It's been said that you can't put a price on love, but I call shenanigans on that idea.

For me, the price is $10,999.45, give or take a penny.

I'm a bit of a nerd and have kept track of all my spending since I graduated from college. That's how I can tell you I spent nearly 11 grand on taking care of my two dogs.

I can also tell you that aside from long walks on the beach, candlelight dinners and saying shenanigans, there's nothing I love more than my dachshunds, Cain and Abel.

They'll be turning 16 in a week. Old dogs may not learn new tricks, but they've taught me a lot over the years.

They taught me that I should probably never be a parent or teacher. After letting 2-foot-tall animals literally and figuratively walk all over me, I shudder to think of the carnage that could be created by kids under my supervision.

They taught me that there's always evil in the world, and it demands to be barked at.

They taught me the importance of not buying cheap paper towels if you need to clean spills.

They taught me about the need for balance for both work and play. Sure, you may need to do yard work, but wouldn't it be a good idea to chase a ball nonstop for a half-hour?

Most importantly, my dogs have always been there when I needed them. Sure, they may have been a captive audience, but whenever I've been down, Cain and Abel were always willing to get in my lap, wag their tails and listen. If food magically fell out of my hands, all the better for them.

I think about how the world has changed since I got them in 2002. I think about how my world has changed in that time. They've seen a lot, or at least they would've if they weren't so short.

Still, I'd love if they hang around to see quite a bit more.

Contact Tad Ronnie: tronnie@readingeagle.com.