Our friends gave their faithful companion of 13.5 years, Oliver the miniature schnauzer, his release from this life to the next today. It is a release because in the last little while Oliver's little body has stopped working so well. He couldn't hear or see, and didn't even know to take one of his beloved treats unless it was placed in his mouth.
I've known Oliver all his life, and have known his owners/friends for a little while longer. I've seen the joy he brings them. I've rubbed his head and scratched behind his ears. He was the personification of what a dog brings - unconditional love, unbridled joy. He was a good dog.
So it shouldn't surprise anyone that when anyone has to say goodbye to a close friend who has not only shared time with them but enriched that time immensely...
And it will hurt.
The only thing worse than losing a friend like Oliver...
... is never knowing his love at all.
Godspeed, my friend.