When I began writing the Elizabeth Goodweather books., I gave Elizabeth three dogs and based them on three of our six (at the time) canines. (Not wanting her to seem too weird, I gave her only three.)
Elizabeth's Molly, Ursa, and James were based on our Maggie, Bear, and William. Maggie and Bear have been gone for several years and now William has joined them.
We don't know how old he was -- at least 16, possibly 18 . . . or older. I found him while I was weed-eating (string trimming) down near our mail box. He had evidently recently been dumped out near there and he began following me, frisking and flirting in an irresistible manner. (I think this was '97 or '98 but can't be sure.) He seemed to be a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix -- two very long lived breeds.
William adored people, especially the ladies, loved sitting in laps and had a bad habit of trying to put his tongue in your mouth if you weren't watchful. (The Bob Packwood of dogs, we called him.)
He was a popular favorite with visitors and a fine addition to our pack. In recent years he had become quite deaf and partially blind (and just possibly a little senile) but he was always a cheerful and good little dog.
Good bye, sweet William - the end of an era . . .