Yesterday, my sister's nearly 16 year old dog, Boone, passed away.
We all knew he was dying, but that doesn't make it any easier. He'd been having trouble walking and standing up for a little while. He also dragged his back feet when walking and fell often, but he'd still come over and lean his head on your leg for a pet. We knew his time was coming up. I just don't think any of us ever really believed he'd go though.
He started having serious difficulties early in the week, and those issues worsened as the days passed. By Saturday, he could no longer stand up. They took him down to the creek that evening. Boone loved the creek. So much that he often didn't pay attention when traveling down the lane to get there. One time, B and I got there first and let him out of his enclosure to take him down to the creek with us. As soon as you'd say "creek", he was off down the lane to get there. But he was also happy to see us, so he ran beside our vehicle down the dirt road. He kept looking up at B with this silly dog face and ran smack dab into a tree. He wasn't hurt at all, and it didn't phase him. Then there was the time we caught him on the picnic table eating an entire chocolate cake. He had absolutely no ill effects from the chocolate, though we watched him and worried.
The thing you have to know about Boone is that he came from a litter of puppies our dog had. We'd rescued a Siberian Husky from some pretty crappy conditions. He was a beautiful dog, but hated all men except B due to his hard life. I think the fact that B rescued him made the difference. He'd do anything B said and if B didn't stop to pet him, Smokey would sulk. We'd gotten a lab/retriever female puppy, and apparently they got a little too close one day. Hence a litter of nine puppies born when K1 was 3 and K2 was about 9 months old. My sister and brother-in-law were dating back then and Boone was like their little buddy. He went everywhere with them and was probably the most socialized dog around.
His passing affects us all. My younger two have never experienced the death of a pet that they remember. He'll be missed, but I'm sure he's chasing groundhogs in heaven.