My Cocker Spaniel Memorial Archive
January 13, 1990 - December 31, 2005
A decision was made, no more dogs. After the untimely death of my Cocker Spaniel, Teddy, I was determined to never experience the emotional devastation of losing a beloved pet again. Well, a staff member from our vet's office called about a month later to inform me that the Dr. had just treated a new litter of Cocker Spaniel puppies and would I be interested? They knew how sad I was over the loss of Teddy and thought a new puppy would help. Well, at first I balked at checking these babies out, but then curiosity won over and I decided to make a visit to their home. I met and fell in love with this little buff colored puppy girl and the rest is history. We brought her home when she was ready and named her Abigail Rhode after my favorite Beatle album Abbey Road. My husband and two sons loved her just as much as I did. Before long we were all very attached. Feisty, energetic and full of mischief was our gal. She enjoyed good health until May of 2002 when she became seriously ill for the first time. We rushed her to a specialist who diagnosed her as having autoimmune hemolytic anemia. We were so grateful that she could be treated for this serious disorder and I remember praying to God and pleading with him at that time to let me have one more summer with her. Well he gave me that and more for which I will be eternally grateful. Time becomes a foe and we later found ourselves faced with a different and more difficult decision. An aged Abby was now suffering from kidney failure and the treatment was not working. The vet telephoned the morning of New Year's Eve to give us a disappointing update on her condition. We hurried to the animal hospital where Abby lay in a cage hooked up to an IV. It was breaking my heart to see Abby so weak and tired. We knew what needed to be done but I had to ask the Dr. "the question" that if Abby were his pet, would he make this decision? He said absolutely. I spoke to her softly and stroked her beautiful fur as he released her from pain. I will never forget how quietly she left us, her little head falling down as if in slow motion. This haunts me still. We had her little body cremated and will order an urn to hold what is left of our beautiful Abby. There is such a void in our home without her and even though memories can bring a smile, I often find myself weeping. I miss her smell, her brown eyes, her daily habits and most important, the emotional and physical bond that we shared. I have to believe she went to heaven because let's face it, dogs are the most soulful creatures God has made. Until we meet again my little puppy girl.
American Cocker Spaniel
Color - Buff
DOB - 5/4/2002
My dear sweet Abby has just recently left my side as quickly as she came to be at it. I had bought her 5 years ago as a pet to keep my company while I was in college and living alone. As a child I had a cocker and loved her dearly and had always since wanted another one. I still remember the sweet baby nervously riding home with me for the first time ,she was shacking so bad and was scared to death. It took her no time though to win my heart and everyone else's as well. My dad formed a special bond with her immediately, he always asked about her and loved to come visit and play with her. When my husband and I got married we happily brought Abby to our new home and she loved it and loved my husband. Things were great and in June 2004 I found out I was pregnant life was great until I became ill towards the end of my pregnancy and was forced to stay bed ridden, my dad all but begged me to take Abby. He wanted her so bad and in seeing how much they loved each other I let him take her. She loved being with my dad and playing her daily game of chasing the balls and him stuffing her full of treats much to my disapproval, but hey she was happy. Then in December 2006 my dad fell gravely ill with strep pneumonia, we thought he would pull through however after 32 days of fighting he passed away, it was the hardest thing I had ever faced on my life and Abby was so lonely every time I went to see her. She still had my mom and my parents 14 year old beagle to keep her company but she missed my Dad. Things seemed to be getting better until one night I went to eat dinner with my mom and noticed Abby wouldn't leave the back porch and wouldn't come to me when I called her. She seemed to be trying to follow my voice but she was having trouble. We took her to the vet the next morning and they confirmed she was blind and then the next day the eye specialist noted that her lymph nods were larger than golf balls and appeared to have two large tumors in her groin area. It was more than I could bear, I asked the vet to send off a lymph nod sample to confirm lymphoma I just wasn't ready to believe it however just two days after all this came about I noticed her breathing had become very labored. My husband and I rushed her to the emergency vet clinic where they confirmed she was bad sick and was very uncomfortable. I knew I had to stop the pain, they said there was little hope of treatment with it already causing her to go blind, therefore at 11:30 that night we had her put to sleep while I sat holding her and hugging her she passed away and the pain ended. I know my Dad must have been happy to see her. Although I can barely live with my decision I couldn't watch her suffer. She is greatly missed and life will never be the same with out my precious Abby.
Alexander Freckles "Alex"
August 22, 1991-June 21, 2005
American Cocker Spaniel
Picture: 1991- First day that I had Alex.
