Thanks everyone for these kind words, it means alot to me to hear the support and stories.
capozzoli, yeah I see Adam a few times a week and talk to him on the phone about the same. He hasn't brewed beer in probably 3 years since he started having trouble with re-occurring gout in his foot. He still makes occasional wine and mead for mostly the same reason I do; because both our wives drink it and enjoy it.
For dogs, I understand and respect your thoughts. To me dogs are alot like children. There really is never a "good time" to get one. There is always some goal or some challenge in your life that you will be focusing on. But after having multiple dogs and multiple children, I have not regretted any of them. This week has been tough on me, I think I cried more for that lovable damn dog than I did when my grandfather died. I am certainly not looking for a replacement for her either... but in time if I were to see another one in trouble I think I would try to keep an open mind. Anyway, just sharing my thoughts on it - like I said I understand where your coming from.
Thanks again everyone for the posts in this thread; it has been very healing to read them over the past few days.