From PET GERMAN SHEPHERD (I've owned this copy since I was 10 years old and I still refer to it.)
"The Final Tribute
Courtesy of, and best said, by Mr. Mansfield Schalk
"Keep your dog as long as he is happy and comfortable. Do everything you can reasonably can to keep him that way. But when the sad time comes that he is sick, always uncomfortable, or in some pain, it is your obligation then to have him put to sleep...But you owe it to your old friend to allow him to go to sleep...And because you loved your old dog as much as you did, you'll pay him the greatest tribute. He proved to you that there's nothing quite so wonderful as a fine German shepherd, so in his honor you'll get another German shepherd as soon as you can. I think he'd like it that way."
Sooner or later we all lose our prized German shepherd. I’ve lost quite a few, and I am still not even close to taking these losses “in stride”. You think about what you could have done differently, but that doesn’t help one bit. Did I wait too long to have him/her put to sleep? Was there anything else that I could have done to make it easier? Each loss hurts, and since I lost Rex in 1969, they still hurt as badly as they always have."
Now that I am pushing 71, every loss hurts as much as it did when I was younger. I wish you only the fondest memories of Gretchen. I know that she would have wished that for you.