My Cocker Spaniel Memorial

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Twenty four years ago, an angel in the tiny body of a cocker spaniel came to stay with me. Samantha was a gift from my ex-husband for our first Christmas. She was this tiny, trembling body of golden fluff and after one look into her eyes, I was lost forever. The very first thing she did when I held her that first time was to give me a kiss, the first of many. She saw me through the heartbreak of a miscarriage and a divorce. To this day, the memory of holding her in my arms and crying into her fur is the only really clear memory I have of that time. She would curl up beside me with her head on my neck, occasionally giving me a kiss for comfort. 

Unfortunately our time together was way too short. She had a lot of health problems all of her life. I didn't realise until afterwards she was the product of a puppy mill breeder who was only in it for the money. When she was 7 weeks old, she almost died from an intestinal infection. 10 short years later it would be the damage to her intestines from the infection that would take her away from me. 

By the time she was 6, she was blind from cataracts, but even that didn't slow her down much. She'd use the sound of my voice to find me where ever I was. At the age of 7, she had to have major surgery when her small intestines twisted. The vet had to remove almost 1/3 of the small intestine. With a lot of love and care she bounced back, but seemed frailer than before. On her 10th birthday she seemed so much stronger, but a short 2 months later I knew we were in trouble. There were several bouts of diarrhea that left her weak. Just before Halloween, it became obvious her time was short. There were several panicked trips to the vet, fluids and medication that made a difference for a while. Then that first week in November, she seemed to stablize and grow a little stronger. My vet was amazed she was still holding on. On the evening of November 4, though she began to have trouble standing and finally couldn't walk at all. I spent the entire night holding her in my arms, telling her I was going to make it better. 

The morning of November 5, I had already made the decision it was time to let my baby go. I took her outside one last time and we sat in the grass together for a while. Then we left for the vets. This wonderful man took us into his office and left us there for a while. When he returned to see if I was ready it was obvious it was time. I held that beautiful face in my hands one last time, kissed her and told her it was time. She focused on me for the last time and gave me one last kiss. It was like she had been waiting for something that had finally happened and she just let go. I think she didn't want me to have to be the one to send her on her way so she left quietly, with the same gentle dignity she had lived her entire life with. 

I still have no memory of how I made it home or of burying her in the lilly bed where she loved to lay. It was days before I could even cry and then it seemed like once I started, I couldn't stop. I hated coming home from work, I hated getting up in the morning and most of all, I hated being home when she wasn't there. 

A couple of weeks after her death I knew getting another cocker wasn't only what I wanted, it was what I needed. I started making notes of breeders and looking for that "perfect" puppy. What I didn't know at the time was my best friend had reached the same conclusion for me. A mutual friend had a pair that had just had puppies. She contacted him even though the puppies were only a couple of days old. Her goal was to give me the puppy for Christmas. She saw Cassie when she was just a couple of days old, and told me later she knew somehow the minute she saw her, that that was my puppy. 

Shirley got permission to bring Cassie to our office party on December 21. She borrowed one of the pediatric wagons, tied a big red bow around her neck and brought her into the room in the wagon. There was one of those dramatic hushes you read about as she put her into my arms. We were both crying so hard I'm surprised we could even see her! I don't think there was a dry eye in the entire place and everyone kept coming in to meet her. 

A couple of days later, her breeder came by to see how she was doing. We got to talking and I told him about Samantha. When I mentioned the date and time of her death, he stopped dead in his tracks. That's when he told me Cassie's mother had gone into labor early that morning and exactly 12 hours after Samantha's death, Cassie was born. She was the last puppy to come and they were beginning to think they were going to have deliver her by c-section. 

We just happened to be in the back yard because I was trying to get Cassie to go potty. I lost sight of her for a few minutes and when I found her, she was curled up on Samantha's grave, sound asleep. When I picked her up. she looked up at me with those beautiful brown eyes and gave me a kiss. At that moment I felt as though a great circle had completed and I knew the reason Samantha had held on so long was because she wanted to make sure Cassie had arrived. Every year at this time, I say goodbye to my sweet Samantha and thank her for sending me Cassie. 


June 27, 1994-May 28,2005 Almost 11 years old.

Sammy was a gift for my 23rd Bday. He was such a fun puppy and I took him everywhere with me. We moved 8 times during his life, with 6 of the moves occurring in his first 5 years of life. He was an easy going and gentle dog who loved being with people. 

Sammy did develop seizure problems at age 3, but seemed to suffer seizures only once or twice a year. He was treated like my child and we spent all of our time together when I wasn't working. I got married and my husband "adopted" Sammy and loved him too. Even our 2 year old son Brandon loved Sammy, and Sammy was in turn very gentle and playful with him. Sammy traveled with me to many different states to visit friends, and even made a trip to the beach! 

Sammy's last 2 years were spent with me and Brandon at home all the time as I quit working. I'm so grateful to have had those two years with him. Although Sammy was healthy about two weeks before he died he developed colitis and was successfully treated and it went away. A week later I discovered he had died overnight all by himself in our game room. I never heard anything, the vet reassures me that he must have died quickly and suddenly, but I feel so much guilt and sadness that he spent his last hours alone and died by himself. I look for signs that he might have been ill that I might have missed, but there really weren't many. Sammy was my first real dog and taught me so much about caring for others and helped me to really grow up. I miss him so much our house is so quiet and dead now it just has no life anymore. I miss all those little things Sammy did-the thank you licks and kisses after he finished his breakfast, waiting for me on top of our bed to fall asleep, his nails on our hardwood floors, the barks when the doorbell rang, and he would flip his food bowl around when he got hungry until we filled it. I can't even take a walk by myself without him-he loved to walk with me at night. And I wish I had just one more hour with him to let him know how much I love him and to treat him the same way he always treated me-with constant affection and devotion. 

