When I was 8 my family got our first real family dog. A young border collie we would name Spritzy.

Spritzy would be a part of our family for nearly 11 years and was a very important part of our family. She was a smart, loving dog that treated me and my brothers and sister as her own. In fact if we were gone overnight for some reason, she’d spend her time lying in wait between our rooms waiting for the missing one to finally come home. We were her pups as it were.

Unfortunately as it happens, me and my sister graduated from high school and went to college. This meant that Spritzy would be separated from us for long periods of time. Whenever me and Steph came home my brothers would marvel at her change in disposition and when we left she would become depressed again.

Unfortunately this stress and inability to understand the situation is in my feeling part of what led to her death. During my first year Spritzy developed a spinal cancer and it was only exacerbated by the stress of not having two of her most beloved around. By time I came home for the summer, her back legs were all but useless. Even then she managed to get herself up on her front legs in an attempt to greet us. I spent much of that evening sitting next to her scratching her and just being with her. That night would be her last night with us. That morning my parents took her to the vet to be put to sleep. The last time I saw her she was wrapped up in a blanket on my mothers lap in the car. I gave her a hug and a kiss and told her how much I loved her. That morning was one of the worst, which was compounded by the fact that my grandfather had passed just a few weeks earlier.

A month later we would get a new dog. A Pomeranian named Eddie. I was cold to him at first but grew to love him to but unfortunately a few years later he was caught in the fire that took my childhood home. He loved to ride in the car and while a major mamma’s boy as it were he was nice dog.

Now we have a 3 year old spaniel named Dirk and a 2 year old Chihuahua named Lucy. Dirk is my buddy and Lucy is my sweetie. Whenever I come home I am swarmed by them for several minutes until they relax. It makes me feel good knowing that these animals love me unconditionally. Along with our cats our family is made better by having them. I hope to eventually get a place where I can have a pet as I miss having a friend like that constantly.

Both cats and dogs enrich human life in different ways. Without either I don’t feel life would be quite as good for everyone.

Chris from ND