I seem to be drawn to stories about dogs. You know going in if you're reading a story about a dog, chances are pretty good that there is going to be a sad ending. Some of these books become terribly maudlin and you wonder why you wasted your time ("Rescuing Sprite" by Mark Levin is a good case in point), but then you come across a brilliant gem like this story of Dean Koontz dog, Trixie, and you understand why you keep reading them.
In his book, "Darkest Evening of the Year" (which I haven't read, but which is quoted in this book), Koontz sums up the the of the book beautifully. "Dogs' lives are too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and for the mistakes we make because of those illusions."
The fact that I sat up until 2 a.m. finishing this book tells you how much I loved it.