Two days ago I had to put down my 15 year old Springer, the one in my avatar. I got him when he was six months old. He was a kennel dog and needed a lot of socializing, not an easy task. I trained him but discovered that he wasn't very birdy so he became a pet. Then one day when he was eight I took him afield and we hunted the edge of a mostly frozen pond. He flushed a black duck which I dropped into six foot high Phragmites. He didn't see it fall but I sent him. He came out with a crippled hen. I lavished praise on him and watched the happiest dog in the world. From that day on he was a different dog and I did not hesitate to take him hunting. We hunted pheasants, ducks, and preserve birds. His last hunting trip was when he was 11. Too much arthritis in the hips. We dealt with some health issues but nothing too bad. Adequan worked quite well. However his legs just got too weak and I realized it was his time.
On his last day I cooked him rice pilaf and fed him cracklings, his two favorites. He was snacking on cracklings right up to the end in the vet's office.
Aster was my buddy and he will be missed.