Vern I think just about every book I have ever read about a true life relationship between a dog and its human ends with sadness. But that is just how life works. Dogs don't live as long as humans. But this book is so joyous from the beginning until the last chapter, it is well worth a few tears in the end.
Sam Jones At the end they find a secret waterfall of eternal youth and Merle ends up going on to live forever. In fact, he is still alive right now running through the mountains of Colorado.