We have experienced a loss in our family.
Last Christmas, Rocco the Wonder Dog received a squeaky squirrel toy as a gift from his Aunt. It was a wonderful present. The squirrel, who we named "Squirrely" (we're really clever and original when it comes to naming things), even had the same coloring as Rocco. It was love at first sight, and Rocco and Squirrely became inseparable pals. They spent hours together, and Rocco was very possessive of his little friend, as any human who tried to wipe the spit off Squirrely soon learned.
Alas, Rocco may have loved too fast and too hard. The other day, after a serious shaking from Rocco (a favorite pastime for them, it seemed), Squirrely ripped open. We might have been able to save him, but Rocco had eaten most of his chum's cotton stuffing.
It was a beautiful relationship, while it lasted, but Rocco still has his filthy tug-of-war sock and rubber hot dog (which used to squeak until Rocco swallowed the squeak thing) to console him, so he trudges on. Still, there will never be another Squirrely for him.
Unless I can get to PetCo today.