I just spent the weekend camping and hiking alone with my 6 year old lab mix. He's my running partner, my protector, and my companion. He's also constantly whining, panting, and shedding and his breath smells like a fish left in a diaper.
That said, I will be gutted when he dies. He was the only one with me throughout my father dying, my divorce, and the failure of my business. Thank you for reminding me that for all the hassles, gag-inducing habits, and expenses, every day with Jake is a gift. Cheers.