I want to share with you about a wonderful friend of mine. We are truly blessed if God allows us one friend in our life who shows such loyalty, unconditional love and selflessness as this friend. Not all of those friends He blesses us with walk on 2 legs...some walk on 4 and have a wagging tail. I have been blessed by such a friend for over 12 years..in that time, he has given me so many memories of joy and taught me more life lessons than I can count. His name is Brady and on Thursday evening, he is going to be leaving us to live a life, free from pain. We were chosen by him and we were chosen for him by God. We were moving to a new town in Maine and met the dog warden. He asked us if we were looking to have a dog and we said that we were. He said he had rescued a dog from neglect and abuse..one that had been so starved that he didn't think he was going to be able to save him, but he did. We said that we were really set on having a Golden Retriever..he said that this dog was a Golden Retriever and that he was 3 months old. We went to see him and were stunned when this huge dog came around the corner and knocked the daughter we had promised a dog to, down with his kisses. We knew he was for us. He grew to be 120 lbs of pure love and devotion. He saved my husband's life when 3 Pitbulls came into the yard to attack my husband who was on blood thinners at the time. Brady chased those dogs off of the property at only one year old. He was a genious and taught himself to sled down snowy hills on a frisbee. He loved to open Christmas presents, but never hurt the gift inside. He never needed a leash as he never wanted to leave our side. He loved snowballs and would catch them to eat. He accepted 2 new friends when we adopted 2 kitties from a shelter and let them have his bed from the very first night. Never showing a jealous bone in his body, he adopted them too. As he aged, his health began to fail and he developed hip problems. He now needs help to come in from the snow as he falls and can not get up. So, as our final gift to him, we are going to groom him with the pride of a showdog and give him lots of treats..I am making him a brand new bandana and we have spent many hours just loving him and telling him we will see him again. The vet will be coming to our home, so that Brady will never have to leave this property. I know his spirit will live on here as we grieve the loss of his beautiful smile and adoring eyes. He goes on ahead and I can just see him, running with grace and strength. I believe with all of my soul that heaven could not be what God has promised without him being there and so, I have told him to wait for me and listen for my whistle..it may be awhile before he hears it, but when he does, he knows to come to me and knock me down with his kisses. Afterall, he will be a puppy again and I will be young and strong enough to catch him. I pay tribute and honor to this special friend who has the deepest soul shining through in those eyes. I am heart broken at the thought of a world without his incredible life force. I don't know what I ever did in this life of mine to deserve such a gift. My life has been richer, sweeter and more profound for knowing him. I hope he can feel the same and take all the love I have for him with him as he falls asleep. Thank you God for choosing us to have the privilage of this tender and gentle soul..please help me to live without him. Goodbye, old friend...until we meet again.