We just found out this week that our oldest dog, Oreo (who is just shy of 14) has lymphoma. With treatment we hope to have her another two or three months, as she is now in poor health. She starts it today. We are just trying to make her comfortable, giving her as many treats as her reduced appetite allows and spending as much time as possible with our sweet and incredibly bright girl. It is especially rough for Dad as he is her person and they are very close.
She is definitely her own dog who lives according to her own terms. Once, when our next door neighbors were selling their house their dog Candy was staying in her cage on our patio (otherwise she kept jumping the fence). Oreo decided that really though Candy was a great fence friend she was better off on her own side and she unlatched and opened the cage for Candy.
At least we know that when the time comes she has had a good life and will have some great company waiting for her. Our first family pet was a medium sized epileptic schaunzer named Butchie. He was the sweetest thing, though not always completely there, and he genuinely thought that my little brother was his puppy. He passed on just before my older brother's 16th birthday while I was in middle school. A sweeter furry gentleman would be harder to find.
Mom and I are thinking of bringing her down to the shop to keep an eye on her but if she doesn't like it we will let her stay at home in her familiar surroundings with her "sisters". She will definitely let us know what she wants. Though I am sure that she will enjoy the attention that comes with being a shop dog!