I have had to make the terrible decision that it is time to let go a dearly loved family member – our dog, Annie! In exactly one month from today, my son, Gunner will turn 16. When he was just a baby, I decided it would be good for him to have a pet. Who would have thought that 15 years later, that pet would still be around? That is 105 years in dog years! Since arriving home from the Humane Society, Annie has always been there for Gunner as a constant companion – from laying on the floor as he crawled all over her to chasing him as he rode his quads and motorcycles at Mitchell Dunes and finally to sitting feebly letting him comfort her in her old age. I still remember that most of the times when he had to write things for school that meant a lot to him, it was never material things – it was always his dogs. On this last day of her life, I reflect and am worried about how her death is going to affect my youngest. Gunner has always had a kind and loving spirit. He has always had a special affection for all of his dogs, but I think that the passing of his eldest dog may be a truly heart wrenching and difficult point in his young life. A mother always, above all, wants to protect their child from any painful and mournful experience. Life (or death in this case) however, sometimes makes this difficult to accomplish. I just hope that I can be there to comfort him and give him the compassion that he will need to deal with the loss of his friend! I love you Gunner!