I just arrived home from a business trip to Chicago. My dog Thunder is a Tatra, Polish Mountain Sheepdog. He is loyal friend and we have been through a lot together. The typical age of dogs from his breed pass away is 11-12 years. Thunder is 11 1/2 years and he is having trouble. I was convinced to have him undergo surgery on his leg to attempt to repair torn ligaments by a vet at the Loomis Basin Vet Clinic. The surgery failed and he has been failing since then. He is dying. There are times when he cries and while being a guardian of my yard in the past he has not left the house since his surgery. He shows signs of anxiety and pain. I am medicating him with pain and anti-anxiety meds. I contemplate when to let him go. It is a profound general topic for humans. When do we let go of a partner in marriage? When do we let go of a friend? When do we let go of a dream? At this point I can ask questions but lack answers. I do know with many choices, there is no ability to undo putting down a great friend like Thunder who has provided unconditional love and simply wanted time. I feel the pain in some ways knowing that he suffers. Despite his pain and anxiety he is still loving and seems to enjoy nothing other than time with me and other family members. There is no instruction manual for letting go of a family pet or a relationship along with other such decisions. There does seem to be a slow process like following a pathway with various turning points, some that lead to points of information, others that are dead ends. Right now I enjoy the silent moments I am about to have with my decade long friend. I leave this with the lingering question of what signs are present when it is time?