I have tears in my eyes writing this. We rescued Tonto through RAG 12 years ago. He was a sickly little puppy that RAG called Alf back then. But when our very picky senior dog, Jessie, let him join us, we named him Tonto, like the Lone Ranger's sidekick. Only later did we find out that Tonto means "dumb" in Spanish, but our Tonto was anything but dumb.
He suffered through hip surgery, heart surgery, stem cell treatments for his back, stomach surgery and many allergies. But through it all, he was the happiest boy every. He brought smiles to everyone he had contact with. When Jessie died, we got Tonto a puppy - another rescue named Teddy. They thought they were litter mates - slept together, shared all they toys, and no alpha dog.
Tonto just loved everyone - Teddy would bark at people at the door and Tonto would just go out, roll onto his back, and asked for belly rubs. Animal Medical Surgery Center is our vet and he even loved them - and they loved him. No matter how weak he might be on any given day, when he saw we were going to the vet, he perked up and was ready to see friends.
Tonto loved, loved, loved his pool. On his last day, Tonto spent an hour in the pool in the morning and another in the afternoon. As long as he could get out by himself, he could go anytime.
We are forever thankful to RAG for bringing us Tonto. Our house is empty (even with 80lb Teddy) sulking around - he misses his buddy. Tonto made us laugh, and he made us smile, and he loved us and our children and grandchildren unconditionally. He was the perfect golden retriever - even when he got old and weakened.
We so loved that little boy and we miss him dreadfully, but we know he is not in pain anymore and that is a comfort.