As I've said in my intro, my sweet Gertie passed away about 2 months ago. She had never been a healthy dog to begin with, but she made it to 11 1/2 years and I decided to put her down when she was diagnosed with oral melanoma. Doc said in otherwise healthy dogs, only about 25% of them make the first year after that diagnosis. Gertie had been through enough in her life and it seemed only fair to let her go, despite my desire to keep her around 'til the bitter end. But, as we all know, when we take these little ones into our lives, death is simply part of it. Here's a picture of sweet, sweet Gertie in better days.