No. That was not some witty attention getter. It is the hot, sweaty, muggy truth. My Dalmation, Polka, died today. She needed to. She was about 12 to 12 1/2 years old. In dog years that's roughly ancient. She looked bad this morning when I got off work. I went out to pet and feed her and she could barely get up. I went to sleep this morning worrying that this week, or maybe even today or tomorrow, I would have to take her to the vet for that visit. But when I woke up this evening my wife and daughter were saying "I think she's dead." She was still warm but only breathing agonally. I hope she knew we were with her. Then she was gone. We are going to plant a tree to mark her grave in the back yard but I haven't decided what kind. My wife suggested Dogwood as the most poetically appropriate. The ability to make that kind of joke when I can't is a good reason to marry someone even if I hadn't thought she was wonderful otherwise. I'm going back to digging now.