Dear Mark,

Thank you for the opportunity to allow your listeners to write about their dogs. As any dog lover knows, our dogs are not mere animals or pets, but bona fide full members of the family. I wanted to tell you a little about our Chico, our Chocolate Labrador whom we sadly lost this last January 15. Chico was almost 13 when he suddenly became ill, and long story short, a relatively quick decision had to be made to let him go. This was undoubtedly one of the most difficult days I have experienced. I do not think non-dog people can fathom the bond between dogs and their human families.

Chico was the most gentle and easy going dog anyone could wish for. For almost 13 years, he was a constant fixture in the house, in the den, in the yard, wherever we were, so was he. While I couldn’t imagine him not being here, I kept hidden in the back of my mind the knowledge that the dreaded day would inevitably come. Thank God he was not sick long. It was no less painful, but at least I do not think he suffered needlessly or because of our selfishness in prolonging what had quickly deteriorated into no kind of life for him.

We miss him every day. And, to this very day, everyone in my family still wells up when we happen to make reference to him, or look to his favorite spot in the den, now much more empty because of his absence. We miss his handsome face, his constant happy and gentle ways, his snoring…. We used to joke that all our gentle boy Chico lived for was his next meal, but I think it was to be near us, lick our faces and hands, and tell us in his own way that we mattered to him too. The feeling is mutual, Chico-man…

Thanks again, Mark.

Ken from CA