Sorry for the bad quality of the pictures. These are the only photos I have of Afton.
This is how I will always remember her: standing in the door of her home, waiting for me to come up the stairs, cookie-ball in her mouth and her tail wagging like crazy.
Afton, my friend K's golden retriever. She was one of the sweetest and gentlest dogs I have ever known. She was also an incredible goofball. In just a matter of seconds she stole my heart and kept it forever. She did this big dance of joy whenever I came to her house, knowing that I was so easy to persuade to give her one of those dog cookies she loved so very much. She would sit right next to the jar, look at me as if she was starving and then take the cookie from my hand in the gentlest way possible. She had quickly figured out the pattern - there was a cookie when I had just come, one kind of in the middle of my stay and one right before I left (I think K had planned that in her daily diet on the days she expected me). She would lie next to me, sleeping and sometimes sighing in her dreams. She loved to be petted - of course. Sometimes she would lay her big head on my leg and "talk" to me with those grunts deep down in her throat.
Like every dog Afton loved to soak up the sun. And of course, one of her favorite things was to fill that orange ball with dog treats. She would bounce it through the house until that ball was empty and the contents had ended up in her belly. It was hilarious to watch her doing that.
She was not only a pet, but also a breeding dog for Canine Companions for Independence. She had several litters of sweet puppies until she could finally "retire". Then the funny girl she really was came out.
She had a happy life in a warm, loving family. Last Friday she died of cancer. Although she wasn't my dog, I feel very sad. I loved Afton and I will miss her.