My best friend for 15 1/2 years, Frank, a dachshund died on Halloween last year (2010). I met Frank at what was likely a puppy mill breeder but I was drawn to him for his curiosity and enthusiasm. These qualities remained throughout his life.

Frank and I spent most days and nights together over those 15 years. I traveled with him back and forth from California to Montana throughout the late 90s and early 2000s. His favorite riding spot was on my shoulders as I drove the truck over the roads.

I was fortunate to have Frank commute with me to work and spend days in the office with me. He was a comfort to my patients and they have remembered him fondly since his death.

Frank enjoyed good health for most of his life. He did have Cushing’s disease and one cataract, but was not slowed by these conditions. Near the end of his life he did suffer a couple of minor seizures. On Halloween evening, he greeted neighborhood kids at the door with his friendly bark. Suddenly, while sitting with me on the couch, snacking on chicken, he went into respiratory distress and seemed to be experiencing another minor seizure. My wife and I rushed him to the emergency veterinary clinic, not with the expectation of recovery, but with the intent to relieve him from his distress and let him go comfortably. On the way to the clinic, he rode in my wife’s lap, next to me. Suddenly he leaped from her arms and struggled to get up on my shoulders. I helped him up and gave him a comforting word. He took 5 or 6 gasps, then died on my shoulder.  I feel that Frank chose his place to die, a place of safety and comfort for so many years.

I know I gave Frank a good life, and he repaid me many times over. I am ever grateful that he chose to be my pet. I shall never forget him.

— Michael from Half Moon Bay, CA