When we were in college, my wife found two super cute puppies under her grandmother's care one morning. They were very small (less than 7 weeks old) - and looked like they had been lost in the woods (or put out in the woods to die) for a couple or days at least. Together with her cousin (and the help of the local vet) she nursed them back to health and namedone Porter and one Edsel. Adam took Edsel and she kept Porter who traveled back up to Virginia with her and lived with us for a short time.
It was quickly obvious though that something was wrong, and after a number of doctor visits we learned that he was suffering from severe hip dysplacia as well as a fused spine. Still, this dog was about as loveable and cuddly as a 100 pound dog could be. While neither my wife (my girlfriend at the time) nor I could afford the medical bills and treatments for the dog, her parents did and for the last 11 years have paid well over $300 a month to keep Porter mobile and out of pain. As a result of the treatment and medicine, a dog that most people would have put to sleep years ago was able to be a faithful companion, a friend on walks, as well as a ferocious guard dog (his bark was way bigger than his actual bite but strangers didn't know that) and a warm guy to snuggle up to.
This morning, just as I was getting ready to hop on the bike and leave we got a phone call from my father in law that something was wrong with the dog and he couldn't get him out of the house. I quickly changed - threw on a suit - and drove over. Porter was collapsed on the ground, breathing heavily and drooling. His tail wasn't wagging but his eyes looked scared. I leaned over, gave him a kiss, and carried him out and into their car.
When we got to the Veterinarian's office he was in the same condition and we quickly carried him in and placed him right on an examining table. He died shortly after.
Considering his start, he has led a surprisingly active (if somewhate expensive life) and will always be, to us, simply "baby puppy."
We will all miss him.