We had to take our chocolate lab Lucy to the vet for the last time yesterday. She was 11.5, so she did OK. She'd been struggling for a few weeks, firstly with a bad cough and getting out of breath that the vet thought was heart-related, and then in the last 48 hours she'd become really bloated so I took her in yesterday morning. They did a scan and it turned out she had a massive tumour on her spleen that was starting to spread to her liver, causing fluid to build up inside her. There was really nothing they could do so I called Mrs MLC at work and we agreed that it was best for poor old Lucy to be put to sleep. Luckily the vet could hang on until my wife could get there from work and we were able to spend 20 minutes with Lucy on our own. She was a great dog, a gentle giant. One night last year she insisted on going out into the garden in the middle of the night and not coming back in, much to our annoyance at the time. Turned out someone had tried to cut a hole in the fence to get to our shed and lift the garden tools, but must have been thwarted by Lucy. We've still got her little sister Willow, who's five, so she'll get even more love from now on. RIP Lucy.