Neil the Collie set off for the Rainbow Bridge at about 1030 this morning, I'm sorry to report. He'll join his littermate Buzz there, as well as MacDuff, Duncan, Donal, and Malcolm.
He'd turned 13 on the fifth of March, which is quite old for a collie. He'd been having neurological problems for a couple of years, caused by narrowing of the spine and compression of the nerves. Last night he had some sort of attack or seizure that damaged his already-precarious balance and reduced his limited mobility.
He wasn't in any pain physically that we could see, but his dignity was in great danger. He was always a most dignified dog and the loss of dignity was painful to him (and to us). So we sent him on to the Bridge, to be re-united with Buzz and to wait for us.
Since his passing, the skies here have clouded up and it may rain. Even Nature grieves with us for this most excellent of dogs.
I know there's no reason at all to believe in the Rainbow Bridge, not theologically, not logically, not realistically, but I truly hope it's true. Our dogs have each been as much a part of our family and our lives as they could be; they have enriched our days, lightened our sorrows, rejoiced in our joys, and been beside us, loving and trusting us unconditionally. Faith is when you can believe something with absolutely no evidence.