Gail here again:
Thank you to so many readers for your kind and thoughtful comments on Wednesday's post.
After reviewing Bertie's condition with the vet yesterday afternoon, the sad news is that I've made the achingly difficult decision to have Bertie 'put to sleep' later today.
With his bladder cancer symptoms apparently causing more pain, on top of his deafness, poor eyesight and signs of confusion, he has lost so much of his former vitality and I didn't want to wait for his suffering to get worse.
Bertie has been such a splendid companion over the years, and especially during the long periods of Covid lockdown. I just feel numb right now and can't find the words, but a proper tribute will follow when I'm ready.
Meanwhile, here's a photo of Bertie on a walk in the woods with wee Ella earlier this week, his tail alert and happy, like it always used to be.