Mel, a very tall and very beautiful yellow Lab, joined us in August 2022 after his owner moved into assisted living. Mel was 13 and had severe arthritis, having been very active in his earlier years growing up a dog of the forest in rural Teller County.
Whatever pain he had (despite the meds he was receiving), he was the sunshine boy, always happy, always cheerful, always up for a snuggle. He took over a bed with a view of the front door, which allowed him to see arriving visitors before the other dogs saw them. And when they entered, he would wail a little wail, signaling to them that he should be the first dog to receive their attention. They gave it, succumbing to the Magic of Mel in seconds.
We knew when we took him in that we would probably have him for only a few months because of his awful hips. As it turned out we had him for only 66 days. Those hips gave out. And there might have been a brain tumor. The caregiver borrowed a wagon, loaded him gently into it and pulled him on the trail he could no longer walk on his own, he smiling the whole way. And then we said good-bye, he lying comfortably in the place that had become his home, surrounded by people who rubbed his belly and head.