Well it's almost time to say good bye to Lady. Lady is our black lab, we adopted her when she was only 6 months old, when we first moved into our home here in North Carolina upon returning from Germany. Lady has just been the best dog ever. When the boys were little she would lay down and let them use her as a footstool, allowing them to reach things they were otherwise unable. She would snuggle up with them, love on them and allow them to love on here. She would chase any ball to the field and retrieve it as a true retriever would.
As she aged she slowed down a bit, and has never had a hatred of food, LOL. We had to start feeding her in a separate room when we added more dogs to our family, as she would eat her food and nudge other dogs out of the way and eat their food as well. Over the past 5 years she has slowed, not fetching anymore but still walking the field with us, accompanying us out to the chicken coop for those delicious bits of chick feed (and other not to be mentioned goodies). She has been a gem at the vets, as well as the kennel when we went on vacation and generally loved by all.
She has been with our family for 12 years. Our youngest, Phillip, has grown up with Lady, she is 12 1/2 now and he is 13. She is a true "man's best friend". But it is now her time to go, she is just all played out. Over the last week we have watched her decline. A few days ago she could no longer tolerate steps at all, so has been using our living room door to go out and in as there are no steps. She then stopped being able to get up by herself, so we would have to pick up her back end while she lifted the front. Last night she came inside and just lay down on the living room rug, not making the attempt to walk to the bedroom (where all our dogs sleep). So our oldest son Dallen slept in the living room with her, he said he did not want her to be alone at night, since she never has slept alone.
This morning she didn't want her food (very unusual for our food loving dog), she hasn't wanted any water, and she can't get up. She does not seem to be in any pain, just tired. So we take turns snuggling with her and patting her and she still lifts her head to lick your face. Her breathing is getting faster so I don't think she will be with us much longer, we are just enjoying each and every minute of these last days with her.
So even though it is her time right now, even though we new this day was coming as we watched her slow over the years, it is still sad....for all of us, yes even for Jackson who is not a dog lover. Makes me glad that a life philosophy I have, has been to grab each and every moment, just enjoy life as we go along, not to wait for tomorrow, enjoy today.
The first picture above is a picture of the boys when they were much younger, snuggling with Lady on our bed. Jackson has an 8X10 of this picture framed in his office, it is just such a precious picture. The next picture is from this morning, our oldest son Dallen snuggling with Lady on our living room floor.