For 11-year-old Hannah, a pit bull terrier-Labrador mix, life was getting harder. Suffering from seizures and riddled with arthritis in her hips, loyal, loving Hannah was also enduring side effects from the medications she took to control her seizures. While watching Hannah struggle to walk and climb stairs, owner Kyle Amick knew a difficult decision was on the horizon.
“I finally decided that keeping her on the meds was selfish, but keeping her off of them was just as cruel," Amick posted on Facebook.
Devastated to see her best friend living in pain, stricken by seizures, with medication that no longer worked, Amick decided to give Hannah one last day of love and pampering. She photographed each step of this beautiful yet heartbreaking final day.
The day began with a car ride where Amick wondered if Hannah could sense the sadness in the air. She noted how difficult even the smallest steps were for Hannah.
Amick then noted the greatest responsibility that an owner had to her pet: to do what is best for the dog and not for the owner. "It was the worst thing I've had to choose in my life," Amick told BuzzFeed News.
Amick decided that if Hannah's time had come, at least she would go out in style with a day dedicated to her.
The first stop was to have a relaxing aromatherapy bath at PetSmart.
After the doggie spa, Hannah stopped and had a fast food meal. "We took a long drive home to enjoy the treats and so she could stick her head out the window," Amick said.
"Hannah loved food, any of it," Amick said.
Amick brought Hannah home to rest and relax, something that Hannah always loved to do. "She was very smart and always up for cuddling or playing," she said.
Amick took pictures of herself and her family with Hannah. Understandably, they were very somber.
The day came to a close with the last play session between Hannah and her canine buddy, Vinny. For a short while, Hannah played and bounced around as if she were a puppy again!
"She seemed to be a bundle of energy when we brought Vinny out to play with her. Vinny's been her buddy for nearly nine years," Amick said.
But shortly after playing with Vinny, time and pain caught up to Hannah, who had to lay down and rest. Amick painted Hannah's toenails for the last time.
"When it got too much for her, I took her up to paint her nails and then we went to my room so she could lay with me until it was time to go," she said.
Then it was time to say goodbye. Amick and Hannah took a final ride in the car together to the veterinarian's office.
At the vet's office, Amick lay down next to her dear Hannah for their last picture together.
"I don't think there was a single person there at the vet that didn't cry with us," Amick said.
Amick documented her last day with Hannah on Snapchat, posted it on her Facebook page and shared it with some fellow PetSmart employees. One employee asked to share Amick's post, and the beautiful photographic tribute to Hannah went viral.
Amick received support from so many people who saw Hannah's story. "Hannah was honestly my best friend. I only did what I knew was best for her in the end," she said.
"Hannah's my baby and I love her and as a friend of mine said, if anything good can come out of this loss, it's that she is touching so many lives with her story," Amick wrote on her Facebook page.