Her health has been deteriorating for the past year or so. Great Danes usually live 7-10 years and she was 9 1/2. She was hurting. I'm pretty sure her eyesight was getting bad, as things that used to be no problem like hard-surface floors were beginning to scare her. After years of either going downstairs to sleep in Joe's room or upstairs to sleep in Savannah's room, she could no longer make it up the stairs. We made her a bed on the main floor, but even getting the few steps into the backyard became more difficult. The last few days, she's barely been able to get to the door and that's been with difficulty, so we knew it was time.
Yesterday we took Pepper for her last ride in the car. We drove to the mountains with the windows down and let the wind blow in her happy face. We stopped in the shade and opened the back so she could hear the water and feel the little breeze. We had a prayer and then took her to the vet, where we stayed with her, she and Savannah looking at each other, while she went to sleep for good. It was a painful and difficult day and there will be many sad and lonely days to come. Enjoy running around in heaven until we meet you again, Pepper.