Yesterday (and today, actually) was a very sad day at our house. Our sweet dog, having reached the incredible age of at least 14, had been slowing down for the last year or two, but the last few months, and most particularly the last several days have shown a marked decline.
We got her at the pound about 11 1/2 years ago; we toured the whole place, and couldn't find the right dog. We didn't see her, because she was in a cage with a particularly insane black lab who was jumping around so much we never noticed the sweet, quiet dog in the back. An employee pointed her out; they had picked her up on the side of the road with the lab, and they both had porcupine quills in their faces and tongues. We brought her home, and have enjoyed her ever since.
She's seen us through 2 moves, 1 doctorate, several jobs, and the birth of 2 kids. Her sweet nature and kind heart always showed through, even when she dragged my curling ribbon through every room of the house, turned over all the houseplants and covered the living room rug with an inch of dirt, and removed all my cookbooks from the bookshelf, taking a bite out of all the corners. My personal favorite was when I came home one day and couldn't figure out what the amethyst sparkly stuff was all over my kitchen floor; turns out that I had left a coffee cake in a pyrex dish on the counter, which she pulled off. When it landed on the kitchen tile, it shattered into about eleventy billion pieces, but she managed to eat every last bite of the coffee cake with no injury to herself.
She was always wonderful with the kids; Miss Serious let her be, but Big Trouble was determined to ride her, grab her hair, and pull her tail. She took all this abuse in stride, with never so much as a growl. She would just look up at us with her sad eyes, which seemed to ask, "Please make it stop."
Over the last few weeks, she progressively lost the ability to support her weight on her back legs. She was put on painkillers, which she happily chomped down, as I believe they were meat flavored, and apparently delicious. The last few days she had great difficulty getting to a standing position, and walking around the house became more and more of a challenge. When we came home yesterday, she was unable to stand, and when she looked up at me, her big sad eyes once again seemed to say, "Please make it stop." We took her to the vet yesterday, and her suffering is now over.
Rest in peace, sweet girl. We love you and will miss you with all our hearts.