Three and a half years ago, we found ourselves a sweet and hyper little Springer Spaniel puppy.
We named him Patches.
We had waited a long time for a dog because our tiny neighborhood lot wasn't big enough for the children, much less a dog. When we finally relocated to a bit of land, finding our puppy was a first order of business.
He was a beautiful dog with the softest coat.
He was so good with the children, always wanting to be in on the action. Patches loved hikes, playing in the snow, swimming in the lake and every other kind of outdoor play.
He was funny, too. Especially when he slept. He talked in his sleep and it always made us laugh.
He was kind of like a spazzy kid and didn't slow down much.
But every once in a while, he would cuddle right up.
After the youngest started eating, Patches was his constant companion. He knew right where the tastiest bits of forbidden food were going to be handed to him! Patches also knew the giant hugs that would come from his little buddy--hugs, or laying on the dog's back, they did both.
Patches always came when I called, he jumped out of his skin to greet us when we came home, protected our family and made me feel safe in this out-of-the-way place. He was a happy dog who, in his fourth year, was finally beginning to settle down.
Unfortunately, Patches also ate everything in sight. Yesterday afternoon, as far as we can tell, he ate something that he shouldn't have. The sharp object caused internal bleeding that was severe enough that he could not be saved. Patches really tried to get better, but his body eventually gave out.
Right at the end, he looked at me and made a sound like, "I'm sorry, Mom."
You dang dog; why couldn't you just stick to your dog food?!
We sure loved you.
We thought we had 10 more years with him and he hadn't been sick a day in his life. His unexpected death has been quite a shock. We will always love our hyper, loving, beautiful boy.