If I had any doubts about putting Gaila down–and who am I kidding? Of course I had doubts–they have been thoroughly dispelled by being here and seeing her quality of life.
She is strong and brave, and she knows she’s loved. But she is in pain. She has trouble breathing. When I let her lick my plate after lunch, the motion of her tongue sent the stench of her rotting flesh all over the room.
Earlier, when she was napping and I knelt to pet her, she started out of her sleep and then looked reproachfully at me as if I had broken her peace, plunged her back into torment by awakening her. The pain overwhelmed any happiness she might have gained from my affection. She didn’t wag her tail at all.
“I’m sorry,” I said quietly, and let her be.