A friend on one of the heart valve disease web sites that I frequent just lost his longtime canine companion. I posted a sympathy note for him. I said: "No amount of preparation or understanding on an intellectual level that it was time seems to help with the pain associated with the loss of our little companions. I lost my Bradley while I was in the hospital recovering from OHS in February. I didn't get to say that final goodbye or hold him one last time. After I fought my way back from the depths of my sickness post OHS...that is when the loss of Bradley finally hit me. I've been depressed about it for three months now. Post OHS cardiac depression is bad enough by itself, but so much more devastating combined with the loss of a 13-1/2 year old sweet companion. I see him everywhere we went together, I still talk to him on walks, I look for him on the shore when I swim in the ocean. But he's not there. Sometimes I take comfort in things I read. Usually the comfort is momentary, but some relief if only briefly. I'm trying to decide about adopting another dog now." It's been tough on me and tough on Dan, this depression. Maybe adding another dog to my life will help. Photo: portulaca from our deck garden.