The decision has been made. Luke will be going to the big fire hydrant in the sky in about a week. His back has deteriorated to the point where he is struggling to go on his walks for more than 2 blocks, and during those 2 blocks he stumbles, drags, and outright collapses on occasion. This summer has been really hard as we’ve watched him slowly deteriorate.

Without going into too much detail, he has reached one of several thresholds that we set a long time ago regarding at what point his “Quality of Life” would become an issue. When he starts doing X, or he can no longer do Y, then we would put him to sleep. And that has happened.

So this morning I had some time to spare before going into work and I sat on the floor with him and petted him for a while. He gave that grunting sound he does when you scratch in just the right spot. When I stopped petting him for a second so I could sip my coffee, he whacked me with his front paw (more like a club) as a reminder that I wasn’t done yet. As I smiled down at him it hit me.

He will be dead in a week.

Thats it. In another week he will not be around to pounce at the door when you get home. He won’t bark and growl at the loud ass neighbors. He won’t scare the bejeebus out of the delivery guy from the local chinese takeout. He won’t snatch unattended food off of anymore tables. He won’t haul you down the street during his walks. He won’t eat snow anymore. He won’t devour his rawhide rolls in 5 minutes and then sit there panting. He won’t whine, whuffle and whack the staircase when you take too long in changing clothes to take him on a walk.
What makes it so difficult is that you consider his front half is physically fine, and his mind is just as sharp as ever. Especially when he tries to cajole you into giving him some food. But the back half will literally be the end of him.

I have a week left with him, but I miss him already.