It was time to let him go.
So often he rallied, only to gradually weaken again. He no longer sat in the back of the car, watching the world go by. Instead, he lay, gently grumbling with pain and just looked at me when I tried to entice him out for a walk. I could feel every bone of his ribcage and spine as I lifted him.
Smudge, beloved dog, these words are for you:
"He knelt down beside him and took his head on his lap. He stroked Beaumont's head and said, 'Hark to Beaumont. Softly, Beaumont, mon ami. Oyez a Beaumont the valiant. Swef, le douce Beaumont, swef, swef.' Beaumont licked his hand but could not wag his tail. The huntsman nodded to Robin, who was standing behind, and held the hound's eyes with his own. He said, 'Good dog, Beaumont the valiant, sleep now, old friend Beaumont, good old dog.' Then Robin's falchion let Beaumont out of this world, to run free with Orion and to roll among the stars."
from The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White (posted on Total France by Tygerbright in memory of Dandy)
RIP: 3rd February 2009