After my parent's divorce in 1990, I was an emotionally shut-off child. My first Cocker Spaniel, Wally, had been euthanized in December 1990 because of a heart defect that led to pneumonia. Shortly after my 8th birthday, Alex came into my life like a breath of fresh air. When asked why she picked him out of the whole litter, my mom told me that he was the only one who wouldn't sit still in the litter room and she knew that he was the one for me. This blonde ball of fur became my best friend and confidant. I played outside for hours with him during the daytime and he slept in my bed with me all night long. My mom told me that her favorite memory of him is walking into my room one night when I was 9 and seeing Alex gently pulling my pillow out from under my head so that he could sleep on it himself. Alex allowed me to open up and talk about my fears and concerns and though a dog with no worries, he patiently would sit and let me pet him as I cried and told him all of my problems. For nearly 14 years, he was my life, my joy, my adventure, and my cuddle partner. He has been with me through so much including my own battles with skin cancer and tumors in my chest, through parental divorce again, through 5 moves including one 7 hours away from my hometown, through high school, and finally through my bachelors degree. The road to writing my honors thesis in History and graduating from the University of Arkansas Cum Laude would not have been so bearable if it had not been for this fuzzy angel who loved barking at the mailman and sleeping on the back of the couch. Alex was diagnosed with heart disease in January 2004 and given about 6 months to live. I was devastated when given his prognosis and did all that I could to help him including buying the expensive heart healthy food and exercising him twice as much. He tolerated his Enacard and Lasix very well. In early May 2005, while preparing for graduation I noticed a lump on Alex's side. I took him to the vet immediately and was told that the lump was probably a sebaceous cyst, which he had had once before. I accepted this diagnosis and resumed my hectic study schedule. On June 3, I came home from a night out with my fiancé and pulled Alex up on the couch with me for some cuddle time. This is when I noticed the kiwi sized knot at the top of his shoulder under his neck. After feeling around I also found lumps in his throat and hind legs. I looked up lumps on the internet and found that he could have a severe infection or cancer. I dropped my baby off at the vets early that morning for a check and headed off to work. Our vet, who we have used since we moved here in 1997, called with sad news. Alex had no fever, therefore had no infection, and had probably developed Lymphosarcoma. I was speechless. I had no idea how I had missed such large lumps since I checked him for ticks every day and cuddled him every evening. The Dr. told me that Alex was not eligible for chemo because of his heart problems. He was started on Prednisone to decrease the lymph size and his lasix was increased to offset the water retention that resulted from the Prednisone. Alex did not seem sick at all, in fact, he was more loveable than every and even began to give me kisses (he had never really licked anyone's face before.) On June 21, I came home around 3p.m. and fed Alex his dinner. He ate two bites and went to lay down. This was very unusual because usually he ate so fast that I thought he would choke. He wouldn't even eat the steak that I tried to give him. Soon he began to breath very loudly and could barely stand. My mom and I knew that he was getting bad, so I carried him out to the backyard and held him while the sun was setting. Finally, around 9:15 p.m., she and I drove him to the emergency vet clinic. His temperature was over 105 and we were told that he probably had developed pneumonia. I decided to honor the promise that I had made him the day that I found out about his Cancer, I would not let him suffer. Just a couple of days before I had prayed. "God, give me the strength to know when he is tired of fighting, and do not let my love for him blind me." I honored my baby with a peaceful death. I had brought his blanket and his football and we laid him with them on a big fluffy rug in the vet room. As the vet administered the barbiturate, I held my best friends face in my hands and gently rubbed him. He was looking into my eyes and hearing my voice telling him that I loved him as he passed from this world into the next. It was very quick and peaceful. I did not cry one audible tone or shed one visible tear in front of my dog until the vet told me that it was all over, then I was inconsolable and cried so hard that I couldn't breathe. I had my angel for more than half my life and will thank God everyday for the love that he brought me. I chose to have him cremated and placed in a urn so that I may have part of him with me always. I know that his spirit is still with me here and that he will live on always in my heart. The last words that I said to him as his eyes slowly closed were, "I'll see you on the other side baby" and I believe that 100%.
Date of birth: 6/26/85.
Date of death: 6/28/2002
American cocker, silver buff.
My dear angel lived to age 17, which was quite an accomplishment given how her life started out. She was the runt of the litter from a backyard breeder and was born in 1985. She was a tiny package, a silver buff darling, and my heart went out to her. She quickly moved into my heart and home, although she was underweight and undernourished. Once I saw her, I could not turn my back on this tiny little soul who was being walked on by much larger littermates that were able to eat dry puppy chow. I quickly discovered that she had no teeth and was not eating. With the help of my vet and my nursing background, we were able to nurse her to great health and she became my companion at home and in the mountains. She loved to play ball, hike and go snow-shoeing and when possible, she traveled with me in my work as a traveling nurse.
Unfortunately, my work did take me away from her for a year and a half, which must have been extremely difficult for her to understand. My parents loved her as one of the family and kept her in their home during that period. She grew to be crazy about my dad, and they often had "night games," playing ball in the dark back yard when he came in from the late shift at work. Once I returned, I discovered that she was still my dog, as she never let me out of her site, especially when a suitcase was anywhere within a few hundred feet of me. Still, I feel guilt about that absence, even now, 4 months after her death. Rather than raising her, she raised me from a stubborn and self-centered 22 year old to the 39 year old I am now. We had many adventures, and she was always included in family events and road trips. Anyone who met her quickly fell for her as well. My father referred to her as a "family fixture" and always said, "you could never ask for a better dog than Amber." Her merry disposition and loyalty was unmatched by any other family pet. Her love of opening presents was always evident at Christmas, as she had a keen ability to pick her presents out of the mound underneath the tree on Christmas morning and unwrap them herself. Racquetballs apparently have a characteristic smell, and this was her favorite toy.
She was a remarkable dog and patiently nursed me back to health in 1996 when I was treated for a severe episode of depression. Anyone who has ever experienced this knows the importance of having a pet nearby and the constancy, love and security pets provide.
We lived in 9 different places during her lifetime and she always made the transition with me from one place to the next, effortlessly. In her later years, she slowed down tremendously, but always enjoyed laying in the grass nearby as she watched me work in the garden.
The decision I made to end her life was a tortuous one and leaves me with guilt and sadness. I knew she wasn't having any fun anymore, and eating and bodily functions became an effort on her part. Still, she knew my touch and loved to be cuddled, even when she could not recognize other members of our family. I think she would have fought until the end, believing that I needed her with me. Her death took place in our home, in my arms, and she was surrounded my neighbors and a very kind veterinarian.
I could not have asked for a sweeter angel to share my life with. She is sorely missed and ever-present in my mind and heart. I pray that I will see her again in a place where there is soft grass, lots of sunshine and plenty of racquetballs to keep us busy. I wish for all of you the love I experienced from Amber during her still too short life. I was lucky to have had her at all.