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I posted a memorial for Shadow, but have just now gathered pictures of the ones before him. First, there was Duke. He traveled back and forth across the country with us when USMC duty stations changed. He thought he was a big dog and would take on anything. He lived to be 15.

Then there was Gunner, the dog who started my love affair with beagles. A friend gave me the little beagle/doxie puppy when we were stationed in Hawaii, and he came back to the mainland with us. He was laid back and mellow. When our grandson was born, Gunner immediately claimed him as his own even though he'd never been around babies. He lived to be nearly 12.

Ruby came next. We got her because we thought it'd be nice for Gunner to have a companion. Ruby was loving and very intelligent. She was a vizsla mix, and had an unbelievable nose. Her devotion to Gunner was touching. She's the only dog we've had that we could absolutely tell her mood by the expression on her face. She lived to be 11, and then we had to let her go because of advanced cancer.

Smoke followed Dusty, Gunner, and Ruby home one day. She'd been hanging around the park where they went, and picked who she wanted to go home with. She was smart, loving, and absolutely devoted to us. We're convinced that she'd have laid down her life to protect us. She was about a year old when she adopted us, and gave us another 14 years of joy.

Last in this lineup is Bocephus. What a delightful puppy he was! Everything interested him, and he was just like a little boy wanting to know how things worked. He had a beautiful bay and used it all the time. We always felt we did him a disservice because he was from hunting stock and really wanted to hunt. Sadly, we were only allowed to have him for 9 years. He became ill one day, and when I took him to the vet the next day, the mass on his spleen was so advanced that nothing could be done. It still hurts to think about it, and it's been 14 years.

So here's to a group of dogs that gave us a wide range of personalities, a lot of joy, and a whole lot of love.
 

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That truly is a beautiful tribute to your previous dogs. They were all so pretty.
 

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Yes, it is a beautiful tribute - as I sit here with tears thinking of all the dogs I've loved and lost, too. In my 69 years there have been many.
 
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