Our wonderfully loving rescue dog Meg died a few months back after nearly nine wonderful years with us. She was always there, watching us lovingly. She was a German-Shepherd-Whippet cross. I used to joke she was a 'quick thinker'. She used to love putting her paw in your hand and would do it endlessly if she had the chance. Her point of loving contact. She has the German-Shepherd sensitivity and brain, mostly the whippet body, and was a placid soul (except in the car, when she got excited at any prospect of it stopping and a walk following). She died of cancer. It was horrible.
Around 6 weeks later we took on another rescue dog, Russ, a beautiful border collie with a superb glossy black coat. He was 10 and loved - and lived - to play and swim. We were looking for a 3 year-old dog but Russ won our heart. He loved to put his chin on you and would go to great lengths to achieve that. His point of loving contact. He would bring his ball right back to your feet all the time and then grin, as if saying, 'Come on, let's do it again, Dad.' His only problem was he had lived in the country and was not used to other dogs. I had to train him not be fearful of them. He had just about got over that problem. I think he probably had a history of fly-ball or something similar, because he always went 0-60 mph in around 4 seconds! He didn't know how to do anything slowly. It had worn out his rear hip joints somewhat and it turned out he had a slight spinal problem as well. He also got an aggressive form of cancer and, as a result, because all zest for life suddenly went and only pain remained, he had to be put to sleep yesterday.
Another wonderful and loving companion gone. Far too quickly. But we were privileged to enjoy his wonderful personality for that short time and he - and we - had loads of fun together. So intelligent. So obedient.
Dogs have such a special place in your heart. We so miss them both.