During the past year, we have lost several of our little animal family members. This week, my sweet little cockatiel passed on. I can't tell you how sad her passing was for Ken and I. Sassy was such a comical bird, who brought such a happy smile to every one's face. We got her several years ago, Mom's neighbor had found her in his driveway, just a baby then. I told him if he didn't find the owner, I would gladly take her, and that's how she came to live with us. The extent of Sassy's vocabulary was "Pretty Bird", and she could also crow, and whistle. Such a character, she loved to tease our border collie Bobby, who adored and protected and played with her. Sassy had not been feeling well, and would lay in the corner of the cage, as close to Bobby as she could get, his watchful eye not leaving her. I awoke Sunday morning to an empty cage. I asked Ken about her, and he told me she was upstairs in his office, he was holding her, said he didn't want her to die alone. Him and Bobby kept their vigil over her until she passed. Why do we do it? Why do we keep rescuing our little friends, knowing that one day we will lose them and experience the pain we dread? For love. To give our pets the love for the rest of their lives that they lacked in the beginning. To let them experience life in a home where they are protected, and so loved. To make sure that they are comfortable, healthy, and have a real family. From beginning, to end. I'm fortunate enough to have a husband that shares this love and compassion, not many spouses would put up with the endless menagerie of pets that have passed in and out of our doors. For that I am so grateful. Even for a little bird, dying alone was not an option for her. I so miss her cheerful voice, and Bobby is lost. But I can't say we regret having her in our hearts. Forever.