Thursday when I was at work -- Thursday is my long day, when I'm at work from seven in the morning until eight at night, and this Thursday things were made even longer by meetings -- but anyway, when I came back from one of the meetings, I had four missed calls on my phone, and one message. The message was from my kid, saying that Big Dog, our sweet old blue heeler / dingo mix, had collapsed in the back yard and couldn't seem to stand, and that they had taken him to the vet.
I called back, and Dr. Skull said he'd talked to the vet, who had done some blood work, which looked good, and they were going to watch him overnight; but that Big Dog was still having trouble getting up.
Friday morning, he was worse, and he grew worse all day. He wasn't eating, and was confused and altered.
This was not, exactly, a surprise. My poor sweet dog has been going downhill all year, getting more addled and having more and more trouble walking and eating. He's been essentially blind and deaf for the past year and a half. But he still seemed to enjoy his biscuits, and he liked lying in the sun.
Plus he was my Big Dog. He was always so swift, running full out across the yard to chase birds and squirrels out of his yard, catching tennis balls right out of the air; and also such a good dog, sweet-tempered and friendly with everyone. Except the UPS guy. Boy, did he have it in for the UPS guy.
The end just came so fast.
Yesterday afternoon I held him while he died. He was a good brave boy even to the end, laying his head against me and holding still for the vet.