I've been away from the computer for the most part these last few weeks. Our dog, a nearly 8 year old Shar Pei, was under the weather since shortly after our trip to Frankenmuth. She has had problems with her hindquarters(hip dysplasia) since we adopted her about 4 years ago. About three weeks ago, I noticed she wasn't eating much. Since she has always been underweight and was looking very thin, my mom started making her liver and rice, which she happily scarfed down. Then, just when I thought she was getting better, her back end started failing her and she was slowly losing the ability to stand, squat and sit without pain. Last Saturday, after laying down next to my husband for a petting session she managed to stand back up but something went seriously wrong and she yelped as she ran around the house trying to escape her pain. We had monitored Dharma and her hip dysplasia since we had adopted her and we knew when it reached a certain level of pain that she would have to be put to sleep. Sadly, that moment came last Saturday night. It's only been a week and yet it feels like a lifetime since Dharma graced our presence. Don't get me wrong, she drove me mad. She belched, tooted (audibly as well as silent but deadly), snorted, snored and drooled on my clean laundry as well as anything else she could get her snout near. And yet I can't get her sweet soulful face out of my mind. Many days she would wake me up for her morning constitutional simply by staring at me, if that didn't work, it often did, she would gently push her prickly muzzle against my hand or leg. She was a slightly neurotic pooch, constantly on patrol, checking on all her people to make sure we were safe but she was a sweetheart who truly loved us, her adoptive family, and she will be missed. May her sweet doggy soul rest in peace.