My parents always complained about the cost and liability of owning a dog until we got Otis. Otis was a Bichon Frise and we had him as a puppy in 1990 when I was in 5th Grade. Although there were good time, there seemed to be far more traumatic times before college, but when I would get home from school Otis would always be there wagging his tail and ready to lick my face raw. When I would get sick or hurt he would always be there by my side as if he wanted to nurse me back to health. Even in college, where I went through a time where I felt as though I had nothing, he was always there. Otis was a true member of the family.

Finally came law school…and shortly after his 17th birthday…it was time to tell Otis goodbye. I was not there for his final night when my parents gave him a bath and a new toy. We knew that he was old and that he didn’t have much time left, but he still loved to play and curl up beside his family.

Before they went to bed that night, Otis was seen playing with his new toy. Then Otis went to sleep on his pillow and never woke up. The vet said that Otis died of cardiac arrest due to old age and was never in any pain – and that we should be thankful to Otis because he died before he was in any real pain and had spared us a decision we knew was inevitable.

Otis was laid to rest on the family property and an evergreen tree is now nourished by his remains. In Minnesota, my parents now have another Bichon Frise, that despite my objections, they named Otis. To keep me company, I have a wonderful Minature Pincher that I rescued from a shelter on the Fourth of July. His name is King George and is pictured here with me.

Jason from TX