Brady had been doing fairly well for months. He could no longer jump. Playing fetch or going for walks for exercise were out of the question. But he was eating well and maintaining weight. He was playing with the kids and the neighbor dogs. He was happy in his old age.
Yesterday morning I noticed Brady's food bowl was still full. Weird. I took him the big bone treat I got him for Christmas. He raised his head a bit, sniffed the treat and turned away. Very weird. I cleaned up the extra toys and food and candy and brought him into the house. He wobbled and fell. He got back up and peed all over the carpet. Weirdest of all. This dog would burst before he peed in the house! By evening he couldn't get up and was only moving enough to scoot himself out of his urine. He refused to eat or drink anything so I couldn't even give him an arthritis pain pill. Still, he was happy to be petted and the kids and I showered him with attention.
This morning he wasn't moving around at all. I tried using a towel under his belly to support his hind legs while we walked, but his front legs were so wobbly Gene and I had to carry him part of the way to the van. He lay on his dog bed in the back of the van and didn't move the whole way to the vet's office. One of the vets carried him into the clinic where they had a room all set up and ready. He was euthanized quickly and painlessly. The vet hit his vein on the first try and Brady was gone in seconds.
Brady was almost 13 1/2. That's pretty old for a shepherd. Especially one that had sooooo many health issues as a puppy and young dog. I can't count how many times I wondered if Brady would make it to age ten. Amazing.
Kaylin and Logan were pretty upset. Logan can't quite wrap his brain around euthanasia or even death. Kaylin at least understood the death part. Both kids want another dog someday. Kaylin only wants a dog with one floppy ear and one partially sticking up ear like Brady. Um, that could be tough to find.