When I was young, my family had a dog.  A normal one, no uplifting.  He was a part of the family, and I grew up with him.  I was twenty when he died.  I remember the vet having to tell us he was gone because we couldn’t tell.  He had always lain that still in the months before he went.  I still think he only lived as long as he did because he wanted to be with us a little longer.  I never could have a natural dog after that.  Losing him hurt too much.