He came into her life as a young dog, first belonging to her son, who had always wanted a black lab named Vader.
A lab golden retriever mix, he always had been an anomaly, afraid of water. He even sunk to a bottom of a pool once, requiring someone to jump in and rescue him. His swimming instincts never worked quite right.
When her son was home from college one weekend they sat down for a friendly game of cards. As a joke, her son put Vader up as a bid during one hand. She won decidedly; in return Vader was hers for keeps.