I've just heard that Rich and Kerri have lost Rufus, their nearly 14-year old dog.

Buddy was 13. He'd had a very good run. (Most of it through the water!) He was, hands-down, the best dog I ever knew, or had even heard of. He was fun and playful, loved everyone, and was immensely obedient...for most of his adult life, he never even needed a leash. He never ran away (except to sneak a couple of houses away to my mother's to mooch cookies), he never bit anyone, he never even jumped on people...he always came when you called him. He brought the paper in every morning -- he'd even do his level best with the Sunday paper. He brought me bottles of water when I was laid up with a broken ankle. He let kids pet him and let babies pull his ears and tail and fur, and never once complained. Oh, and that bark -- he sounded awfully scary, protecting his family like a sentry. Never had a problem with his hips, his eyes, his elbows...nothing.

Everyone who met Buddy loved him. I'm really going to miss him.

(Kerri, on her blog.)

Zabeth and I know this all too well -- our thoughts and love are with them.