I took a sick day today (because I am pretty sick about this) in order to spend one last day with Ripley. After much discussion last night, we came to the conclusion that the best thing to do for Ripley is to have her put to sleep. The poor dog can't even eat anymore and that is probably her most favorite thing in the world to do (followed by frisbee and ear scratches and eating yellow dogs--none of which she can enjoy at this point). It's kind of funny, because she still gets excited at mealtimes (old habits die hard, I guess), but then just looks at the food in her bowl and walks away. I guess some people might wait a little longer, but I would prefer to remember her how she's always been rather than her decline. So, the deed is scheduled for 5:45 today. Brian is going to take her after work because it's just not something I feel I can do. I still have to talk to our vet. I want to make sure she agrees with the diagnosis. I have to think she will because a lot of it is stuff she already brought up. Even if we had a few thousand dollars to spend on Ripley's treatment I don't think we'd do it anyway--I don't think putting the dog through a lot of pain in order to, at best, reduce her quality of life is a good decision.
At least we had a great summer together. For the past six months, I made a concerted effort to exercise the dogs twice a week. A tired dog is a good dog, they say. We had a lot of fun playing frisbee in the back yard. Even Lizzy now enjoys the game. Of course she is on a tie-out because she won't stay in the yard, but Ripley has always stayed in the yard. On one particularly beautiful Sunday afternoon (and I've got a roll of film to prove it), the dogs and I went out to play frisbee. When we were done it was too nice to go back into the house so we just hung out in the back yard for a while--me in one of the patio chairs, them sniffing around the yard. It's one of the nicest memories I have of my two current pups.