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Manhattan's Oldest Dog Dies, Leaves Behind a Legacy of Teaching
Date:2/16/2010

n his golden years, among them, compassion for the elderly, selflessness and unconditional love.

Listening marks yet another hard won wisdom for the caretaker. This past year, each time Paco had a seizure, he "came back with a new way of talking to me, so I needed to be very present to re-learn what he was communicating," she said.

But perhaps the dachshund's greatest teachings were the importance of living and dying with dignity – and that "all life is precious," per Bernadine.

Paco's departure will be mourned by many New Yorkers.  "People of all backgrounds, from the homeless to Upper East Side society, would stop Paco on the street every day and literally bless him," recalled the New Mexican-turned-Manhattanite.

Paco Sosa departed peacefully in the company of Bernadine and her partner in dog care, Horacio Sosa. As a farewell gift, Bernadine sang him his favorite song, Hound Dog, after which both loving "parents" kept their promise not to shed one tear as Paco Sosa drew his last breath.

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