I only found this thread today, and I hope my comment here is not inappropriate, but I would like to share:
This is my little dog, Max. We got him about a year ago from a local shelter. He'd been kept alone in a car port, after being given up during a messy divorce. When he was rescued he was a mess - severe ear infections, abscessed teeth, fur falling out and on the verge of giving up.
The good people at http://fureverafter.net/
got him back on his feet and I was lucky enough to adopt him in November last year. (You can read his and many other inspirational stories on the site).
He was a terrific dog in every way - calm, playful, affectionate and wonderful company. I work at home most of the time and he would either play or snooze behind my chair the whole time. He even quickly learned that if the phone rings, it's time to sit quietly until I'm done (see picture below, snapped on my iphone just after a call).
He certainly made his way into our hearts with his antics, doggedness (sorry) and all-around lovely temprament.
Unfortunately, just recently he was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive cancer behind his left eye. We were told that treatment was out of the question and despite a no-expense-spared dash to the best experts we could find in Vancouver, all that could be done for him was palliative care.
After being given only a few weeks to live, our little dog lost his fight this morning. It's going to be a lonely Christmas.
So long old pal.