The old man squirmed uncomfortably. “Well – hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup. I herded sheep with him.” He said proudly, “You wouldn’t think it to look at him now, but he was the best damn sheep dog I ever seen.

– John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men, Chapter 3. This passage is about Candy losing his dog. The dog became his family and close companion.