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June 29, 2006

Gone but never forgotten

Sometimes your children help you with your work. Below is an e-mail our daughter sent June 27, 2006 telling of the unexpected death of the family dog. The subject line of the missive was simply “Our dog—Echo.”

The names mentioned are my grandchildren: Lucy is 8 and was the most attached to Echo. Ella is 6 and Henry 5. Harold, at 7 months, only knew enough about Echo, a shepherd mix, to close his eyes when she came around because he was about to get licked in the face.

“Dear Family and Friends,

“I thought I would send a short note to you all to let you know that our dog, Echo, died last night. The vet said she developed a hole in her heart. She was 11years old. Andrew and I got her when she was just two months old, just days after buying our house, as we always wanted to have a dog. We were so lucky to have had her with us for so long. She was great with the children, never a problem, even as we kept bringing more in the house!

“She will be sorely missed. Lucy cried. Ella reminded us that we will see her again in heaven. Henry is sad too. It's good they are talking about it. Earlier when a dog barked outside, Henry said, "We know that's not our dog, mama, 'cuz our dog's dead." Oh, kids say the darndest things.

“We plan to set a nice picture of her out in our living room to remind us of her.”

Pets truly can become companions. Echo was one such animal, endearing herself to me and my wife as well during numerous stays. She was the preverbal Fido, always protective of the little ones. Her death was first of any kind encountered by the grandchildren. As we all know, it will not be the last.

So for one more time—good girl, Echo. Rest in peace, old friend, and know that you live on in the hearts of your family.

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