Let me tell you a little about Tori. Probably no surprise me saying this... She was/is the soft-, quiet-, peaceful-, mothering-soul of the group. She was such a good dog - the kind that you're like, there could never be another so well (fill in the blank) like her.

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait 4 months after I had returned from my first deployment. My squadron was on alert to go over, I was going with another squadron at one point, my bags were packed for a while. At some point, I said if I'm not going this time I'm going to get a puppy. So, I went to an outdoor flea market and, as usual, there was this litter. All the males were black. All the females were blond. She was the darkest of them, so that was my pick. From the moment I got her home, she was smart, well-behaved, learned really quick, and rarely barked. She calmly walked. She loved to play fetch. Really enjoyed being outside and that's where she spent most all of the day, and we'd bring her in at night.

Our house in Beaufort, SC (1994-1997) didn't have a fence, so I had this supper long lead/rope that we would let her stay out on. Don't know how it happened, but when I went to bring her in one evening, she was gone. Long, frustrating, sad story short, she came home 2 or 3 days later. Her paws were raw and it looked like she had been running through the woods and swamp. But, a day later it was like nothing had ever happened.

When the kids came around in 1996, she was around them constantly. They were premies and came home on heart monitors. When the monitor would go off, she would run to find Deb. And as you can see in the photos I've sent you, she was forever "caring" for them. A very special dog and family member.

Thankfully, her unhealthy end was not long or laborious, and I think she was very much at peace with the life she led.