While all of my animals have had their unique personalities and have their own special place, the one that had the most impact on my life was my Redbone cross. I bottlefed that dog as a two-day-old puppy when I was eight years old, and he just died recently at the age of 15. Throughout all the trials of my preteen and teen years, some time homeless when he was my only source of heat and companionship, and a bad marriage he was always there and always desperate for my attention (which is good, I'm an attention hog too). There were many, many times he was content to be my pillow or lay in my arms or draped over my legs all night when I needed another living being near me. He was the first of hundreds of dogs I've trained, won me many ribbons in 4-H for obedience and agility, and was the best dog with my young cousins and later my own baby.