Last week, Wednesday, I made the appointment I've been putting off.
His legs were giving out on him as he walked across the floor or down the steps. His chin quivered at times, indicating pain.
But he always looked at us as if he was the happiest dog on earth.
It was easy to rationalize he was okay, that he still had a few weeks, a few months, maybe a few years left.
The day he dragged his hind quarters across the floor as he went to get a drink of water made me see how unfair we were being with him.
Yesterday, we said goodbye. In a warm, cozy room. Our hands stroking his black coat. Our voices telling him how much he meant to us.
When we returned home, Ado circled us, sniffing, looking at us as if to ask, "Where's Max?" He went out into the yard. Searching. He came back inside, found the collar and leash, and nosed at it. Where I went, Ado went. As I worked at the computer, he lay at my feet. Then, he stood, went into the room where Max used to sleep. I heard him howl. Just once. Then he came back and nudged my arm.
Our hearts are hurting where a big hole formed yesterday with Max's last breath, and no matter how many wonderful memories of Max I think about, they still can't stop the pain.