Shep the Maremma sheepdog lived 12 full years.
We were together for 10 years and change, meeting each other for the first time on May 23, 2004. He was two, a gangly teenager and, on our first night together, he puked while I slept.
It was nerves.
As we both grew up, we grew together.
I traded in my sports car and bought an SUV that let us go to places I never dreamed of seeing.
We hiked the Rockies, camped in Idaho, dipped our toes in glacier lakes and ate the dust of many a back road in search of nature’s beauty, ghost towns and abandoned barns.
And we developed a love for each other I have never known with a human.