I really can't believe you're gone. I still drive home from work and think about where we're going to go for a walk and how happy you'll be to see me only to come to an empty house. You were my closest friend for 15 years, kept all of my secrets, were there by my side, concerned, every time I cried, and made me laugh every day. You were so strong and fought all the way to end, but when you didn't want to eat your favorite food (bread) on that last day, we knew it was time to say goodbye. Although the needle pinched for a moment, you are eternally pain-free. You are in a better place now, Chrisser Bear. You may have all the delicious bones and chicken that you were allergic to here. You may chase as many small furry animals as you'd like without fences or leashes. You may sleep contently and soundly (and surely snoring!) in the warm sunshine. I think about you everyday, speak about you a lot, and although I appear strong and speak about you with a smile, I am struggling to get through an entire week without breaking down. It's been a very long two months since you've left this world and among the countless lessons you've taught me since I was five, I've learned that a dog-less existence is an insufferable existence. I'm thankful to you for teaching me the most important lesson, that dogs provide humans with an unconditional love that cannot be matched by any other animal. I'm also thankful that I had the opportunity to grow up with you. You were my new puppy whom I bragged about in kindergarten, my crazy, middle-aged dog who literally did eat my homework in high school, and my (still crazy) geriatric dog whom I brag about in my career. You were the best non-human sister one could ask for...I fondly remember the hot summer days as a child sharing popsicles with you on our back deck. Bear, you were our protector, our indestructible canine who survived many near-death experiences including many run ins with poisonous snakes, groundhogs, buzzards; the ingestion of 3 lbs of chocolate, an entire bottle of Advil, an entire rotisserie chicken (bones and all)-I though you'd be around forever. The good thing is you will be around forever in my memories. It is impossible to forget an unique and wonderful dog like you. Although it was not Christmas for me to not have any presents for you to open on that morning and a walk in the snow was not as fun without having you to catch a snowball with your mouth. You will live forever in my heart. I hope you know that you were loved immensely from very first day you arrived in a pickup truck as a small,shivering puppy to the very last day as a tired and gray-muzzled old lady, leaving this world in my arms. You're the best, I love you, I'll miss you!!!