I had the great honor of being Raisin’s person. As a young adult fresh out of college, I picked up the tiniest bundle of wrinkles. We struggled through me being woefully unprepared to take on a new job, place to live, friends and a sweet faced little pup. Which did lead to him being very well socialized between my 3 roommates and family helping me juggle my new responsibilities. I was known exclusively as Raisin’s mom around Boulder, because he was such a popular guy around campus.

Whatever our souls are made of, Raisin’s and mine were the same. I would always joke about Raisin being a great listener. But he truly was. Star Pei’s tend to be rather independent dogs, but my guy knew how much I needed him. And when I really need extra, he was always there snuggled close, giving me kisses.  I never thought I deserved such a sweet hearted soul to be my keeper, but he was undoubtedly happiest when he was with me, no matter what we were doing. We moved to our first home where he traumatized any stranger who dared approach his property line. He had the manliest bark – little did they know what a softy he was. I was lucky enough for 5 years of his life to bring him to work with me every day. I was even lucky enough to take him on several trips to Las Vegas, Vail and St. George. He was my favorite adventure partner – tugging me on our waist leash, giving me the sloppiest kisses you have ever seen, hanging his head out the window in any weather, helping me foster puppies, sharing sashimi and falling asleep to him snoring every night.

Throughout Raisin’s life, he was often sick – genetics were against my best friend. I drug him to every specialty vet, made him try every ridiculous diet and unfortunately gave him many medications over his life. He never showed the frustration that I knew he felt and every vet would always say that he was the nicest star pei they ever met. This year, he finally had a battle that he decided was his last one. I had been wrestling with the decision of when to say goodbye, then he gave me the go-ahead. That phone call was the hardest one I’ve ever had to make – I don’t know how the woman on the phone understood me, but I’m sure she has become very adept at interpreting words through cries. When the time came, he had a full day at home with people who loved him and a long walk where we stopped to feel the breeze, this time the walk was not rushed for life’s distractions. He stopped and laid in the front yard – a place he never spent much time as it doesn’t have a fence and he was my protector. We said goodbye in his yard next to the path that he created from being on watch. He kissed the hands of the vet, he must have known she would bring him comfort. I held him until he left – and for some reason, a calm washed over me. He didn’t hurt anymore. I will miss him always – my best friend waits for me at the rainbow bridge.