On February 1, 2004 we had to put to sleep one that had truly been "man's best friend." One could never have asked for a better pet than Blitzen. The irony was that we didn't ask for him at all, he fell into our laps by chance. I for one am forever changed by the 13.5 years of life and love that he brought. I hope everyone at some point in their lives has their own "Blitzen." I don't know if Blitzen realized how many of my friends and family his life touched. It isn't until later that one realizes how much he mattered, when you can feel the void he leaves. I miss you Blitzen and I'm sure everyone else does too.

I was touched by an email Bob wrote, so I am reposting it here:

All dogs in this world exist -in our eyes- to perform a service to humans. Some dogs are bred to become the peak of their breed, an example of both the dog's excellence as well as that of the breeder him/herself. Others are used for more practical matters: they retrieve pheasants, they pull sleds, they guard our junkyards, and they sniff out our stash just as we're about to board the plane. Some even perform selfless tasks that few humans are willing to undertake... guiding the blind, serving on police forces, co-starring in movies with Jim Belushi. But there's one job that just about all dogs do, and some dogs do it better than any other. Blitzen is at the very pinnacle of this profession... Blitzen is a Tail-Wagger.

Tail-waggers are unlike anything else in this world. Their furry bodies and ridiculously expressive eyes have the power to brighten the darkest of days as soon as they see you. They don't care if your day has been good or bad... all they know is _their_ day is better now that you're around, and subsequently, that's how we come to feel about them. With a little luck, we humans may find one or two people over the course of our lives that can make us feel that way. Yet every day, millions of tail-waggers manage to do it for just about every single person they meet. I don't know how they do it. I don't wanna know how they do it. I'm just glad they do it.

You're a good dog, Blitzen. We'll miss you.