Thank you for the beautiful story. The sad reality is that we love our dogs, but eventually lose them:

Machin (age 11), a beautiful husky who was so gentle when our son was a baby, loved going to the snow and chasing the kids as they rode bikes.

Rogue (age 5), the only non-rescue dog we ever got as a puppy, so she was my baby — the sweetest German shepherd ever. After a long hike in the hills above the north San Fernando Valley, and just before I was going to put her leash back on to go home, some animal darted out of the brush and ran out onto a major street at twilight. Rogue got hit by an SUV. We spent the whole evening with her at the pet hospital, but the vet could not save her. Because it was my fault, I have never cried as hard or as long in my life.

Storm (15), an amazing dog that could jump up five feet vertically like a cat, run obstacle courses, jumped off our diving board to chase tennis balls, and followed a laser pointer relentlessly until we couldn’t laugh any more.

Jubilee (12), my albatross. A German shepherd we only intended to foster, but kept turning back up like a bad penny. She ate the seat belts in our van (twice) and had a running battle with an aggressive Yorkie that kept coming across the street to invade her territory. Eventually, she nipped the dog, resulting in a vet bill for $2,000 because the tiny puncture in the skin was too close to the dog’s main organs. Oh, and I forgot to mention that she loved to hunt and kill skunks, regardless of how many times she got sprayed. At the end, her hips went out and she couldn’t walk, so my wife bought her a special wheel chair. My penance for hating that dog was taking care of her for close to a year. My reward was learning to be grateful that I wasn’t taking care of one of my children or my wife for the rest of my life.

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