I always think of her on New Year’s Eve even though it’s been 16 years since she died from hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive cancer of the blood vessels. I remember well the day we adopted her, too, and my first impression that she looked like a lioness lying regally in the shelter cage, her paws crossed, with an attitude of “There must be some mistake. I don’t know what I am doing in this place.” As we signed the adoption papers the clerk warned, “She’s been brought back twice. This is her last chance.” In spite of many behavior challenges, we gave her a forever home for the next seven years. When she was diagnosed with cancer, I learned how much I had come to love her for her courage, loyalty, and count-me-in attitude. As a final gift, she inspired me to begin a collection of tributes to beloved dogs, later published as Angel Pawprints: Reflections on loving and losing a canine companion. Although their years with us are never long enough, and it is unbearably sad when they leave us, I have come to think of each of my dogs as a precious gift that has enriched my life and opened my heart in unexpected ways. I am blessed and thankful to have walked beside them.