I want to thank everyone for their sympathy comments about Sassy.
She was my dog for 16 years and I will miss her for a long time. I have no children of my own but do have wonderful nieces and nephews and their families that I love very much. But Sassy was my baby. She was conceived on my birthday during a birthday party that we still talk about. She and her littermates were born in my sister's bedroom closet with family watching. Four of the litter stayed in the family: my Dad's dog, Sam; Beth's dog Sugar; Nancy's dog Peaches; and my Sassafras. Only Peaches remains now.
Sassy had been losing ground for a few months and had had an episode that may have been a seizure or stroke a few days earlier in the week. Saturday morning she seemed okay, she ate, and took care of business as usual but did not want to leave my side. Then she started yelping and could not walk. We got her to the vet within an hour but she died before the vet could do anything. The vet said it was probably more strokes. Both Joe and I were with her petting her and holding her until we realized she was already gone. I miss her. I still look for her when I get up in the night or when I hear someone else's collar jingle. My baby.
"Just a Dog" is an expression of grief and a rebuttal to all those people who say "well, it was just an animal, not a person." She and all the other loved pets are more than "just" anything.
Thank you all again.