Stephanos_sarcophagus

A reader writes:

Pet pampering isn't anything new! Take a look at this photo that I took a few weeks ago. It's a sarcophagus from the ancient city of Termessos, in what is now Turkey. It was commissioned in the 3rd century AD by a rich and lonely woman called Rhodope for her beloved pet dog Stephanos. She had the following poem inscribed on the tomb:

(It was) Rhodope's happiness...
Those who play with it called lovely Stephanos
(This grave) keeps inside the one that death took suddenly
This is the grave of the dog Stephanos that went away and vanished
Rhodope cried for it and buried it like a human
I, (the) dog Stephanos, Rhodope caused my grave to be made.

Another writes:

I'm not really sure why I'm sending you this, other than the fact that you're a dog lover with a blog.  Our beautiful, gracious black lab, Emma, passed away this week, and Beloved-Emma-011 we're beyond heartbroken. 

She had been diagnosed with diabetes in May 2009, and she turned 14 on Nov. 11th of this year, so she was effectively a 98 year old diabetic.  Her passing can't be described as a shock, but it is crushing, nonetheless.

She had a long list of people that loved her, and that she loved in return.  We have had literally dozens of friends share their "Emma stories" with us over the past few days, and being able to recall the great memories of her long, wonderful life has provided tremendous solice.  What I found most helpful was putting those memories to paper (or computer screen), which resulted in my wife and I creating a long blog post.  A virtual wake, if you will. 

She was a wonderful companion that deserves to be remembered.  There is a massive hole in our house and our hearts.  We will miss her terribly.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.