I feel a little better every day... although I still find myself crying at random intervals throughout the day. She was just always there. And now she's not.
Many people have asked what happened... Gracie was getting old... she was lame in one leg and hobbling quite often on another. She's been through a bloating episode and pancreatitis in her lifetime and we had agreed about a year ago that if she got sick again, we would not spend the money on treatment. Boxers have a life expectancy of 8 - 10 years and she turned 8 last August.
Saturday she stopped eating. She was visibly in pain as she walked around the house. We took her down to pet emergency and they gave us antibiotics in case she was simply fighting an infection and gave her an injection with a pain killer and a sedative. We brought her home and she slept peacefully in our bedroom. Sunday morning, she had a terrible time getting off our back deck to go to the bathroom and almost fell down the stairs. She still refused to eat.
By Sunday afternoon, she wouldn't lift her head or wag her tail for any of us. It was clear she was going downhill fast. The kids took their turns hugging her and saying goodbye and Asia and I took her back down to pet emergency for the last time.
Gracie was the only dog I've ever owned. I grew up with cats and did NOT consider myself a dog person. She changed that. While we got her "for the kids" she really became my dog... following me around the house all the time and filling the empty space three kids at school created.
She was sweet and good and hardly ever naughty. We were blessed.
I realize a six minute slide show of someone else's dog isn't that fun to watch. But it was healing and cathartic for me to make it... so watch it if you will.