I wish I knew how to tell her what she's meant to me. How to thank her for being there through so much, and still loving me when I became sick. I get down on the floor and cuddle her when I can. I say the words to her, with my body pressed against her, so she can feel the vibrations of me speaking. Her hearing is gone. I give her human food, as well as the really cheap and smelly canned dog food she loves so much - nutrition doesn't really matter now. Most importantly, we're having the vet come here, so she won't spend her last moments in a vet's waiting room being frightened.
She had a cancerous lump removed a few years ago. Maybe it came back. Perhaps there was a stroke. The vet said some of her behaviour (compulsive circling, trying to climb into corners) is evidence of damage to the frontal lobe of her brain. The way her rear legs kept crossing was evidence of neurological damage there. I'll never know what it was that took her joy away, leaving her behind as a ghost of the dog that I loved.
It'll be this week. I'll probably call this afternoon to make the appointment. I won't ask for her ashes back. It won't be her. She'll just be gone and leave behind a hole in my life and my heart.
Goodbye, my angel.