For ten years, our Chihuahua Duke was a part of our lives. He brought me back together with Brian when we had drifted apart.
He gave us a taste of what caring for another being would feel like, and in that sense he was our firstborn.
He was helpless, very sick for a while, but after a remarkable recovery he became the loving and lovable sweetheart of a dog he would remain until the end of his life.
Loving warm weather, fluffy blankets and human food of any kind, and studiously avoiding the cold, he melted our hearts.
Today is the first anniversary of his death. Our kids still talk about him almost every day, and we miss him dearly.