It's been a sad, sad day: Cody died in his sleep, in Fellow Traveler's arms, this afternoon while I was at work. We'd known that this day was coming sooner rather than later, and I had prepared myself for it more than once; but it was still a shock.
He hadn't been sick. But he had seemed more groggy than usual this morning, and FT called me after lunchtime to say that he'd wanted to cuddle in her lap, in one of his favorite blankets, and that his breathing seemed to be getting slower and slower. Then she called back and said, "He's gone." (At which point I in my befuddlement thought, "Gone? Gone where?")
I remember praying, during one of his previous bouts with illness, that when it was his time to go it would be peacefully, in his sleep, not suffering and not afraid. And that is exactly what happened.
Here's a picture of Cody up in Empire, exploring an old homestead in the Oneida preservation area. He was a good dog, a dog with heart, a dog who loved his life very much -- loved his human and animal friends, loved his burgers and chicken, loved his trips in the car. His 17 years on this earth were a gift, to him and to us, and we miss him very much.