George Bird Evans, a famous author of bird hunting tales said, "Losing them is the price we pay for having them." When I lost my first English setter, pictured in my avatar, I cried every day for 6 months. Someone said, "it's just a dog." We almost came to blows.
Sad to note that you lost a wonderful, loving, and loyal companion. We all can only hope to have human friends that exhibit the virtues of our dogs. May you always find solace in knowing that your partner is buried in your heart.
Try to consider the richness that was brought into your life and focus on that. You have had a rare gift of sharing time and experiences only a few get to enjoy. Treasure the great memories and look to the day you might share those type of good times again with some other special friend. May the good Lord who showered you abundantly with these blessing ease your sorrow and mend your heart.
Aloha No Ka Kou
Our dogs are the ultimate conveyors of unconditional love. We are blessed to have them. We just spent the week with our 8 year old Golden Retriever grand dog" Bailey" Both my wife sand I are in withdrawl, perhaps even more than when our human grandchildren leave after a visit. Best wishes and know that dog lovers everywhere feel what you are going through.
I hope the memories of the good times will help heal the hole in your heart. You sound like the kind of hunter that gave the best life a pup can have; birds, your love and a soft, warm ,dry place to sleep in.