Today June 9th 2009 I returned from being overseas to find my dog Thunder dying. The exilleration of getting a puppy is nothing in the way of feelings to those in losing that pet almost 12 years later. He seemed to hang on waiting for to arrive home to say goodbye. Thunder was a Tatra and these dogs are incredible. They are gentle giants also known as Polish Mountian Sheepdogs. He was a trusted friend. We ran together, went for walks and after I was injured his loyalty was unwavering. He patroled our yard which has parts of it much like the terrain of his homeland. I did step in and end his suffering. It has been an extremely painful and agonizing and there are no words that make a real difference. I am having him cremated and will use them to grow a tree. Thunder was a dog who communicated with his eyes and his body. Tatras are a breed that herds by using their bodies to push the sheep to the proper place. He often met me by pushing me gently and when I stopped petting him he would tell me it wasn’t enough by using his head and body to ask for more. They are amazing animals. When they guard sheep in the mountains they work as a group and lie down while the sheep are standing. But when a wolf comes to attack the sheep they rise and go to work. I have never had or met a more loving animal than Thunder. The sadness is overwhelming. I shall always remember Thunder who had an impact on everyone he met. Tonight I sit here in mourning, sad, filled with emotional pain and wishing he was still here. Enjoy the precious moments with your animals as time passes all too fast. Tonight I remain overwhelmed with the loss of a friend and family member.