For 16 years, wedding photographer Maria Sharp's best friend was constantly by her side.
When Chubby, her collie/German shepherd/hound mix, started becoming ill and deteriorated rapidly in health, Sharp decided to chronicle their final moments together.
"Chubby isn’t just a dog," Sharp wrote in her blog. "She’s my longest and best friend."
"We got her from the pound when I was 7 years old. Being the impatient 7-year-old that I was I would wake her up from her puppy naps so we could play. I just wanted someone to enjoy life with."
"Since it was just me and my mom in the house, Chubby added something our family really needed. Chubby was my person."
In the blog post, uploaded on 2 October, Sharp said Chubby’s health had declined over the last couple of years.
She developed cataracts and lost her hearing, then struggled to stand up.
"She would stay up for most of the night, getting super anxious and walking around in circles, forgetting where she was going," Sharp wrote. "It was heartbreaking to watch. The vet told us she has cognitive disfunction (Alzheimer's for dogs) and recommended a supplement to help turn her around. When that didn't work we got her some anxiety pills to help her sleep at night."
Chubby then stopped eating all together, and a subsequent X-ray discovered she had gallstones.
"I'm writing this while she's still alive because I know if I were to wait until after she was gone my brain would be mush and I wouldn't be able to type through my tears."
Sharp said Chubby had been around for all the important years in her life, from graduating high school and college to meeting boyfriends.
"She was there for me when I moved home and none of my friends were around," she wrote. "She saw me start my own business and fulfill my dream as becoming a wedding photographer."