I just got a call from my Mom that Guinness, our other dog, had to be put to sleep as well. He had a sudden liver problem and was going to need to go through far too much for an 11 year old dog in order to have a chance of recovery. So today at lunch, they let him go.
Guinness was my stepfather's dog, Skeeter was my mom's. The two lived together their entire lives. He was a Glen of Imaal Terrier, Skeeter was a PBGV: rare breeds that don't look — or act — at all dignified. Glens don't usually bark, PBGV's are verbal, Guinness picked up the habit. His bark was a clipped "Rrrrooo!" with a rolled R.
Guinness's job was to be alpha over Skeetie — he shoulder-checked him into the pool, chased him from the couch, and tried without success to get Skeeter's rawhides. He was also very good at chasing raccoons up trees and keeping them there — for hours.
My mom says that when Skeeter died, Guinness became an old man quickly. It's so sad to know that neither of them will greet me when I come home the next time. The house will be so quiet.