photo 1The Advocate recently chose several neighborhood furry friends to feature in our annual pets issue in September. Unfortunately, one of those we selected, 11-year-old Rufus, won’t make it.

When we contacted Rufus’s person, Melissa O’Brien, who submitted his photos June 14, she told us Rufus had died about 10 days earlier.

“He’s the heart of our home, the life in our house, and this will likely be his last year with us,” Melissa wrote in her initial email. “He’s been the best dog a family could ask for, and we’re so blessed to have had him in our lives!”

photo 2We can’t post pictures of everyone’s dearly departed dogs, but we decided to share Rufus’ story because the heartbreak of losing a pet is something every animal lover experiences. Rufus lived for about 10 months after being diagnosed with cancer. In healthier days, he loved running at Stevens Park Golf Course, eating pigs in a puff from Lone Star Donuts and getting pretty at the dog groomer’s.

So, RIP, Rufus and a hearty side hug to everyone missing a departed pet today.