I had to put one of my dogs, Murphy, to sleep yesterday.
He was 16 years old - or more - and had had a good life, I think.
Still, it's one of the hardest things I've ever done.
An acquaintance of mine found him running around campus on my 22nd birthday, Dec 15, 1990.
I brought him home to Philadelphia so my mom could find a home for him (I couldn't have a dog!) but she fell in love with him too and decided to keep him (after years of saying "no more dogs" - they were too much work)
About two years ago my mom had to go into a nursing home and couldn't keep him. For the first time in many years, I couldn't take him either, so he went to live with close friends of mine who lived nearby. They have two adults and two kids in their family, and more visitors than I generally do. He loved it there. He loved people so much.
Since the summer he started having a really hard time walking, getting around the house, getting outside to "relieve" himself. He spent a lot of time lying around, and lost so much weight you could feel most of his bones.
He spent thanksgiving weekend with me. My younger dog, Jordan, knocked him over almost immediately, but we both (me & Jordan) learned to be more cautious. I hand fed him (sometimes, eating seemed to be too big of a challenge), cleaned up after him and carried him in and out. slept cuddled up next to him or nearby, told him how much I loved him often. I called his other people and told them I thought it was time, once they got back, and they agreed. Their kids made him Salmon treats with their grandma.
I brought him back home to say goodbye (and eat salmon treats!)
Yesterday my sweetie and I took him to the vet. They asked me way too many questions. I felt completely overwhelmed, and offered to make an impression of his pawprint after he was dead, which freaked me out a little (I declined). I held him and sobbed on her shoulder the whole time. He was so sweet until the very end. He's always been very easy going, but I think he was so tired, and I like to think (I hope) that he was ready to go.