I'm a fairly practical guy, from a droving background. Like my dad, there's a point you reach with an animal, even a loved pet, that you go "nope, we can't spend any more money on this, it's just a dog". Or you look at the animal's condition or health, and just say "nope, this is cruel."
In around an hour-and-a-half, the vet's coming over to put Ding to sleep. He started losing weight rapidly a couple of months back, he's developed trouble walking, he's lost some, not all, of his spark. Turns out his kidneys have stopped working properly, no matter how much he eats, he's no processing the food properly. Poor bugger is starving to death no matter how much he eats. Even on special food, designed for dogs with this sort of problem isn't helping. Had him to the vet's today, he's lost another kilo.
Got him home and he struggled to eat his favourite dog treat. Really struggled. And that was the point at which trying to keep him alive becomes selfish and cruel. So called the vet and he's coming over around 1:45 to put him to sleep. I had no problem making the decision, but of course now I'm a wreck.
Dingo is the last of my work dogs. We worked together, were mates. And I went back and checked. Dad and I were using him when we were at Castricum Brothers, and I'm sure we had him when we were at Oakleigh Abattoirs as well. So Dingo's at least 19 years. That's a fantastic age for a dog, and given that he still likes to chase a ball, even more amazing. He's never had any health problems, always been fit and happy.
Going to go and play ball with him now.
Bye Ding, you were a good work mate, and a good friend and you've been there for half my life. Gunna miss ya.