What is it like? To become a partnership. To share every event in your life, big or small, with another species? To know that there is always someone there that will listen, and comfort you, no matter what. That expects such small things, and even then, would be willing to give up all but the companionship.

I have a dog. He was my partner, and he willingly partnered with others. He gave his all, but never was a pet. He did it on his terms, his way, and it was usually the correct way. He taught so many and shared so many experiences. He loved a boy with emotional problems, a boy who now has a full scholarship in High School. He loved a man, and showed him what it means to track and to trust. He loved a woman, and showed her what it meant to live.

He never was planned, he never seemed to plan. He knew how to get what he wanted, a thief extraordinary. Food from the counter, the roof, Joe Montana's football. He could steal out of my home, and appear at my greenhouse door before I could get there. His view of life was only the good die young, so why be good.

He was wrong. I have to do the hardest thing of my life. My husband, who claimed that he would never want a dog is heartbroken, but of course, Quark was no ordinary dog. It is the tall dude who takes up too much of the bed day off. And it will be mine, as the 17th of November marks the end of an incredible 9 year journey.

To Quark, never a great pet, but always the best of friends.

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