I wanted to share my story of my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Checkers, who we lost in July. Even as I write this story, this 51 year old man is tearing up. Even though he was with us for the 4 short years of his life, he was a faithful companion and friend. We trained him to be a therapy dog. He was great with children. My son has Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism. These children typically have a social disconnect with others and have great difficulty with recognizing the need for empathy for others. However, he made an immediate connection with Checkers. He would often recognize when Checkers looked bored and play with him or take him for walks so he would not be bored. His relationship with Checkers translated into social successes with peers and strangers despite many years of psychotherapy and social training that did not have such results.

When my father died, Checkers seemed to know and would not leave my side. On nights when I could not sleep as I was mourning the passing of my father, he would lay in my lap until I finally would go to bed. He did the same 3 months later when my mother died.

Even though we have 2 new puppies I love, I still mourn for my Checkers. If a dog’s unconditional love helps us better understand a glimpse of God’s love for us, then we truly have an indescribable future experience awaiting us when we meet God in person.


Mark from TX