It's been a long week. It started with John's virus turning from a fever to hives (he's all better now!) and ended with the death of our Pauli. As you know, Pauli has not been doing well since we moved to Texas. We thought it was just anxiety at first and we put her on doggie prozac. After she failed to improve, we ran more tests and put her on antibiotics for a possible urinary tract infection and thyroid medicine for an extreme case of hypothyroidism. Pauli continued to be lethargic, to have trouble controlling her bladder, to seem to have trouble with her balance, to have difficulty going up and down stairs, to generally decline in her health and happiness so I called the vet and scheduled her to go in for x-rays. She went in for x-rays on Tuesday and the vet discovered several tumors in her lungs, one the size of a golfball. Apparently, her thyroid wasn't working because she had advanced cancer. Once Pauli was diagnosed, she seemed to go downhill rapidly. That night I was up with her all night long and we were both miserable. Brian was out of town at the time, but he rushed home early on Wednesday so he could spend some final time with Pauli. Wednesday afternoon, I took Pauli to the vet and she was put to sleep. This was my first experience with this and I was amazed at how quickly and painlessly Pauli was gone (literally seconds). Although I am relieved that Pauli is no longer suffering (by the end she couldn't drink, she could only eat if I fed her by hand, she wouldn't lie down because she couldn't get back up, she kept trying to hide around the apartment and kept getting stuck in corners), I am so sad to no longer have my baby girl. She was only 7 years old, but we were lucky to have her for those 7 years. Pauli was always a bit odd (she loved to guard things including ant traps), she was a lover and a snuggler. She also loved to take a sip from a cold beer. That's my kind of dog! Pauli wasn't a big fan of John's when he was born. In fact, she avoided him like the plague. If he entered a room, she left it. I think she thought if she ignored him long enough he would go away. As he got older, John grew on Pauli and she would occasionally give him a kiss on her way past. John always looked for Pauli because she was less likely to be close by. (Zoe is always close by John as she's the "mother hen" in the house.) Unfortunately, John has no real understanding of what has happened with Pauli. I guess in some ways that is for the best. Norm, of course, has no idea. But despite their short acquaintance, Pauli took to Norm very quickly. She would often lie down next to him when he was on his playmat. She gave him kisses somewhat regularly. Anyway, it's been a long week and those last 36 hours with Pauli were some of the toughest in my life, but I wouldn't trade loving her for anything in this world. She was my baby girl.