Wow. A pet's lasting loyalty.
I had a lab-chow mix as a little kid. She lived 12 years and died when I was a teen. We had to have her put down. It drained the life out of me for a week. The way she would try to steal my shoe as a puppy, to how she got too big to wrestle, to the years she'd run amok in the neighborhood disappearing for days at a time. She'd barrel through snow to chase coyotes, cats (she would protect our cats, though if only because they'd run when she'd chase them), wild critters, and bears. The neighborhood knew and loved her. Or how she'd protect her humans from other dogs that would snap at us. She slowed down in her old age and bathed in the river on hot days. Sticking around more often at that point, many of her traits were learned by her successor, a ~69-75% wolf husky who took her place and filled the role quite well. Since then my family has had a few dogs but I'll never forget the old black dog I grew up with nor the wolf.
Love me, I win.
Hate me, I win.
Ignore me, I've got exactly what I wanted.
Love me or hate me, you're still thinking of me either way.