Meg and I had to put down Dakota, our fourteen year old golden retriever last Tuesday. The decision was exceptionally difficult, but necessary. His leaving was sweet, as Meg and I lay close to his head while the vet administer a strong anesthetic while Dakota rested outside on our driveway. What so deeply affected me during his last days was the incredible love he has given us. We were the center of his life; he craved our attention and returned it with total devotion. I wish I could love my neighbor as Dakota loved me; I wish I could make God the same center of my life. Yet despite my failings, I know that God, through giving me/us his son, Jesus Christ, loves us each so very deeply, so very tenderly.