I have had other dogs and my last dog Sandi was so good it took me five days to make the decision to put her to sleep – if it wasn’t for Labor Day weekend coming up at that time I may have put it off but decided it wasn’t fair to her to see her suffer, even though she just lay there.

I now have Sparky, an 11 1/2 year old Cocker Spaniel.  I love Sparky dearly even though he can be a terror – it is known Cockers have a mind of their own but he is cute and lovable.  He now has arthritis in his neck and back and I have him on medications from the vet.  I live on the second floor and have a problem getting him to go downstairs – unfortunately I can’t carry him as I have a disabled shoulder from being hit from behind in a car accident years ago and since I’m in remission from Leukemia and have to take medication for this it damaged my tissues and the surgery failed – get physical therapy on and off to help me.  My neighbor downstairs knows when I shout “now’  Sparky knows I mean business and comes down the stairs.  When it comes time to go back up he flies up with no problem.

Seeing him going downhill is so painful and he sees the vet at least every other month due to other problems too.  It really hurts.  They say Cockers live 10-12 years and he’s approaching 12 but with his problems some days I worry he isn’t going to make it.

Pets do give unconditional love and when you live alone they are really great company,  My friends think I’m crazy as I’m 74 and say if Sparky goes would definitely get another dog but even leaving him for the day at the groomers it gets lonely.

— Marilynn from Medford, NY