My thoughts are with you Robert.
I have many of the same stories to tell. Grew up in an animal loving home full of cats and dogs...and spent many years time on the dairy farm next door caring for and respecting animals.
My Scottie "Angel" I got when I was six had a massive stroke only a couple days after I moved out of home...she knew I was gone. She was always confident I was coming home, even if it was 6 am! Until then that is... she knew. She had slept on my bed for years until she couldn't get up and down so good anymore then went to a dog bed right beside. Always with me or looking for me to arrive.
The old man stayed home that morning and carpentered a beautiful casket in a matter of an hour while I took her to be put down. Buried her under my bedroom window.
I still remember packing a couple PB&J's, and a thermos of water and going out walking the farmland/woods around us for the whole afternoon seeing what "neat" things we could get into, stopping for lunch together and getting home tired!
I'm a big cat person also and have been for years as it suits my lifestyle better...but when I think of those simpler "Tom Saywer" days I think of Angel! Her nose/beard caked in dirt/mud from checking every potential rodent hole we came across.
Bless you Robert for giving a loving home to your dogs. You have to wonder sometimes if they know they've hit the lottery of life being part of your family. 'Cause it's true I'm sure.