How an act of kindness made dog’s last day extra special
When her elderly dog became ill, with a heavy heart Samantha White made a phone call hoping she could make her beloved Sasha's last day on earth as special as possible.
She didn't know that a heartfelt act of generosity would bring her whole family comfort.
The Hervey Bay family's dog had never really enjoyed having a bath, preferring to have a splash at the beach.
But as 13-year-old Sasha's health deteriorated, Samantha wanted to make her dog's last day the best it could be.
That included one last bath to prepare her for the day full of final pats and cuddles ahead.
Samantha called a dog groomer, who was booked out, but a recommendation was made to call Lacee Power from Derde Dog Grooming.
Lacee was also heavily booked, but when she heard that Sasha would have to be put down because of arthritis and liver disease, she told the family she would be happy to fit Sasha in.
That morning, Sasha had her final bath, surrounded by her loving family.
"She sat there happily, the kids, Lily and Thomas, watched her," Samantha said.
Lacee talked to the kids and made them part of the experience, she said.
"It was nice, because the kids were quite emotional at that point," Samantha said.
Sasha had her wash and a blow dry, then when Samantha tried to pay, Lacee refused.
"She looked at me and told me, 'I don't want anything for doing that'," Samantha said.
"Of course I started crying and gave her a hug."
After plenty of love and hugs, and smelling like a flower, Sasha was taken to the vet that afternoon with her whole family by her side as she took her final sleep.
Samantha's children had told her they wanted to be there for Sasha, who was the couple's first baby and had been there for their children's entire lives.
Lily told her mum, "I don't think Sasha should be by herself. I think it would be nice to be there for her".
With the vet's help, the process was explained to the kids, who were by Sasha's side until the end.
"She had been the perfect dog," Samantha said.
That afternoon, Lacee visited the family, bringing flowers and a sympathy card.
The gesture was moving for all of them.
Samantha said she had always tried to pay it forward with kind acts and with Lacee's actions, she felt her family had been richly repaid.
"How pure and kind it is for someone to give that to you without expecting anything in return," she said.
Especially moving was to see that kindness demonstrated to her children, Samantha said.
"It was just precious," she said.