My first shepherd was also a small black and silver female named Omy- the best dog that ever lived. She saw us through so many good and bad times, soaked up my tears, ate every animal that weighed under 30 lbs and was known and loved by everyone living around our lake. When she died at 12, we received sympathy cards from people I didn't even know- but she did. I'm sure your girl was just as special to you. Very wise of you to do research here and hopefully you'll find a new best girl soon.