Letting go & Saying Goodbye

March 2012
By Dr. Keith Leakey

This article is therapy for me and lets me, in a way, show respect to our little baby girls that my wife and I raised and loved the best we knew how.  Chewy and Badra were our two labs. As much as I believe we found them, they found us, too. We recently moved here in April of 2011 and brought all 5 of our furry family members. This was a new adventure and we were afraid that the move would be hard on them. They rolled with it better than we did and taught us that change happens and as long as we have each other nothing else matters. Chewy was the most beautiful flower girl in our wedding, with us everywhere we went and greeted everyone with a smile. She was a true friend and understood me without words. Badra’s role in life was to help people. She was placed with a disabled girl in Dallas and later put up for adoption. Megan and I were lucky enough to adopt her. She was the 85-pound dog that thought she was 10 pounds and found her way into your lap! They both had the softest ears and sweetest kisses.

The idea of making the decision to let your little girls or boys go is not normal. We focus so much on the little puppy or kitty that we brought home, that even 13 years later we look at them no differently than the first time we fell in love. The hardest part about being a daddy for me was making the decision to take them from this place.  Understanding that I could not take the pain away but not wanting to give up is hard. I truly believe that to be a good parent, to your pet, you have to love them while they are here and part of that love involves letting them go when the time comes. I know I have not had the opportunity to meet a lot of our clients but I want you to know that I understand the decisions you make are very difficult regarding this topic. I love all my girls and am confident that my decision to let them go was for the best, but that does not make it any easier. I am blessed to have had them in my life and it is because of them that I strive to be the best veterinarian that I can.  Thanks Chew and B for always taking care of us.

Mom and Dad


  1. Dr. Kieth thanks again for staying with me when I had to say good bey to my Sassy she and Maggie were a great part of my life all the staff was wonderful

  2. Miss your family, loved the article. That dreaded decision is the only bad part of having a pet. The beginning of the summer I was forced to put down my almost 34 year old horse. The hardest part was trying to find someone to bury her on my property. She layed out there 2 days, it was incredibly muddy, but I did find someone. It’s called horse burial service, they were 2 hours away, nice people. Long story, but she is at Peace now.

    1. Hi Wendy!!! We miss you, too ! I’m so sorry you had to let you sweet horse go. We always remember you talking about her and all the beautiful pictures of her at your property. Glad she is at peace now and resting near you. Hugs !!!

  3. Such a heartfelt letter and it helps make our decisions more tolerable . Dr Leaky was there for our “Sage” when it was her time to pass over . Dr leaky made it all bearable , It was the hardest decision to make my husband was deployed and I was there all alone . I only made it thru because Dr.Leaky t made it easier for both sage and I with his patience and understanding and coming to our house so Sage could be in her own home as she passed . My husband felt much better knowing Dr. leaky was there for sage . we will be forever thankful .

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