Photo of old dog’s last car trip unleashes the waterworks on the internet

This is quite possibly the saddest happy dog photo you’ll ever see.  Indeed, “an old dog’s last ride” has gutted animal lovers around the world.

The 15-year-old dog, named Libra, was quite ill when her owners said they had no choice but to euthanize her two years ago.

“Saddened today that my family had to put to rest my sweet Libra,” Nicole Alderman posted to Facebook in 2013. “She was a great dog. Only comforted knowing that she will no longer be suffering.”

But the power of social media is breathing new life into an old story — the often hard reality of pet ownership.

This photo of Libra, her wrinkled muzzle resting on an open window, drinking in fresh air and her eyes shut, was posted a few days ago to Reddit in memory of the old pooch. The outpouring of love was immediate.

Nicole Alderman/Facebook

“I’m sorry everyone,” wrote Reddit user ewhippieyoustink2. “I was feeling sentimental about my girl, Libra, that passed this time last year. Didn’t mean to break the sub rules or ruin everyone’s day. She was about 15 years old and I’ve had her since I was a kid. She started getting very sick (frequent seizures, couldn’t control her bladder, etc.) Libra was ready to go, so we helped her. She was so peaceful and happy and the picture makes me feel better about not having her around anymore.”

Alderman explained it was her sister who posted the image, adding:

“She was old and sick,” the Florida woman wrote. “Having seizures, collapsing and unable to move or control her bladder. She was our baby & this was the hardest thing.”

Alderman has been overwhelmed with the response, posted articles from around the globe as well as memories and photos of Libra to her Facebook page.

“She was the best! Went everywhere with me & slept in my bed every night,” she wrote.

Nicole Alderman took this photo of Libra when she was in high school/Facebook


Despite the response, the image was initially removed by Reddit administrators because subreddit where it was posted has a ban on sad posts.

“Your submission has been removed from aww.
Rule #1: No “sad” content, such as pics of animals that have passed away (try /r/petloss) or sob stories (e.g. found him in a dumpster).
Your title must be “100% happy”. No mentioning death, injury, RIP posts, finding abandoned animals, sick/survived cancer, pets being put to sleep, “I miss…”, etc. > You may tell the complete story, unhappy parts and all, in the comments section.
Silver lining stories still fall under Rule 1. > For example, “Jakey was hit by a car and had cancer, but he is a happy little fella today!” is not allowed.
Please do not break the rules of our subreddit – repeated rulebreakers may be banned.
Thank you.”

Still, the post has reached thousands and the photo has been viewed more than 700,000 times on Imgur.

Photos Nicole Alderman/Facebook

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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