|Madame Mim, 1999-2013|
She was fourteen years old. She was already five years old when we adopted her in 2004. She'd been raised by a show breeder, and won several ribbons at dog shows during her early years. She was bred several times after retiring from the show circuit, the last time with complications that left her unable to be bred again and relegating her to "pet" status. At which point we ended up adopting her.
She'd begun having health problems the past several years, including Valley Fever and a continuing/frustrating problem with incontinence. She'd also been losing her eyesight and hearing, and was almost completely blind and deaf by the present day. Hilde and I had been discussing the idea of euthanasia off and on for about the last year.
The last several months, she'd begun having what I called "fugues", where she'd seem to blank out and not respond for several moments. Senility, perhaps, or some kind of neurological problem? I don't know.
But it was those fugues that finally made me decide it was time she needed to go. So I took her in to our vet's, and held her while the injection was made. She went quietly and quickly.
It was still a hard decision. Should I have taken her in sooner? Should I have waited longer? I don't know.
It's unlikely we'll ever get another dog. Both of us tend much more to be cat-people. And, especially the last few years, I didn't feel like I was able to give Mim as much attention as she wanted or deserved. Plus, now that Hilde and I are both in our 60's, we can't really take in new animals without some thought about what might happen to them if we pre-decease our pets.