One of my dogs did me the favour of passing in her sleep. With Ranger, it was harder. He could get up and down the stairs to the outside if I helped him, and his appetite was good, and he did not seem to be in any pain. But he would lose control of his bowels several times a week. I put up with it because I loved him and the poop was always firm and dry and easy to clean up.
Finally, it reached the point where I would come home from work, and find him lying on the floor, unable to get up. The vet tried a couple of different medications, and I thought he got better briefly.
Then there came this day when he couldn't get up at all, unless I helped him. When I did help him, his hind legs were so weak, they were crossing over. OF COURSE this had to happen on a weekend, when our regular vet wasn't available! I made some calls, and found a vet that was open the next day, and wouldn't charge an extra emergency fee.
I slept beside him that night, in case he needed anything. The next morning, he got up, went to his water bowl and drank as if nothing had happened the previous day.
I ALMOST backed out. But I knew it was going to happen again. He was 14 years old, so any sort of invasive procedure to find the cause of the problem was out of the question. And I thought of him lying on the floor all those hours while I was at work, struggling to get up, and I knew it wasn't fair to him. The time had come.
Still it was so very, very hard.