It took me eight years to convince Barb we should get a dog. Her preference was cats, but they were out of the question because our daughter, Andrea, is allergic to cat hair. So, we began to look for a breed of dog that was non-shedding. One of my sixth- grade students heard I was looking for a dog and let me know that her Bichon, was about to have puppies and offered us the pick of the litter. Barb and I went to have a look and narrowed our choice down to two, which was nearly impossible as they were all so cute. We both had our favorite, but she agreed to go with my choice if she could name him. How Barb came up with Eddie I don’t know, but it suited him perfectly. We called him Ed, Edwardo, and sometimes, when he would do something off the wall, Edweirdo. It didn’t matter what we called him he would always come, when he was ready to, that is.Andrea and our son, Davis instantly fell in love with him. We didn’t think he was going to survive a week from all of their attention. They would fight nightly over which one got to take him to bed. We finally settled on an every other night arrangement, but it was amazing how they each claimed the other had him the night before.Ed would often escape their rooms in the middle of the night and come to our bedroom. I’m sure he nearly suffocated under Andrea’s multiple blankets, or was tossed about continually from Davis’ nocturnal gymnastics. He would paw at the bed until he awakened one of us. We would then spend the remainder of the night clinging to opposite edges of the bed as he lounged in the center. How a fifteen-pound dog could take up that much room is still beyond us.We each had a special relationship with Eddie. Andrea treated him like her little baby, constantly cooing to him as she cuddled him in her special blanket, or dressing him up in different outfits. Davis loved to run around with Ed, throw toys for him to fetch, and teach him tricks. Together, Davis and Andrea taught Eddie to sit, lie down, shake hands, and roll over. They were able to get him to chase after a toy, but he enjoyed playing with it more than bringing it back, especially if it were a “squeaky” toy. Barb was the treat lady. Eddie would take up his place on the window seat when he thought it was time for her to be home from work and watch for her to drive up the hill to our house. He would race to meet her at the garage door, jumping up on her and greeting her with his “helicopter” tail as she made her way to the pantry. She would offer him a variety of treats, which he would take individually and scurry off to another room to eat. Barb and Ed also enjoyed sitting together on the living room floor while she brushed him. Ed had a favorite pal Miles (my daughter Jaime’s dog) who is about 10 times as large as Eddie was. Miles was so good with Ed letting him think he was the big dog. They would just play, chasing circles around one another as Ed barked his little head off in excitement.Jaime and my son Jeff would debate which of them Eddie loved more because as soon as they would pick him up, he’d start swirling that tail of his and making the most adorable little groaning sounds as though it had been years since he’d last seen them instead of just earlier in the day.Ed and I had a daily ritual, which came to be one of my favorite things to do with him. My recliner fit both he and I perfectly between my leg and the arm of the chair when he was a pup. We were content to sit for together for long stretches as I read, watched t.v., or napped. Ed was a champion napper and when he wanted to get up in the chair with me, he would put a paw on my foot or scratch the chair gently, and then wait to be invited. Even as both of us grew he somehow managed to squeeze in beside me.When Ed was a little over a year, I had some very serious heart issues. After surgery and coming home to convalesce, we spent many hours sitting in our chair. Having him there next to me had a calming and healing effect on me and I am convinced he played a major role in my recovery. It was then that I recognized that Eddie had a special gift. His calm and gentle manner made him an excellent candidate for therapy. I’d heard about CSU’s HABIC (Human/Animal Bond in Colorado) program while I was teaching and set up an interview for Eddie and I. We completed a six-week training. Ed was an exceptional student and passed with flying colors, calm, non-aggressive and obedient, he was cleared to work with children and the elderly and we soon had our first assignment. Eddie worked at Center Avenue Rehab both helping with restorative therapy for stroke victims and those needing motor activity, and in his role as visitor of all patients in the facility. Eddie did what he did best, he would hop right up next to each patient and lay quietly while they shared stories of their past, petting him and loving him as much as he did in return. Eddie also graced the halls of the elementary school I taught at part-time and my students came to love him as their own as he sat on their laps while they studied or completed their assignments. His clear affinity for children, led us to a weekly meeting with a behaviorally challenged little girl at another local elementary school and I was continually amazed how his time with her calmed her, taught her to speak and communicate appropriately with first Eddie and then others around her. She loved our weekly visits and it was so rewarding to see the benefit of Ed’s work. No matter where Ed and I were scheduled to visit, the residents, patients, or students swarmed him, asked when we’d be back and clearly enjoyed their time with him as much as I did.Eddie’s early departure from our lives has left a huge void. We look for him to pop his head up in the window as we pull into the driveway and going to bed at night leaves us all longing for our furry little pal to snuggle with. I can’t sit in “our” chair without thinking of him, however; the wonderful memories he’s left with us, the funny silly stories we all have of him resonate deeply with us all and in those quiet moments, I know he is still sitting right beside me.