Adopted April 6, 2003

"On July 20, my husband and I said goodbye to our beloved Nick, who was 17 years old and had been with us since he was 1 1/2 years old. We adopted him through BRBCR and welcomed him to our home on April 6, 2003. He has been a good friend and companion, and had more people friends than many people do, not to mention his canine friends. His role in life was to make us smile and he found ways to do that every day -- whether it was collecting shoes and arranging them as a greeting when we got home or figuring out ways to outsmart other dogs in games such as chase. He was elegant and affectionate, loyal and loving.

People were amazed when we told them how old Nick was -- up to the end he was a beautiful dog and happy to see folks and doggy friends. But for the last couple months, feeding had become problematic and his mobility was declining. The day came when we realized it was time. He was gracious, letting us know that he was ready and making it as easy on us as it could possibly be. Many friends stopped by in the two days between the decision and his death. In the morning of the last day, my yoga instructor, who is exquisitely sensitive, sang lullabies to him while stroking his head. She stood up and said, "He is giving me a clear message: 'I'm okay. Can you take care of my humans?'"

We had the vet who had cared for him since we got him come to the house to put him to sleep and it was very peaceful. I am a hospice volunteer and think that my hospice training helped me with the process -- focusing on all the happy memories and being grateful for the time we had with him. We appreciated that he made it easy for us to make a difficult decision.

We thought you might like to hear about Nick and see these photos. The close-up and the photo with the Australian shepherd puppy were from his last day, family photo from the day before, garden photo from the previous week.

We are sending a contribution in Nick's memory to BRBCR. Keep up the good work!"

--Judy and Ed Mroczka

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