I'm actually quite surprised she made it this long after being diagnosed with liver problems in early 2016, but she was a tough old girl. She clocked in at somewhere between 16 and 17 years old.
She'd really been declining the last couple of weeks, could barely walk and just didn't seem happy anymore. I found a veterinarian who does in-home euthanasia, and I'd say it was the next best thing to her going naturally and peacefully in her sleep.
Chaco and Wolfgang came over yesterday to say their goodbyes, and Magnum and Meego gave theirs this morning before heading off to work and school. Truthfully, I was a bit anxious about being the lone accompanier, but on the other hand, no way was she going without me being there.
Happily, Chaco showed up about an hour before the appointed time. After a meeting at work, he told them where he was going, and the boss and coworkers understood.
The vet was a nice balance of medical professional and sympathetic dog lover. He gave China a quick once over and agreed it was time.
It's almost like she knew. When Magnum and I took her outside last night for her last slow, short walk, she seemed to linger longer than she had been lingering lately. Sniffing more things on the ground, taking in the night sky a little longer. A few last things to remember her time on earth by, I guess.
Rest in Peace, sweet pooch, free from that old worn out body. I hope she's running again and rolling in all kinds of awful smelling things.