Man--I understand why it's so depressing for people to get old. All your friends start to die. Athena lost her best GSD friend Kiera a few months ago, and over the weekend, she lost her mentor, Carman.
If you're familiar with my book, Carman was the German shepherd/ Rottweiler/ Rhodesian Ridgeback mix who ruled Athena completely and without question until Athena foolishly challenged her over a bowl of food and they fought a scary snarling battle in my kitchen. Carman was a fierce warrior to outsiders but the most gentle soul to those in her inner circle, especially children, puppies, and kitties. She dominated every dog she ever met and indeed, I have yet to meet a more dominant dog than Carman. In her heyday, she controlled other dogs silently with just a quick level glance.
She helped raise Athena just as surely as I did, and for that, I'm grateful. She was always kind to Kashka, my cat, in his frail years. RIP at the bridge, Carman. Show those dogs up there the way to come correct. Take care of Athena when she arrives, and say hi to Kashka and Kiera for us.