Seven years ago, while trying to get a puppy, I went to the breeders house. She bred Shetland Sheepdogs, but the litter I was hoping for hadn’t come through. But the breeder had a 3 year-old that was slated to be a show dog, but came in slightly too tall at the shoulders and was available as a pet. This dog had gone through a bad experience with a son of one of the trainers during his travels and was very stand-offish. Even though my girlfriend at the time (my wife now,) and her daughter weren’t enthralled with Connor, there was something about this guy that drew me to him. Against all suggestions, I brought Connor home. For seven years I gave him all the love I could offer and he returned it ten-fold. Last night, out-of-the-blue, Connor became ill. I took him to the emergency vet and 90 minutes later he was gone. I shall grieve a long time for Connor, though I know he’d never want me sad. But I shall be selfish and grieve for all the love he gave that I will now miss. I will think of him often, and though sad, I will cherish the happiness he brought me.