He came into our lives on the morning of April 14, 2007 at the Tuscaloosa, Alabama animal shelter. My wife, Anne, and I found him separately on the ABTCR website and knew this was meant to be. He was so skinny we swore he was part greyhound, nothing a double cheeseburger couldn't fix though. His rescue name was "Happy Gilmore" and he was . . . even in the shape he was in. He became our Albert and all was right with the world.

Less than three weeks later our son Matthew was killed in Iraq. Albert knew something was wrong and never left Anne's side. He was there to lick the tears and lay down beside her. To his dying day Albert was always at her side. We are convinced he was a gift sent to us from above.

On April 1, 2014, after seven loving years, Albert died at home on his favorite pillow as we held him tight. His work was done. We are sure when he crossed over that rainbow bridge he announced his arrival with a slobbering kiss and that mournful bay that we all grew to love.

We’re gonna miss those long, slow walks. We'll miss that 90 pound wake-up call that would invade our bed. We'll remember the way he would trot across the yard to protect us from whatever evil was on the other side of our fence. Yes, we'll even miss the counter surfing that robbed us of quite a few entrees. Most of all we will miss the unconditional love and joy that he brought to our home.

He belongs to the heavens now and we will see him once again, we know it.
Farewell buddy . . . Goodbye old man . . . Albert, we love you.

Anne, Emma, and Vernon Adkins

8 October 2014