Just about everyone goes through the loss of a pet. It is a very emotionally painful experience regardless of age. Today marks the 54th anniversary of the death of my first pet, a dog named Cheetah. As far as I know she was named for the chimp that appeared in the Tarzan movies. "Just a boy and his dog", wrote Red Foley in the Country Classic, "Old Shep". Unlike the boy in the song, I didn't have to put my own dog down. She wasn't that old, maybe 13, but she ate table scraps and that will shorten a dog's life, though it may make it a happier one.