? - JANUARY 7, 2008

It's hard to believe that you're gone. You survived so many hard times in your life-physical abuse, damaged legs, life on the streets-that you always seemed almost indestructible ... fragile in many ways, but also somehow indestructible.

No wonder we still expect to see you standing behind us in the car, teeth chattering with excitement as you glimpse some new place to explore ... or making your "rounds" in the office, putting your nose in one lap after another ... or walking up the block, batting your white eyelashes like a movie star acknowledging her fans, as people greet you with cries of, "What a pretty dog!"

You were quite a lady-beautiful and elegant, with a "big" personality and a special dignity all your own ... and you were incredibly brave, never letting your weakened legs or other ailments keep you from living the life you wanted.

You brought joy to many hearts, and you were the best of friends. It's amazing how many people are saying how much they miss you. But not to worry. When the time comes, we'll find each other, just as we did in the woods when you'd wander off on your own for a while ... always managing to get together in the end. Until then.