Not many people understand the attachment you can bond with your dog over time. I have a 15 year old Golden since he was three. He was trained as a seeing eye dog but flunked out due to not being able to handle an elevator. None in our town at that time where the young man who raised him for a 4 H projuct could practice. Knave, my dog, loved to hike,hunt and backpack with me. We did thousands of miles together. He carried his own pack. His is not 15 1/2 with a large tumor in his leg muscle. Nothing can be done for it. e can hardly squat to go. I'm 60 and I feel like a little kid over having to put him down. Not easy. Just had to share.