Yesterday we had to put our dear sweet Louie down. It was time -- he was old and had a catalog of health problems that had finally caught up with him. When he refused even cheese puffs and didn't seem to even know who we were, we knew we had to let him go.
When we adopted him, almost exactly 5 years ago, no one thought he would live a year. He'd had a rough time of it alone on the streets, and the catalog of problems led our vet at the time to remind us, "the tail still works". And that become our barometer for the dog: if his tail was still working the rest of it was not so important, but once the tail stopped working we knew it was time.
A 60-lb dog leaves a really big hole in your heart and in your house. I hadn't realized until he was gone just how much of a Louie-sense I had developed. During my working day, part of me was always listening to know where he was in the house and whether he needed anything. Now it's like an open phone line with no one on the other end.
We will miss you, dear friend.