I was lucky to find Duke 11.5 years ago, when he was 18 months old. He was reasonably well-bred and belonged to a woman whose life had become very difficult . She needed to get rid of him and his adopted brother and was in a position where selling was better than returning to a breeder. The classified ad said he was the kindest and calmest Golden ever. That was true. He was the kindest person I ever knew. Laid down to meet smaller dogs and children, went up to sad looking people at the bus stop and put his big square head in their laps until they smiled. He understood other animals so well that even the neighbor dogs who reportedly didn’t like other dogs fell for him. He was the sweetest and best boy and was doing seemingly well (other than his arthritic issues which were being treated with various meds). I had just put him in his halter and in the back of the car so we could go to a nearby business area for a walk. (He loved people, but the center of town from our house was too far away for him to get to any more). Once we arrived he couldn’t get out. He seemingly had a seizure and died in the car with me stroking his head. It was so sudden and sad. I’m a little glad I didn’t have to put him to sleep (that’s never a good day) but I also wish I hadn’t had to see that last tough moment. He was my heart dog and I’ve thought of him every single day with tears. I have a 9 month old pup, which does distract, but I really wanted the Duke to set a record for longevity. He was special.