Good Dog

Bill Stevens: NEW PORT RICHEY — Tom Dobies dreaded this day.

He had comforted thousands of grieving families in 34 years as a mortician, but nothing could ease the burning in his throat Monday as the doctor arrived at his house.

Dobies had done everything to keep Lucy alive after the brain tumor. He had spent thousands of dollars on sophisticated medical procedures. For a man so familiar with the death business, he pledged to cheat it, to keep Lucy by his side as long as possible, as long as she wasn’t suffering.

Friends wondered why he would spend so much money trying to hold onto a 14-year-old dog, a mixed-breed Labrador. His answer: “I love her.” But it went even deeper.

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