This is Simba. She died on January 6, 2009, age 13. Simba is a true hero, and she is so much more than a dog to me. She is my sister and my best friend, and she's been with me through all the ups and downs of growing up. We had a deeper connection than anyone could understand; she waited for me to get home from university so that we could have a last Christmas together, and she waited until the night I left for the airport to go back to school. But best of all, she left us someone behind: she never had any puppies, but last fall she found a starving kitty fighting for survival, and walked it to our house. She came out of the bushes with a kitten walking between her legs... Her nurturing mother instincts took over. She saved that kitten's life, and I consider her a hero for that. Flora, the kitten, is brightening up the days at home for those who are there, along with the other cats and dog Kiara that we have. But there will never be anyone like Simba: she was a hero in my every day just for being there for me all the time, for being the one that understood everything. I will never forget the gift of the last Christmas she gave me, how she showed us she wanted to live, but how she also showed them after I left for school that she knew it was time. I have never had that kind of a connection with any human or animal; I always missed her so much when I was gone, and now I take her memory with me everywhere I go. My hero, sister and best friend.