Yesterday we noticed our dog seemed less excitable than usual... more calm, quiet, sleeping more, eating and drinking less... Yet, there were no big indications that she was near the end of her life. The day was beautiful... she was happily sunning herself out on the grass yesterday afternoon when we called her in before going to pick my husband up from work.
Later, when we arrived home, she greeted us with a wag of the tail... she quietly moved here and there around the house, tending to her watchdog duties as usual...
When it became close to bedtime and we needed to let her outside one last time, she was not able to get up. We are assuming she had a stroke. She would not try to eat or drink and seemed very lethargic. After we gave her a few ice chips and an aspirin, she perked up a bit, but it wasn't a sign that she would really improve.
We sat up with her, feeding her ice chips and trying to keep her comfortable... but she died early this morning. It is especially hard on my boys, who have had her around their entire lives. Of all the dogs we have had over the years, I can't say she was my favorite... she was always a bit too high-strung and prone to bark at everything (very loudly). But it doesn't make it any easier.