Nala had brain cancer. We just put it all together today when the final symptoms made themselves known. Before that, the things she had didn't really point to anything except "age."
When Clint woke up this a.m., she had lost coordination, had dizzyness and etc. Every thing matched up 100% with brain cancer, something that is not usually caught until it is in the final stages. The next steps were paralysis and then suffocation. She was put down quickly and gently this afternoon to spare her from going through that.
Our family can rejoice that we had nearly 14 wonderful years with her! She has been a part of our family, not just a dog. She would often get to our crying babies faster than we did and then look at us like "Where have you been? Why weren't you here sooner?" :-) She guarded over our children, watched over our livestock, was a companion on many trips and outings, kept us company during illnesses, etc. She defended us from illegal hunters with guns, angry people who meant us harm, wildlife, etc. There wasn't a single adventure we had that she did not want to be a part of with us. If we left her behind, she would stop eating, so we always tried to take her with us.
She had a wonderful day yesterday hanging out with the family. When Caleb separated from the group to go riding his bike up and down the driveway, she went and kept watch over him. That's what she considered her job.
We are sad, but thanking God for the many wonderful years with a fantastic dog. She will be the dog by which all other dogs we know will be measured by.