My old dog, Balto (the kids were little when we got him), has a bad case of arthritis. I heard him crying last night on the lawn. My husband (who is home a lot more than I am!) says he cries when he wants to do something, like chase cats or sheep (he's a cynic, too) and it's hard. So, I tried to get him up on the deck, but he's a big dog and I was hurting him. I moved him over level ground under the pine tree where it stays dry on all but the rainiest days. I guess it's time for him to go, but boy, it's sad.
I told my older son that we were thinking of putting him down this month, and he asked if I could wait for his girlfriend to come home for Christmas because she loves this dog. It's just a hard thing.
What's funny is watching the dynamics. Balto was the supreme leader of our pack of three dogs for so long, but now that he's relegated to the sidelines, you'd expect Cinnamon, who is about 65 lbs, to rule over Mellie, who is maybe 20 soaking wet - but nope. Mellie is the champion in the boss department. She growls and snaps her little jaws and big old jolly Cinnamon just grins and gives way. She's afraid of sheep (some part Border Collie dog!) but she is not above urging Cinnamon on to some fun. We caught them chasing the ewes when we moved them to the new paddock near the house - and scolding seems to have worked. We also caught them attacking our cat - they've coexisted for 8 years peacefully! Scolded them on that account, too, but the cat is having none of it - she won't go outside anymore, poor cat.
One more week until Christmas Break - lots to do before then, though. I haven't even written my final exam, yet. Sigh. No lambs, yet - I really was off on my count - I was sure it was November! Oh well, if Allie waits until Break, at least I can keep an eye on the lambs.