Today we said good-bye to our old friend Emma the dog. Her back legs had been failing her for over a year. For the past month or so I needed to use a towel as a sling to support her back end while her front end did the driving. I asked the vet how we would know when it was time. He said to watch her appetite and change in behavior. If she ever raised a lip over something that wouldn't have bothered her before, we would know she wasn't feeling well.
It was cool outside this morning so I took her out and she wanted to stay outside. She was probably outside for over an hour just enjoying the day. Except when she wanted to come in she whined instead of barked. Her front end faltered as I helped her climb the ramp into the house. When she lay down by the fireplace, she couldn't keep upright. When she would fall to the side and struggled to be upright I had to help her up so she could rest on her chest. It was clear she was spiraling downwards.
I put her in the van and she never tried to get onto her chest again. She never bared her teeth. She was gentle to the end. Because of a sensitive GI system, she could only eat her dog food and the cream cheese that hid her medicines twice each day. However, she was a dog. She wanted culinary variety. So while we waited at the vets', I got into their stash of goodies. She nearly suctioned them down she ate them so fast. She was eating treats from my hand as she died.
On June 17, we also said good-bye to another of our old friends, Asha the cat. She didn't look well so we went to the vet. She had lost 80% of her kidney function. We buried her underneath a tree behind our little houses. She loved being among the trees watching the birds. Emma will join her there soon.
On June 26, our old Rhode Island hen also passed. Like most chickens she seemed fine until the last hours. She was always gentle with the kids. I believe Aeron was able to catch her and hold her.
We shall miss all our friends. It's hard to believe they are all gone. Asha was so unexpected and Emma...we've been through a lot with Emma over the last year, but she always seemed so happy and so...Emma. The vet reassured us she wasn't in pain and since she seemed content, we just helped her through each day. So no medicine tonight. No trip down the ramp together. Just memories of a gentle friend.
I wrote the above on my facebook page. To update anyone who followed this thread, after I originally posted it Emma got better. She had an acute infection that made her very sick, then she was fine. For 10 months. She even had a period where she was sometimes able to get up on her own again for awhile. Most of the past 10 months she was able to walk by herself, she just needed help standing up. She never complained, she never got cranky. She just always stayed Emma.