I think part of the reason I am up so early is that I am worrying about my once-in-a-lifetime dog, Chance. My husband and I have wondered for years whether he was going to make it much longer. In standard Chance fashion he has powered on despite severe hip dysplasia. I have treated him with supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic, traditional medications, and massage. He used to be the most magnificent frisbee dog, and he could jump up onto a ledge 6ft off the ground without hardly trying. In vet school he was my running partner. Now we shuffle around part of a block and it takes us 30 minutes. When clients are trying to decide if they should let a pet go I tell them to write down five things that used to be important to the pet. As things continue to be checked off the list it might be getting closer to the time. I keep evaluating my list, but it seems that the sparkle is fading from his eyes. There are some people who feel strongly that pets should be allowed to die naturally without any human intervention. I respect everyone's opinion. My husband made a good point that he hoped we would let Chance go when he had a little wag left. For now I will continue spoiling him while I try one last medication to see if I can alleviate his pain. He has had a great life. His name is Chance because I was his last Chance. He was about to be euthanized at the pound when we met. He came with me to veterinary school, and he caused many laughs to help break up the stress. Chasing squirrels, fending off pranksters, performing numerous tricks, and sneaking pumpkin bars were a few of his adventures. He has seen oceans on the east coast and west coast. He helped keep me warm at night during the winter of my internship when I could hardly afford to heat my house. He made friends with a rooster as a farm dog in Illinois. He joined in on naughty dog activities like running away in the woods for hours with Chimbo and Martin when we lived in Maine. He knew he wasn't invited to sleep in bed anymore when I was about seven months pregnant with Ethan. He moved to the couch without even being asked. He has been friends with Ray our partially blind cat ever since we slipped Ray into our 'no cats allowed!' rental in Illinois. Marc once said something like "I should have known what I was getting into when I married a veterinarian". I think this was when I was tending to a kitten with diarrhea in our bathroom. Besides a crazy wife Marc also inherited an amazing dog. We sit and stare at him and each wonder...when is it 'time'?