Six years ago we drove out to Animatch to "see" about a dog. Within a few moments of meeting him he'd stolen our hearts. Shep was a little shy, scared and sad when we first brought him home. The stairs up to our plateau walk-up where a challenge, but with time, patience and lots of treats he conquered his fears and became a happy, friendly pup. Well, almost all of his fears...sneezes still had him running for cover under whatever shelter he could find. We never quite figured that out. He loved spending time walking and meeting new dog friends on the mountain and summer's spent at our cottage in the townships. Not one for playing much, he preferred a life of leisure, lounging in the shade watching others run about. His favourite activity was lounging on the couch, a rule he broke within his first 48 hours and for the rest of his years. A little over a year ago his legs began to fail and the stairs became an insurmountable obstacle for him. While we tried lifting him up and down the stairs --earning him the nickname "Shlep"--it became clear we'd have to move. For the last year of his life he enjoyed his new home in Hampstead, with lots of dog parks for him to meander in and a bigger couch to snuggle up on. Like the grey-haired bubbies on our street, he too began to show his age. Walks became strolls, and naptime replaced playtime. He spent his last day with a stop at his favourite pet store for some pats and treats, a sunny stroll on the mountain and a last meal of a Wendy's baconator. In the end he died as he lived: quietly, peacefully and surrounded by people he loved. We want to thank all the folks at Animatch for bringing him into our lives. While he can never be replaced, we know that when we're ready to find another fur baby, there is no better place. Thank you for 6 incredible years with our very best boy, we have made a donation in his name and hope it helps provide more great dogs like Shep find their furever homes.