This was meant to be a funny post.

On Monday my dog had an increasingly common, historically rare midnight accident, that necessitated a trip to the yard at one in the morning.

While my ailing dog paced up and down in the dark, flashlight collar around her neck illuminating her way, I took pictures of my plants illuminated only by flashlight.

This was meant to be a funny post.

I had some trouble with the mitsuba, due to the weirdly hot weather. I managed to save it but I’m probably going to have to move it under more shade.

That’s an earwig. They’re harmless but a bit freaky. One time when I was a kid, mom took in some artichokes she’d grown to wash, and as she put them in the sink a ton of earwigs scuttled out all over the kitchen.

Mom and Dad didn’t grow artichokes the next year.

My dog was so well trained. She never had accidents, and now she was regularly having them.

This was meant to be a funny post.

The carrots in the carrot bed are starting to sprout, and encouraging sign of fresh life in the garden.

My silly bee-eater wouldn’t stop panting, even when it was cold. It was no longer a sign of exertion, it was constant. In dogs this is a sign of an enlarged heart.

This was meant to be a funny post.

The outer leaves of my romaine lettuce are getting nibbled, but between the slug bait and careful attention the inner leaves are fine. I think until the plants are taller I’m not going to pluck the outer leaves- this way the bugs will eat the outer leaves first.

My dog stopped wagging her tail months ago. She held it down- it never moved. She used to wag all the time.

This was meant to be a funny post.

That’s a ladybug larvae on my compost bin. Even with all the fava beans dead in the bin, the few larvae that were feasting on the aphids survived. I moved this little fellow on to the herbs.

A few weeks ago when I went to pet her on the rug, my dog snapped at me- and her teeth actually made contact, and she bit my chin. She seemed almost as shocked as I was, like she had no idea she was doing it. It was nothing some antibiotic ointment couldn’t fix.

This was meant to be a funny post.

I got this silly metal and stone ant in Petaluma. It lives among my herbs.

It wasn’t just the snapping, her overall cognition seemed to be declining. She’d stare at walls for long minutes- and ignore stimuli and toys.

This was meant to be a funny post.

There’s a spider that lives in these succulents. I sometimes clean up the webs but it always comes back. Can’t help but be fond of the dang thing.

We knew from an old x-ray that the silly bee-eater’s spine was growing together. It’s a condition known as ankylosing spondylitis. Happens in people too. Sometimes it has no symptoms. Sometimes it does. We could have gotten her an MRI to see if we could do anything, but she was big. She’d have to be knocked out- and the anesthesia would probably kill her. It wasn’t worth it- even as her hind legs started to fail. We gave her pain pills and muscle relaxants. They worked. For a while.

This was meant to be a funny post.

There are so many flowers in the tomato plant. With any luck I’ll have dozens of tomatoes. In October and November, but still- tomatoes are tomatoes.

She ate and ate. We didn’t have the heart to deny her anything this last month- when she was younger she’d been overweight so normally we kept her on a strict diet. But she was suddenly so hungry- so we indulged her. Even with all this food… the pounds were melting off of her. She was the thinnest she’d ever been.

This was meant to be a funny post.

This photo is old. Taken years ago before I had all the plants in the garden. Back when she was healthy. She enjoyed the backyard as much as I did- always interested and sniffing around what I was watering.

The day after her midnight walk, she started howling in pain. She never howled. She never cried. And now she was wailing.

We knew. And we knew what we had to do.

Last Tuesday we walked our dog up to our vet, and we did the right thing.

We put the silly bee-eater down last Tuesday.

This was meant to be a funny post.

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