The sudden loss of our dear sweet Madonna has left an empty, painful hole in our hearts. She was the sweetest dog who loved every man, woman, child or animal she came in contact with.

A thoughtful friend was kind enough to send a sympathy card to comfort me. What was on the card was a story from Robin Downing, D.V.M: We sat together a while, wondering aloud why animals must live shorter lives than humans. What came out of the four-year-old's mouth stunned me. "Everybody is born so they can learn how to live a good life - like loving everybody and being nice, right?" he said. "Well, animals already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay so long."

This story helped me realize why Madonna was taken so suddenly at 9 years old. She is happy and healthy now at the Rainbow Bridge with her sisters Roulette and Bette. They are all loved and sadly missed by: Mommy, Grandma, Aunt Maria, Uncle Mel, Auntie C, Aunt Marilyn and especially her Daddy.

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