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Loving and losing a dog: Your stories

By Daphne Sashin, CNN
updated 2:43 PM EST, Fri November 30, 2012
"For every moment of my life in the past 17.5 years that I've spent going, and doing, and running, and stressing, and pushing, and feeling restless over all other aspects of my life, Jenny was the thing that grounded me. During some of the darkest days of my life, I could bury my face in Jenny's fur, listen to her heart beating, and feel like things were ok." <a href='http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-887574'>-- iReporter Kathleen Farro</a> "For every moment of my life in the past 17.5 years that I've spent going, and doing, and running, and stressing, and pushing, and feeling restless over all other aspects of my life, Jenny was the thing that grounded me. During some of the darkest days of my life, I could bury my face in Jenny's fur, listen to her heart beating, and feel like things were ok." -- iReporter Kathleen Farro
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Jenny (1994-2012)
Casey (2002-2012)
Daisy (2004-2012)
Kayak (2001-2007)
Bear (1999-2012)
Lacie (1999-2012)
Nestor (2003-2012)
Marley (2001-2012)
Tucker (2004-2012)
Tyr (2001-2011)
Gyro (Unknown-2012)
Dickens (1999-2011)
Kishi (2002-2012)
Buster (2002-2012)
Lady (1999-2010)
Wanda (2008-2012)
Abby (2000-2012)
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Singer Fiona Apple recently canceled a tour to stay home with her dying dog
  • CNN.com readers understand her decision after enduring their own dogs' deaths
  • They shared tributes on iReport.com to dogs they loved and lost

(CNN) -- Singer Fiona Apple's recent decision to cancel a tour to care for her dying dog, Janet, brought an outpouring of support from dog owners who could relate all too well to the need to honor their beloved companions until the very end.

As CNN's Kat Kinsman recently wrote in a tribute to her late Irish Wolfhound, Mordred: "Dogs express their love and trust in many ways -- some lap at your face, knock you down with kisses as you come home, leave a half-dead animal on your pillow, or sit on your lap and sigh with contentment. The large and stoic ones tend to lean. It's a hug. It's the best feeling in the universe."

We saw a well of sympathy in response to Kinsman's story, like from the commenter who said, "My doggies never hold grudges, shun me, argue with me, they give love, laughter, constancy and protection. How can one not love and honor such behavior? That means returning the favor no matter what that takes."

After reading the comments on Kinsman's essay, CNN iReport decided to invite dog owners to share their stories about the animals they loved and lost. The assignment turned into a wake of sorts for owners -- many for whom the loss was still fresh -- to share their best times with their furry pals and their last moments together.

"The love of an animal is something you can't define or even describe. No judgement, no questions, no pity; just love and cuddles and slobbery kisses, and the occasional 'woo' with a fire siren at 3 a.m," Kelly Robinson said in her tribute to her golden retriever, Daisy, who died in April.

Scroll through the gallery to read some of the tributes, and visit iReport.com to read the stories in full and share your own. A warning: Keep the tissues handy!

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