Reddit, SirDitamus

Anyone who has ever made the commitment to own a dog has likely experienced the gut wrenching sting of having to witness the final months of their lives. The most we can do for our shaggy (or short-haired) pals is to try to provide the best possible life we can for them, and that means including them in as many of our travel adventures as we can.

I lost my best friend "Chance" in the spring of 2009. A German Shepard, he reached the age of 13 before he passed. Chance spent a good portion of his life roaming California's Sierra Nevada Foothills, and sprinting into the surf of the Central Coast.

My last memory of him was holding his left front paw on the ground in the corner of a veterinary room, as the combination of a sedative and barbiturate eased his rapid breathing and slowly rendered him lifeless. As his eyes closed, and his facial muscles contracted, I just kept repeating to him that he was a good boy. You're a good boy...you're a good boy...you're a good boy.

We never know how long we get with our pets, so that's why this Reddit post by SirDitamus struck a chord with me. Here's an Idaho dog owner who loves his animal. Sometimes we don't truly understand the impact our dogs have on us until we are left without them.

The dog featured in this photo is still alive according to the post, but the years of exploring the lakes, rivers and mountains of Idaho have finally caught up.

Here's to best friends.

Chance on his final day (1996-2009)

Greg Jannetta