When I was young, my father brought home a dalmatian we named Sparky. He was a full grown dog that had escaped from the Dallas Police. In those days (back in the ’60s), the Dallas Police would bring shelter dogs that were slated for destruction out to the firing range for moving target practice. Sparky had managed to elude the police and was hiding in my father’s car in a nearby gravel pit. Dad had left the car windows open and Sparky had taken advantage of the opportunity. I remember Dad calling home and telling my mom that he had found a dog “for the kids”. Dad got Sparky a tag and the vet said he was probably a purebred. When I was nine, Sparky came down with distemper. Usually a dog would be put to sleep because there was no treatment for it. Dad didn’t accept this and called the family doctor. He said that there was something we could try and he called in a prescription for “Sparky Beeson”. He swore that if my father told anyone, he would deny it. Sparky recovered. He was the kind of dog that took protecting the family seriously and was good with the little kids. Both of my sisters grew up with Sparky. He allowed rides on his back and childish play with his ears. He kept a watchful eye on the baby to keep her from wandering off the yard. One time, my younger sister wandered away from Mom when she was down the street at a neighbor’s house. Sparky heard my mother’s voice and realized something was wrong. He went in search of her and found her in an empty lot. he stayed with her and barked until the adults came to take her home. Sparky died when I was a senoir in high school. He had become old and slowed down, but he was ever faithful to his job. We found him dead at the patio dorr, where he kept watch at night. Even after all these years, I still miss him.

Debra from TX