Our family dog, Mankato, passed away over the weekend. It was simply his time, living to the grand old dog age of 15. He was the best of dogs — tolerant and gentle, friendly and kind. When I close my eyes, I can still see him sitting behind the counter of the bookstore I owned for a couple of years, rising to greet each customer. And I can still feel, as the two of us drove somewhere, his wet nose pressing against my fingers as my hand rested on the gear shift — because, of course, he always assumed I meant to pet him on the head as he sat next to me and I simply didn’t aim well. You’ll be missed, old friend.