Thank you everyone. It went as well as can be expected and we definitely found a vet. We just moved here last July, so we haven't really settled on a vet yet, but this guy was fantastic. The other vets I called all insisted on an examination (upping the charge $100) to decide if it was the right decision. This guy said to just bring her in. When we got there, the doc came in, pet her and loved her (like all vets I've met do on meeting a new dog) and went out to get his assistant. I was all geared up to defend my decision and was completely shocked when he didn't ask anything, so when he came back in I told him it was a hard decision and gave him a brief history of Gertie. He just smiled and said "Yeah, you noticed I didn't ask for a history." It wasn't snide or anything it was definitely "this is my profession and just by looking at her for two seconds, I know why you're doing this." It made me feel much better about everything. He then let us stay there through the entire thing, I scratched her ears while she was falling asleep, and then wrapped her up in a towel and let us bring her home to bury her. Hubby picked a great spot on the mountain and my daughter is going to help me plant a rosebush there. Gertie always liked playing in basil, but we live in the middle of the Nantahala National Forest and I don't want to encourage something to dig Gertie up, so roses sounded good.
It was the right decision, even though it wasn't the easy one. I told my mom yesterday morning I realized that for a while now, and I'm not sure how long I've been doing it, but every morning I would wake up and touch Gertie's abdomen to see if she was breathing. That probably should've been my first clue that things were bad, not an afterthought after I'd made the decision. Hindsight, right? Now, time to heal and save up the money for cocker spaniel number 2. I agree with my husband, no chocolates because I don't want to try to force the next one to be like Gertie. She'll be someone new and that's good thing. There's a lady on the other side of the mountain who has a 2 week old Blue Roan girl I might go look at soon. Never seen a blue roan cocker, might be interesting. Thank you all again very, very much. I'm sure there's many days of tears ahead, and my poor boxer mix is going to revert to peeing herself again because she'll wonder what's wrong with me, but we'll get through it.
I'll post a pic of Gerts down in the Rainbow Bridge thread, that's where she belongs now.