Pet Tales: Lessons were learned during an 18-year friendship

Steve Monroe said his 18-year relationship with his dog, Otis, taught him more life lessons than he ever taught the sheltie-corgi mix.
by Heather Warlick Published: October 8, 2012

This became Otis's favorite game to play with visitors. He was a very friendly dog.

“People who could not remember my name knew Otis. And kids would ask, ‘Can Otis come out to play?'” Monroe wrote.

As the years passed, Otis couldn't chase the ball like he once did. His master got to where he needed a motorized wheelchair, and the two started going on long walks together. As Otis aged, those walks became shorter and shorter until one day they stopped.

Otis's last few months were spent sleeping for hours. It was harder and harder for him to walk.

On June 7, 2012, Monroe made the toughest decision of his life. He wrote:

“I took Otis to our family vet for the last time. I read somewhere that the reason we humans love dogs so much is because ‘They are what we wish we were.' Thank you, Otis. You taught me more than I ever taught you.”

To submit a pet story and photo, email your story and photo to or mail it to Heather Warlick, The Oklahoman, P.O. Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Photos cannot be returned.

by Heather Warlick
Life & Style Editor
Since graduating from University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, Staff Writer Heather Warlick has written stories for The Oklahoman's Life section. Her beats have included science, health, home and garden, family,...
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