In 1962, a friend of mine had a three month old pup, part fox terrier and part who knows, that was rather sick, and he was going to take it to the dog pound,which would have been a death sentence. I rescued the dog and took it to a vet, who said the dog had distemper and recommended it be put down. I asked the vet if that was absolutely necessary, and he said I could keep it warm and nurse for a few days and see if there was any improvement. If not the end was inevitable. Fast forward—the dog lived 17 years and 5 months. I named her Lolita, allowed her to have a litter of pups and then had her spayed. I lived on a lake in Arkansas in a beautiful wooded section adjacent to Little Rock, and during her first five years she was bitten twice by copperhead snakes. Each time,she would crawl under the house and stay for about ten days. Each time I thought was the end. However, each time she would reappear, hungry and ready to face the next crisis. The next crisis came when the school bus ran over her four years later. She then proceeded to live a happy accident free life for several years until she developed heart failure and breathing problems. The vet said her early bout with distemper contributed to her ailments. At age 15 she began having seizures—-light ones at first , several months apart. Then more frequent and she began experiencing pain with them. The vet told us after one particularly rough one that the next one is when we should put her to sleep. We agreed. One afternoon we heard her moan , and it was obvious it was time. I told my wife that I would take her, and after it was over I would bring her back so we could bury her at home. She was unable to move, so I got a clean white sheet and laid her on it, as her shroud. I went to get the car keys, and when I came back, she was standing up looking up at me.Her expression told me “I want to die at home”. I knelt, she put her paw on my thigh and that was it. We wrapped her up and buried her. She has been greatly missed, and if I live to be one hundred, I will never stop wondering what her last thoughts were as she looked up at me with those big brown eyes.

Ron from Mississippi