¬†After we had to have our dog Henry put to sleep in 1993 because of an inoperable tumor, we adopted Freckles (he had freckles on his nose) from an animal shelter in 1994. He was a Cocker Spaniel mix and had a beautiful coat. We didn’t know how old he was, but the Vet assumed he was 5 years old.
He loved to go for walks to the big park where there is a river. The dogs are allowed to run there without a leash. So my husband would let him run and he would examine every bush. If he saw a rabbit and it would dash into a bush, he would try to find him, but never did. He would dig and dig, but no luck. He also would try to catch a frog in the river and was determined to get one. After many trips to the park, he finally did, but immediately spit it out. Guess it didn’t taste too good after all.
One night he got sprayed by a skunk in our back yard. When I let him in the house, the smell was awful, as you can imagine. He was rolling on the carpet to try to get the smell off. I had to wake my husband and we gave him a bath, but the smell was still there, It eventurally went away, but I had to have the carpet cleaned.

He was always in good health until one day he was acting different than normal, so I took him to the Vet and they did tests and found that he was suffering from kidney failure. With medication, it helped him for 6 months, but eventually he got worse. The Vet advised us to have him put to sleep so he wouldn’t suffer anymore. We made an appointment for the next day so we could have him for one more night. But during the night he died in his sleep on his bed in our bedroom. We were devistated that we could not hold him in our arms to say good-bye. We cried for weeks. I still cry when I think of him. He died in 2002 and we still miss him very much.
We bought a casket for him and buried him in the local pet cemetery in our city, along with a daffodil from my garden that he peed on. He loved those flowers. Now we go visit his grave and put flowers on his grave and sit and talk to him. The animal shelter owns the cemetery and had a service for him and said a prayer that said we shouldn’t cry for him and to just remember all the good times we had together, but we cried anyway. We took his best friend, Kadee, our Shih Tzu with us. She was very sad. We knew that she knew something was wrong because we were crying.
We now have three dogs. Kadee, who is 9 years old. We got her from a breeder when she was 10 weeks old. She loved Freckles. She would lay next to him in the house all the time. I told my husband that I wanted a Shih Tzu, one who would sit on my lap and snuggle with me, but Freckles made a tough dog out of her. She’d only sit on my lap for 30 seconds and that was enough for her. She would follow him around our big yard like his shadow and sniff under every bush that he did. She got so buffed up running up the hill, and still does, that now we call her Annie Schwarzenegger.
We also have Zeke, a Border Collie mix that we rescued from the same animal shelter that we got Freckles. After Freckles died we got Zeke for Kadee’s new buddy. She showed him all the bushes and introduced him to his new yard. Someone had dropped him off in the dark of night in the night deposit like he was a piece of trash. The people that dumped him left no information about him except his name. When I say his sweet face and heard him whine, that was enough for me. I had to have that dog. We had to leave him overnight so the animal shelter could take him to the Vet to get neutered and we went the next day to pick him up. The Vet estimated his age at about 6. When we brought him home, he was so happy when he saw our huge yard, but he didn’t know what to do. It was like he had been locked up in a house or somewhere all his life. It took him a while to get adjusted to all the open space, with the help from Kadee. But now he has fun chasing the rabbits and quail that visit our yard, but he has never caught one. He needs lots of love that we give him and we get tons of love in return.
Our other dog, Scooter is a Cocker Spaniel mix. We named her that because my husband rescued her scooting back and forth across a heavily traveled street during the 5 o’clock rush hour. No one else would stop and help her, so my husband did and was also dodging the traffic to catch her. She had long matted hair and very dirty. She had a collar on but no tags. He rushed her to the Vet before they closed and the next day they gave her a bath and a haircut. I went to pick her up and brought her home. No one advertised for her, so I said she is ours now. You could tell she was neglected. My husband is her best friend. She is so excited when he comes home from and she follows him all over. She has been a very loving dog to both of us. She sleeps between us every night.
We know some day we’ll have to put them down too. We’ve had four dogs put to sleep already and it doesn’t get any easier. But we can’t imagine what life would be without them. They are our best friends. The love they give us is unforgettable, and the joy of having them is filling our hearts with happiness.
Mark, I pre-ordered your book and am looking forward to reading about your wonderful Sprite. I am so sad for your loss. I know how you feel.
I love your show. I download it every night as we only get you for one hour from the Reno station.

Shirley from NV