroke. I think he will be okay with the news. But he sees her every day and seeing her in a state that her health will be deteriorating, I am not sure how he will handle it. I am scared that this may be too much for a 6-year-old to handle, but I don't want to keep it from him since it is one of his pets.

I am now faced with one of the toughest decisions ever. Do we tell him, or do we act like it is not a big deal until the effects of her illness begin to appear?

Here is an update on our story. Yesterday was a difficult day for me and my family. Sadie had become increasingly weak and did not want to do much of anything. She has been pretty pitiful and did not want to eat. I knew from my previous talks with our vet that this was the sign she was not doing well and her time was near.

I made the trip to the vet to do what I have been dreading since the news that Sadie had cancer. Sadie limped into the exam room and layed down on my feet. The vet came in and we talked a little bit about Sadie and how she was feeling. Sadie went peacefully and I felt sad and relieved that she was not suffering anymore.

Later that afternoon my wife found a book about animals and how they are in heaven playing with angels and that they were in a better place. My son, Grant, took the news very well and we spent a little time talking about all of the silly times that Sadie and the family shared.

Now Maggie is our main focus because with Sadie gone she is a little confused. She spent most of the day inside with us and the kids. She is loving all of the attention and my little girl is all about her "Maggie." Yesterday was a tough one for my family but the unconditional love that we get from our pets and support from friends and family will make it all okay.

Well, Sadie has been gone for less than a year now and Maggie seems to like all of the attention. We do not have plans to get any more dogs in the near future, so Maggie has us all to herself. So in honor of Sadie, take a little time today and hug your dogs tight. They are only here for a short time and love you so much.