Cosmo, our wonderful golden retriever, went back to the resuce we got him from as his old age and our young kids did not mix so well. (He was abused as a puppy, but we had him for 8 wonderful years and he lived another 5 with an older couple who loved watching him swim in their pool--he was a happy, happy puppy!)
Anastasia, our first kitty, was the next to leave us. Never a healthy cat to begin with, we loved our blind-in-one-eye and deaf sickly kitty! She died a few years ago.
Athena, our other cat, was part Maine Coon and definitely knew how to hold her own. One night she didn't come home. I'm pretty sure she is living happily in the woods somewhere, having beaten the snot out of a fox to take over his den. Just let me believe this, please.
Chester, our beloved Chester. What a fantastic, loving, wonderful, happy, amazing dog. We just loved and loved this little guy. You may remember when he died last year, just weeks before my best friend from college passed away. His death was overshadowed by Amy's condition, obviously, but the void in our family was real.
That left Ariel, our wonderful cuddle machine. Sitting down? She was on your lap. Sleeping? She was on your chest. Eating breakfast? She was wrapped around your neck like a feathered boa. Seriously, she was! She has been slowing down a lot the past few weeks as a thyroid condition was getting the better of her. Her meds had stopped working and we were trying something else that we were hoping would work, but didn't seem to be improving her condition. Today, she went into the cool of the basement and closed her eyes. We found her there this evening, all curled up. The last of our pre-kids menagerie.... Sleep well, dear Ariel.