And this is one of those times. Because over the weekend I did what is probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do - I made the decision to end my beloved dog's life.
Bella was nearly 15, & we've had her since she was an 8-week-old puppy. She grew up with our kids (& our cats - she adored kittens, but would try to make friends with just about any cat she met) - but sadly, pets age so much faster than people. So in recent months our long walks became shorter strolls, & often I'd go alone. And she no longer wanted to spend hours excavating holes resembling bomb craters, when we went to the beach. She was going deaf, & had cataracts, & her joints were giving her trouble (the last pay rise went on Rimidil for her arthritis!) - but she still loved her food & her family & her toddle round the park. But when faecal incontinence added itself to her list of problems, it was time to make that hardest of decisions.
Bella worked out ages ago that when she went to the vet (once a year, until the last 18 months of her life, when they became more frequent), the visit always involved sharp pointy things, & thermometers placed where the sun does not shine. In fact, she'd become understandably unenthusiastic about going to the clinic. Our wonderful vet, Dave, knew this & made sure I knew that when the time came, he'd come to our home so that Bella wouldn't be stressed or worried. So I phoned him this morning, & this afternoon he did just that. And lying in the sun Bella slid quickly & peacefully into her final sleep; no fear, no worry, no more pain.
And I will miss her more than I can ever say.