After 14-plus years of loyalty, cuddles, and adventures, we said goodbye to Blue last night. She was a very good girl and we loved her very much. She helped raise many puppies in the family over the years just as my son grew up alongside her, and his friends without dogs of their own cherished her. She also racked up an impressive body count of songbirds and rodents, plus the occasional squirrel or skunk.
My (much) better half read to her under her favorite tree all afternoon on her last day, when she was too weak to move much but enjoyed hearing our voices. When the time came she was clearly at peace and ready to go. Our younger dog is hurting as much as any of us but is also the first to offer hugs to anyone who needs them.