If you happen to be in the newspaper office and hear some whining from the back of the room, it wasn't me probably not.

A few times the family dog, Millie, has made an appearance.

She has her kennel in the back of the office, and occasionally we bring her over to the paper instead of leaving her alone at home.

She's a friendly, docile basset hound who enjoys the simple things in life, like eating and sleeping. And if you have some pizza crust you'd like to get rid of, she'll be your friend for life.

She is a member of the family, so when she was under the weather recently, the whole family gets concerned.

We have had Millie nine years, so we know that she has more years behind her than ahead of her, but we want her to stick around as long as possible.

Last week she was suffering from a yeast infection, and before that she had a bladder infection.

Not sure how or why she gets sick, but it's not the first time, and we're just glad she is feeling better.

It is funny how these four-legged animals become part of the family.

Millie is our third basset hound. Our first, Annie, lived a full life before getting sick. Mabel went blind, and now we have Millie.

It is always hard when you lose a pet. Even when they get sick, and you know losing them is better than having them suffer, it is hard.

I remember taking Claire to the vet to say goodbye to Mabel. It wasn't easy on either one of us.

There is always a void in the house when the family pet is gone. There are all these toys, blankets or bedding that belonged to them, but no one to play with them or sleep on them.

In the past, we quickly got another pet. It helped us get past the loss.

Millie is the happiest, easiest-going dog we have had.

Annie was the first pet our Claire knew.

Claire would sit on her, and Annie would lick her face clean of crumbs. They were best friends.

Mabel was a little more moody. She was a good dog, but if she didn't want to be bothered, you'd best leave her alone.

That is a lesson our son, Alek, learned when he was much younger.

After picking on her for a while, and despite my wife telling him to leave her alone, he kept at it until she nipped him in the face.

He ended up in the ER (a place he has since visited often) with what turned out to be a minor scratch.

Mabel ended up impounded because that's what happens when you take your child to the ER and explain why he is there.

She spent a week in dog jail and pooped on the floor as I walked her out the day she was released.

I told you she had an attitude.

Millie would never hurt anyone.

She has lived in harmony with our cat since we brought her home. Not sure either one realizes they are not the same species.

Every once in awhile the dog will bark at the cat, the cat will bite her in the head, and Millie yelps, all the while wagging her tail.

Millie has learned to lick her paws and clean her face from watching the cat.

I don't think the cat has learned anything from Millie. In fact, the cat is bossy.

If Millie is sleeping on her bed, it's not unusual for the cat to climb on the bed, forcing Millie to get up with the cat taking over the bed.

Millie seems to be back to her old self these days playful, hungry and sleeping a majority of the day and night.

She wakes us up at 5 in the morning for her breakfast and starts barking at 5 at night for her supper.

She has us well-trained, and I hope it stays that way for a long time.

Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.