Hi everyone I am asking the question that no-one knows the answer too. When is it time to set them free? Let me tell you a little about our Belle. Belle is a law onto herself and always has been. She is a 9 year old Yorkie with an addiction to tennis balls. The retrieving and tennis ball addiction started so she could annoy our old fabulous boy who also loved to retrieve tennis balls. She started doing it as she could run faster than him and beat him to the prize, he then had to follow her to see if she was going to drop it anytime. Belle also likes to hide food from birds, if she finds bread anyone puts out then she buries it. She doesn’t like bread and would never eat it, she just doesn’t want the birds to have it. Same goes for any nuts or fruit she finds, she knows the Squirrels and birds eat them so they get hidden. Belle is neurotic and hyper, doesn’t think before she does anything....Squirrel in the garden...ooops who shut the door and she bounces off the glass patio doors. Yet if she loses a tennis ball due to a rabbit trail or some other lovely scent we can go back the next day and I just say find the ball and she does it. She is a tenacious little terror and many a poor rabbit, rat and one Squirrel have met their demise. Yet we foster kittens and she just mothers them and is so sad when they are feral and totally fear dogs. We say she is the fun police, she is allowed to have fun but no-one else in the house is. The cats take their shenanigans into another room when they want to play. Belle likes her little world the same no stomping feet, when the WII adventure game came out it made her life her. She couldn’t handle the feet jumping and bouncing around. It had to be played in another room. Yet she is the most person loving, attention loving dog you could ever meet. Belly rubs and kisses are her world. She has travelled round the world with us from Southern Ireland to Australia to New Zealand and back to the UK. It never phased her as long as I was there to collect her. The vets love her as she never growls when she gets poked and prodded and goes with the flow. She has always been super healthy. Which I think makes our decision harder. Belle partially tore her crutiate ligament in September, we decided along with the vet to treat it conservatively due to her small size. She was one Metacam and was doing fine until about 2 weeks ago, we noticed she was leaning to the right but put it down to her tear. They also discovered during the X-rays that she had severe arthritis in the left hip so she has a wonky right leg and left hip. She was still her usual self wanting lifted onto the couch to be next to me, still going for walks even though I was carrying her for most of it. Still eyeing up Squirrels and still requesting her ball to go in the car, come out the car and at the points when normally we would play with the ball. Over the last 2 weeks she hasn’t asked for the ball but was still content and wanting to go out in the car. She then started circling and couldn’t avoid where she was walking more so in the garden, we had to stay beside her as she would fall into flower beds. She just gradually lost her spark. I blamed the Metacam and stopped this. Normally Belle is my shadow even with her wonky leg, if I go anywhere she is with me, usually can’t even go for a pee but she is there. If I go for a bath she goes too, when she sees me she is super excited, she has to be sitting next to me at all times. This all stopped, she was a shadow of herself. Still eating and drinking. Just no kisses or bum wriggling. Anyway we took her to our vet as she started having little shudders now and again. Not making her fall over just shaking for a few seconds. Our Vet advised a Neurology appointment. Since stopping the Metacam she is showing more interest in her surroundings and not falling over, she seems to be a little bit more in control of her legs. She just still wasn’t mentally herself. Anyway she had the MRI on Friday and the Neurologist thinks it’s a brain tumour. In operable and radiation probably wouldn’t help. He said he will have the report mid week and if we hear from him it’s good news if not then it is most definitely a brain tumour and to see our vet. He had put her on Steriods starting today but I get the feeling he wasn’t holding out much hope. Belle just seems like she is in her own little world. She is happy for food and for treats. We can even get her playing with a tennis ball on the rug for 5 minutes and she is back to being a little more like our little Belle. She doesn’t follow me around, she isn’t craving cuddles, if you pet her it’s as if you disturbed her and she has to move and circle 20 times to find her spot. She has only barked a few times which we are clinging too as normally she barks at everything that annoys her or going for walks she is super hyper hence why she carried her tennis ball to cut down on the bark/happy screech. I look into her eyes and I feel she isn’t there but then we have a little Belle moment and I think maybe she will come through this. She is eating, drinking, sleeping, peeing and pooping it’s just like 97% of the time she has lost her soul. I’m preying it’s not because she is in pain although the vet said she most likely isn’t in any pain. She is going on walks and started sniffing around a bit more than she was last week. I think though it’s habit. She has had 2 walks a day since she was a puppy, it’s as natural to her as eating. I think we are clinging to the hope these steriods are going to bring our Belle back and even for a day and I would be so grateful so we could have some big slobbery kisses but when I look into her eyes I can’t see it happening. We have a shell of a dog. My husband and I decided we would give the steriods until Friday and see what the Vet thinks but if he thinks this is as good as it’s going to get them I think we have to make that decision about setting her free. She is such a tough little thing that even now I know if she was in pain she wouldn’t show it. It’s the hardest decision to even think about. Urgh!!