I truly appreciated the article on loving and losing a dog and the timing was coincidentally relevant. We recently lost our almost 11 year old Boxer female, Kishi, due to old age (24NOV12). She was the first dog for my husband and I, and we cannot imagine a better "first" to have as a part of our family. She was surprisingly serious and soulful for a Boxer (as often the breed demeanor is the "class clown"), but she did often have a "silly" side. She got along great with everyone she met and was thus loved by many, and she was a great (and patient) dog to help train two subsequent dogs that joined our family through the years. Nothing can replace her wagging nubber and "happy to see you" sidways crab dance (or her endless love of food!). We will always miss and love her, and cherish all of the wonderful memories that we have of our time with her.