My dog Cloudy lasted 16 years. She was a springer spaniel/lab mix and the most gentle sweet thing ever. Couldn't hurt a fly. She developed arthritis in her hip and at times be limping around on just three legs. I'd massage her legs, put heat on them, and once even carried her during a walk for a ways in the snow. We moved back to Phoenix and one day she just stood there not moving much and I knew it was time.
I got my new dog Bandit about
a week before putting Cloudy down because I didn't want to be left without a dog. Bandit is pushy, really aggressive, protective, and it was sad to see Bandit taking over and being mean before Cloudy was gone. It's been 8 years and I've grown to love Bandit. Although she acts mean and growls towards others - Cloudy would never do that - she actually lays down near me and lets me completely wrap my arms around her.