I got my dog as a puppy 14 years ago because my kids wanted a puppy. They were little kids back then. The puppy was a lab mix – the other part was either sheep dog or bearded collie. She was fluffly and cute and not so bright but very loyal. We named her Sienna because when she was a puppy she was dark brown like that crayon – burnt sienna.
For the last year her back end has been failing her to one degree or another. She’s had good days and not so good days and lately she’s had days where she gets stuck on the floor and can’t get up. She fell down the stairs a couple times. She looked a little sad.
I agonized over what to do about it and then I quit worrying about it and decided that I would just know when it was time. Yesterday I decided it was time and today I took her in. She was having a good day and that made it worse, as though anything can make terminating your dog’s life after she has been your faithful friend for 14 years – a font of unconditional love, any worse than it is. I could accidentally step on her, force her to submit to grooming, leave her home for hours, not take her for a walk for days and still – she loved me. I hope she knows I was loving her back by letting her go when she could still walk a little bit – before she had to suffer the terror of just not being able to get up.
I’m not the only one around here who will miss her.