The end result of all of this is that I am now going through a grieving process for my dog. He is still alive and he very well may bounce back from this and be as he was before, but he is eleven years old and sometime very soon, I will lose him for good. I have cried over him so that, hopefully, I will not have to do it again. Really though, knowing myself, there's not much chance of that.
On a slightly more upbeat note, I realize that I cannot live too long without a dog in my life. I've been going here and researching breeds of puppies. If anyone has any suggestions for breeds to look into, let me know. It MUST be good with small children and cats and should be ok with a house and small yard to run around in.. Ideally it shouldn't shed too much (although that's a lesser criteria) and should be a good watch and guard dog as well. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I need a nap.