I know every one of you who has had dogs has been through this... but we had to say goodbye today to Jake, our beautiful 8-year old Sheltie. Jake had started acting sick about 2 weeks ago. His head was down, he was walking in circles, he was tripping on the stairs, he seemed disoriented and he seemed very sad. Our regular vet put him on prednisone, and advised me to take him to a specialist at a local animal hospital. Three days later, when the specialist saw him, he was in great shape, but the doc said it was probably due to the pred. He said the only way to know was to remove the pred and just observe him. We did that and watched as he declined physically and mentally over the next week and a half. He seemed to have lost all of his learned behaviors and was acting solely on instinct. DH and I took him to the ER at the animal hospital late Saturday night, but the vet on duty then thought his symptoms were more related to the pain of his arthritis than to anything neurological. She sent us home to resume the pred, but by yesterday afternoon, he began having seizures. DH held him wrapped in a blanket on his lap while I drove like a maniac back to the animal hospital. They had to administer several doses of Valium to try to stop the tremors. They admitted him and put in a steady line of fluids and valium last evening. The specialist who had seen him just two weeks ago examined him this morning. Unfortnately, all of the evidence pointed to an untreatable brain tumor. Even if they had an MRI to "see" what was going on in his brain, there was no possibility of him recovering. DH and our 20-yo DD and I were with him this afternoon when he died. We gave our 16-yo DS and 14-yo DD the option of coming with us, but I think it was too much for them. All of which brings me to my question... how long should we wait before adopting another dog (or dogs -- we've thought about finding sheltie littermates and taking two)? We have many friends who have lost dogs and couldn't stand having dog-less houses, so they found new puppies as soon as they could. Others have said to wait -- that everyone they know who adopted new dogs shortly after the loss of their long-time companions regretted it. Advice? TIA. Our sweetie Jake, may he rest in peace.