Today is not the best of days. My little Yorkie, Lily, had deteriorated in health to the point where she was merely existing and not living. My daughter took Lily to her vet today and she was put out of her misery.
Lily was a hoot. She loved to chase a ball and would bring it back, only to veer off course at the last second and hide the ball in her kennel. She dearly loved her stuffed animal toys and sometimes would gather them all into her kennel as well, other times hauling them around, play growling at anyone who came close.
Some years back my landlord installed an intercom system for security. When the correct numbers are punched into a keypad by the outer door, my phone rings. After finding out who is at the door, a button on my phone opens the door. It didn't take Lily long to equate the ringing of my phone with the knock on my apartment door. So whenever my phone rang, she positioned herself at my door, ready to challenge anyone who wished to enter. She never did anything about it, just barked like mad. My landlord called her my early warning system.
Unlike most dogs and their owners, Lily and I did not go for walks. When we went outside, I walked. She would not. She was perfectly content to sit at the end of her leash and watch the world go by. But walking on the end of that leash was something Lily absolutely would not do. So Lily went for a carry!
I was so proud. Here was this little 9 pound bundle of fluff, defending her master. Right up to the point I realized that protecting me had nothing to do with her behavior. But God help anyone who had designs on her food dish.
She was sweet and cuddly and obnoxious, all in the same package. She was smart and funny. She took to spending nearly all of her time in her kennel, only coming out to relieve herself and eat a little bit, and then refusing all food except the bits of chicken I finally started fixing for her to tempt her appetite. Her toys stayed in their basket. The small tennis balls she loved to chase stayed with the toys. My phone rang, ignored by Lily. A neighbor knocked on my door without rousing her interest. She wasn't really sick, but not well either. I think she was just old and ready to be done.
I do not take this decision lightly. I don't call a vet for this last service if there is hope for good quality of life. But Lily was 15 years old. She lived a happy life, at least in the 7 years she lived with me. And my life was happier, living with her.
Rest in peace, Miss Lily.