I am writing to let you know that Axel has passed away. We adopted Axel from NorCal 6 or 7 years ago after he had been in foster homes for 2+ years and you were getting desperate to find a home for him – mostly because he did not get along well with other dogs. At first, Axel could become a neurotic mess, mostly when outside and overstimulated. He could wear a trough in the ground from repeatedly running back and forth over one track. It did not take too long however for him to discover that he was no longer confined to a fenced yard and he began to open his mind to the stimuli in his surroundings. I remember how delighted he would be after a snow when the sun would come out. He would race around under the willows chasing drips and bits of falling snow. Yes, he remained a neurotic goof for several years, at least in my mind an idiot savant. At some point in Axel’s life someone got him into the habit of going outside after they put their socks on. Axel has been gone now for a couple of weeks but I still walk around in the morning carrying my socks, delaying putting them on till I am ready to address the energy requirements of an excited boy. Though Axel became a part of the family immediately, his acceptance of our affection continued to progress at a slow pace. Only in the last couple of years did he stop leaning away from hugs, finally getting over the discomfort of accepting overt attention. From all outward appearances, up until his last week, he acted and appeared to be perhaps 5 or 6 years old. He had no grey hairs, no tired eyes, no lessening of his steady 16mph easy gait. Every morning I would get my health check, an in-depth analyzing of my breath, and have confidence I was good for a little bit longer. In the end, his heart grew in size and became very irregular. My family and I would like to thank NorCal for the guaranteed laughter he gave us every single day. Every minute spent in his life has added days to ours. We will most certainly adopt again, though how soon we are not yet sure.