This photo of Tex was taken just after I called the vet and decided to take him in, something I had been postponing because I knew he’d probably not come home. Brother Alfie came to spend a few last minutes with him. Tex was 14, often stubborn, demanding and hard to discipline. But he had tons of personality and charm, was one of the friendliest dogs one could hope to meet, and gentle with all smaller animals. Tex was 14 and I thought this might be his last year. Things changed in a day. On his last active day, we went to the beach, he chased the ball, swam and went to the dog park. When we came home he laid down on the lawn and didn’t want to get up after that. I used a towel to hoist him up the steps. He declined rapidly, lost his appetite and could barely walk. Three days later it was time to go. The doctor noticed his belly was swollen with fluid, drew some blood and said it was likely spleen cancer, also Tex’s heart was weak. Although I was hoping for one last beautiful summer together, I was thankful he didn’t suffer through any long, painful illness.