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The death of my wife left me in a state of depression and loneliness.  Friends and family did their best to include me in activities.  They called or dropped by, but there were still many, many hours spent grieving and alone.  When Cherie was still alive and the cancer progressed to a stage were there was no hope of a recovery, we talked about what I could do to adjust to a life without her.  We both agreed that a dog might help fill that void.  A couple of months after her death, I finally came to the point of making inquiries into adopting a dog.  The dog lovers in my subdivision were very helpful and provided me with a number of leads. 
After exploring some of the possibilities and filling out adoption questionnaires with several agencies, I had my first meet and greet with a dog that was part of a shipment of stray dogs captured in Turkey. Most of these dogs were Golden Retrievers but the one I focused on was a black male Lab/Shepherd mix. His foster mom brought him over to the house and it was love at first sight. I took to the dog and he took to me and I immediately opted for adoption and cancelled all other leads.
This is such a sweet dog, eager to please and smart as can be. At two and a half years of age, he's still very frisky and we spend a lot of time on walks or playing ball or with a frisbee.
I credit divine intervention for bringing this dog into my life. He takes up much of my time and helped me to snap out of the gloom I was in. He can't replace my wife but he's doing his best to bring some joy back into my life.