A very old friend of mine put her dog down this evening. I know how hard that was. Cali had a good life, and was loved. And she knew it.
Every dog owner has to face this eventually: dogs only live a few years. That doesn't make it easier.
In the Jewish tradition—in which I was raised, despite both my parents and me being devout atheists—we always acknowledge the sadness lurking behind joy. It's a Jewish curse to find the cloud behind every silver lining. We dip an egg in salt water at Passover to remind ourselves of this. Not to mention the not-so-far-from-truth Jewish joke about the widow at the funeral shouting "how could you do this to me?" So maybe it's inappropriately personalizing someone else's pain, but a friend going through this reminds me of how short Parker's life will be, and how important it is to cherish what he brings to me, which is absolutely no less than how much Cali's life brought to my friend.
So, Tink, I know what you're feeling. And I know Cali was a happy dog, and loved you unconditionally, and lived as long as she could. Nothing else really matters.