I had a very hard time deciding when the time was right for my pal of 15 years. Apparently, so did he because, when the signs were given by him & the decision & arrangements were made by me, he started to show a little of his past zest for life. This made me postpone things. The minute that I did this, he started to slip. Stubborn right to the end, the little bugger. Agony, guilt, loss, & all before the trip to the vet. Thank God it was quick, but I held him for a long time just in case. He/we had a good life & a great friendship together. I'm so lucky to have had that time.
Some said after that I should "get on with it", "let it go", "put it into perspective". I could not grasp the concept of the sometimes hidden message "it's just a pet, not a person." No person knew my emotional shifts like him or even from another room when my tears needed to be kissed away. No person knew that I was sick before I did or how to be just close enough to always touch without being "in the way". The perceptive accuracy of this dog was like no person I have ever known. "Just a pet" to someone else perhaps, bonded soul to me.