We recently went through the heartbreaking loss of our trusty family dog. Gator was a 9+ year old Golden Retriever we raised from a pup. He was curly and bigger than any Golden I've ever seen. His bark was deep and ferocious and the complete opposite of his actual personality. He shed enough I could've been one of those people who knit with their pet hair, if I had been, you know, one of those people. He pretended to harass the cats but everyone knew he really loved them. They certainly did and never even flinched with his bluffing. He wanted out the front door more than anything in the world, and on the few occasions he managed, ran straight out, oblivious to things like streets or cars. We discovered if we just ran out and opened the car door, he would come running back and hop in. We would then grab his red leash, open the opposite side door, clip on the leash, and lead him out and back inside. Of course, he eventually learned the trick and would then demand an actual walk around the yard (or block) before heading in. He'll be sorely missed and in the few days he's been gone we've all "heard" him or thought we've seen him, in his usual spots. Of course, who's to say we haven't?

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