You were my first, and I'm so heartbroken that you're gone. You were so trusting, patient and achingly beautiful, giving me love, vying for my attention and always glad to see me. I worked hard to gain your trust and to give you the kind of life that I envisioned to be the right one for you, especially given that your past must have been less than idyllic.
I struggled to make the right decisions for you when it became apparent that you weren't yourself this spring and summer. I undertook a dizzying array of treatments, food regiments and supplements that were designed to help you bounce back after the long winter. Instead, you never did quite regain your former majestic glory. You continued your gradual downward slide toward what would be -- unbeknownst to me -- your final days.
Fortunately, I must have intuitively realized that you didn't have much time, in spite of my efforts to extend your life for just a little bit longer. Unexpectedly overcome with emotion, I spent some extra time with you, crying and talking about old times the night before you died. Arriving the next morning to find your still, lifeless body is still so shocking that I fight back tears at the thought. You were my best friend, and I miss you so very, very much. I hope you are running -- healthy and pain-free -- amidst the meadows, even as your buddy Jane and I mourn for you every day.