I wrote this a few years ago, and I would like to share it with you. Perhaps it will answer your question, and maybe you will just think it's sappy.
Sabi has now passed as well, and her ashes rest next to Freeways.
Many years ago I was blessed with Freeway. She was a truly amazing animal with a seemingly endless capacity for forgiveness. I was honored enough to be her keeper for the few short years of her stay on this earth. With the deck stacked against her from day one she wandered through life healing hearts and making lifelong friends. She never met a stranger and no person or animal was ever denied her friendship. Those beautiful eyes melted the coldest heart and soothed the most wounded souls. I lost her to heart failure on September 29, 1999, her ashes still rest near my bed and even as I am typing this tears of pain and loss flow freely. She was not my dog, she belonged to those in need, it was simply my destiny to assist her with her journey. Forever touched by her generous spirit. Forever missing her.
Losing Freeway crippled me. I refused to let another dog near me, I turned away from my family and friends and retreated to a very dark and lonely place. It seemed so unfair that the dog that healed everyone she met, left me to face life alone. And then, on February 28, 2002, one tiny pup that noone wanted, a baby with a soul older then time, a little girl with a huge agenda, dropped in and dragged me from my prison. Saboteur had very different ideas from mine. I wanted nothing to do with her, she wanted nothing to do with anyone but me. With the spirit of a warrior Sabi layed claim to my soul and took me along on her journey. Her courage, determination and loyalty are a credit to the breed even if her health is not. 'There is no quit in that dog' is a phrase we have heard repeatedly. Diagnosed with severe HD at 3 years old, the vet was not optimistic about things. We forgot to tell Sabs she was crippled, and she never found out. She worked until age 9 with no problems. DM is a much more grim prognosis. Our only hope is slow progression, but my fearless lady charges on. Heedless of dire predictions she plunges into the next chapter of our story and demands I come along. I am her world, no other holds her interest, she lives to be with me. We have had some grand adventures her and I. With luck we will have many more.
My heart dog, Freeway. But Sabi, she owns my soul.