Well, just a few hours ago the owners of UGA VI announced that the beloved mascot for the Georgia Bulldogs passed away from heart failure. UGA VI was the mascot since 1999 and almost made it to his 10th birthday. The wrinkled cutie was the symbol of the Dawgs and will undoubtedly be replaced by UGA VII this season.
No matter how closely UGA VII resembles UGA VI, UGA VI cannot really be replaced. It's amazing how quickly a dog becomes an important part of your life, a key member of the family, and has such a sweet personality (sorry, Caesar Milan, but dogs do have personalities). The worst thing about dogs is that they have such a short lifespan and as an owner (or as a parent, as I like to refer to myself), you fall in love with the pooch knowing that you will most likely outlive your best pal.
Recently, Dennis' mom had to put their German Shepherd, Samantha, to sleep. As you can imagine, it was an extremely hard decision and no one wanted to say goodbye to her. She was an incredibly sweet, patient, and loving member of the Martin household. I'll never forget the ominous bark that came from the house as we approached and how quickly it dissipated into a cry when you called her name and she recognized your voice. Even Stephen, who never liked animals, became very fond of her.
I guess what we take away from this is that we need to hug our dogs and make sure to appreciate them and the joy that they bring into our lives. Give your dog a kiss (yes, Echo kisses me on the lips) and tell her you love her and appreciate how she jumps up when you come home, wakes you up with kisses every morning when the alarm goes off, chases rabbits in the yard, brings her tennis ball to you when you are tired after a long day, and even when she chews on your favorite shoes.