As our dogs grow older, we realize that our current comfort with them is but a passing time. Does that mean that it's less real? Not at all. Only we who have had dogs know the value of that time spent with our friends. As Townsend says in this poem below, we live in a "Fragile Circle". It is very true that we would choose no other way to live.
SEPARATE LIFETIMES We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle; easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we would still live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the neccesary plan.... --- Irving Townsend --- "The Once Again Prince"