I got a message from my mother saying that our family's golden retreiver, Niki, died today.
She was 15 years old- very old for a golden retriever, and my mother said she died very peacefully, so I am thankful for that. It's was hard for me to think of her as old- I still remember picking her up as a six week-old puppy. She was a dog who would always great you at the front door with high-pitched squeals and lots of excited jumping.
I'm not sure exactly what year this picture was taken- it have must be '96 or '97. I love how Niki almost looks as though she was photoshopped in, with us posing and her leaping into the picture. That's just how she was. She was a sweet dog. She was part of our family.