My border collie mix, Taffy, is so arthritic she can't go up and down the stairs any more. I carried her up last night and tonight. Originally it was just her back legs. Her feet are splayed out east and west like duck's feet. But now her front legs are getting weak and she can't pull herself up any more. She's got neuropathy and narrowing of the spine, which in humans is excruciating but in dogs is mostly painless ... although when she falls, her hip twists sideways and there's no way anyone can tell me that doesn't hurt. She poops as she walks and doesn't even know it. She's almost totally deaf. My husband has Tuesdays off so we decided to make an appointment a wk from Tues. to have her put down. I hate this. She sleeps by my bed and I love petting her when the lights go out, and I fall asleep with-my hand on her back. As a kid I always wanted a dog, especially a collie, and especially, one that would stick to my side like glue, and look up at me adoringly. She is all of those things. She was a rescue. She was abused. A fear biter. Fought horribly with-my other dogs. Bit little boys -- mostly blonde haired, blue eyed--clearly her abusers at her former home (funny how you can figure these things out from behaviors). She took yrs to train, was terrified of car rides and vacuum cleaners, but ended up being an excellent, amazingly intelligent dog. I've put down two other dogs, and chickened out on another, who died at home, very uncomfortably. My husband will never forgive me for that one. But he rallied at the end so I cancelled the appointment. (The dog, not my husband!) I won't cancel this one. I'll just have stomach aches and headaches and go through with-it because it's the right thing to do. Help me be strong.