It's with a very heavy heart that I write this... I found out late today that my family had to put Rexy to sleep yesterday. He was 14 year old. Rex had been showing signs of age in the last year. We first started noticing it as he was having trouble with his hind legs. Then, about 8 months ago he developed some bumps/moles on his body which would bleed intermittently, obvoiusly causing him discomfort. He also started losing some fur on his body at this time, which the vet could not really explain. He also became somewhat incontinent, and could not control his bowel movements... which would end up with him relieving himself in the house (which was no fun for the family...). Regardless of all this however, he still remained a happy dog. I once read on this forum in a similar thread that, if the tail is still wagging, the dog is still happy, and still has a reason to live. On Sunday night and Monday during the day, we had some pretty terrible thunder storms in the Toronto area. Like most dogs, Rexy didn't really like these storms very much, and would shake uncontrollably until they were over. On Monday morning, my parents noticed that he could not stop shaking, and was having a lot of trouble moving. My mom took him to the vet yesterday morning, and from what I can gather, they told her that it was probably his heart, and that he was suffering (and they could not do anything about it). There and then, they put him to sleep. Unfortunately, neither myself of my sisters were informed of the decision until after the deed was done. We did not have a chance to say goodbye. Needless to say, both myself and my sister are pretty upset by the whole situation. My dog, my best friend since childhood is no longer with us. It's further compounded by the fact that I wasn't able to see him one last time. I can understand my parents' motives and don't fault them at all (they are in grief too), but it still hurts to know that I wasn't there to pat him on the head, scratch him behind the ear, and tell him I love him. My one sister feels the same. My other sister is currently in Cancun Mexico on vacation, and she will be ruturning on July 28th (her 25th birthday) to this news. I've decided to call her and tell her tomorrow morning to tell her what happened. They way I see it, it's better that she find out now (while on vacation), and have friends to lean on in a beautiful environment, then to spring this kind of news on her when she returns, thereby spoiling her birthday, and any residual effect that the vacation may have given her. I've weighed the options, and I think this is best. Rexy was my first pet (goldfish not included...), and I realize that this is part of life. Yet it's so unfair that we are destined to outlive such amazing creatures that bring us such comfort, and bless us with their unconditional love. I'll miss him dearly. Moe.