I'm sure I will have another dog someday, but no one will ever replace Sammy-Puppy. 

Love, Mommy

Sammy was born September of 1995 and passed away on May 11,2007. He never had a bad day in his whole life. He was always full of energy and most of all love. My wife and I are so sad of our loss, the house seams to be so empty now. In time we will get another Cocker Spaniel we have had two of them in the last 25 years our other Cocker was named Buffy she lived 16 years. I never though we would feel so bad of our lost. He is in our back yard with Buffy now and I know their both gone now but they well never leave our hearts. They were both angles Michael Trotter
Sand Dollar

My Cocker Spaniel was Sand Dollar. She was buff and white. She had more personality then most people I know. When she got mad at you she'd turn her nose up at you as though she were saying "I'm not speaking to you". She loved me with all her heart. She also loved my grandfather. When my grandfather passed away I gave away my Sand Dollar's grandson that I had also. His heart was so broken over the loss I felt I needed to find him a home away from mine. But I couldn't part with Sandy. All of our hearts were broken but I couldn't bare to live without Sandy. Sandy made the loss a little easier. I still regret losing the other but he went to the perfect home for him and is still doing great to this day. When I got married she moved into my new home with my new family (equipped with 2 step kids). One of the step kids was deathly afraid of dogs until Sandy came along. We lost Sandy when she was hit by a car. The vet said she had Alzheimers and probably wandered into the street without knowing it. It was like losing my child and to my stepkids it was like losing their sister. To this day we speak of her regularly. I can't believe a dog could influence or affect my life like she did. I hope everyone can have a dog like Sand Dollar "Sandy".

Alicia Ingram
Wetumpka, AL


July 1997 to November 14, 2006

I picked Sebastian out of a fairly large litter of American Cocker Spaniels. He just seemed so darn cute. When I first took him home, the whole family fell in love with him. He was six weeks old to the day when I got him and his first night with us, he slept on my husband's chest. Sebastian slept in the bed with us every night since then.

We had a larger hound dog at the time who was quite puzzled by the little puppy we had brought into our home. It only took a few days for Caesar to take a liking to him. He taught Sebastian how to squash bugs, play with squeeky toys and many other cute things. They turned out to be best friends.

Caesar passed away and eventually, my husband and I adopted two more Cocker Spaniels. Sebastian was always 'top dog' and he was so prissy. He was always there for us and he was such a loving dog. If I was ever sad, he was there to lick away my tears and cheer me up.

Sebastian started coughing about a month before he passed away. After many tests were ran, he was finally diagnosed with cancer. He had a huge tumor pressing on his lungs and heart. His food had to be blended to the consistency of soup. We started him on steroids, hoping the medication would shrink the tumor. A week later X-rays showed the tumor had become larger. We were told Sebastian might only live two weeks. We took him home with us and it was only a matter of days before he was unable to hold any food down. The decision to have him put to sleep wasn't hard, as we knew he was suffering. However, the whole ordeal broke our hearts. I held Sebastian tightly as he was being put to sleep, his warm breath on my chest stopped within a minute. Finally, he was at peace.

Sebastian was our 'dear child' and a best friend. I believe there really is a Rainbow Bridge and one day we will be united. Sebastian, I LOVE YOU!!

Belle, Bellingham, WA

Shelby Faye
Shelby Faye August 5, 2006

This is my girl Shelby. Shelby came into my life 4 years ago when I was helping to transport her into rescue. When I went to the vet clinic to pick her up she came out into the waiting area the first thing she did was sit down in front of me and started pawing at me to pet her. It was love at first sight or should I say paw!!! When she came to live with me and her 2 other Cocker brothers she was heart worm positive and the doctors were not sure if she would make it. But as you can see she is a fighter. She is a quiet girl who doesn't give kisses but she is like a shadow and has to be where ever I am. Her favorite thing to do is to come get in the bed with me after she has been out in the mornings. I don't know what her past was like but I do know that she is treated like the Princess that she deserved to be.

It has been several months since Shelby has been gone and her brothers and I still miss her greatly. There is not a day that goes by that she is not in my thoughts. I know that she is up in Doggie Heaven looking down on us and saying Mommie Thank You for giving me the best years of my life and for taking me in and loving me.

I miss you Baby Girl and no matter what you will always have a place in Mommie's heart.


Mommie and your brothers Duce & Spencer


Yesterday, December 7, 2005, I had to put my Cocker Spaniel "Shorty" to sleep. It was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do. He became ill about a week ago, and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He was 11 years old and such a sweetheart. He ran under my desk at a bank where I was working that was in a shopping mall, during a rainstorm. After no one from the animal shelter claimed him, I adopted him and took him home. My vet estimated him to be about 5 months old. He was the cutest little thing and I've never loved a dog so much. He was always full of life, and his love was unconditional. He was always there to greet me when I came home, and always beside me whenever he knew I was feeling down. My husband of 18 years passed away 3 years ago, and I don't know what I would have done without the love of this little dog. My heart is breaking today, and I know it will feel this way for a long time to come. I know that my golden retriever "Jake" that passed away shortly after my husband, must of been there waiting to greet him and show him the way. I love you Shorty. My tears today are not only of sadness, but also from the memories of the joy and happiness that you brought into my life. 


date of birth 12/09/1988 date of death 13/04/2005 English Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel

Silver sweetheart picked my wife Jackie as his mum when she went to look at the litter in September 1988, she instantly fell in love with him and we brought him home on the 31st of October. In his 16 years and 7 months of life he hardly ever left our sides, He was the the most wonderfull treasure anyone could have ever wanted, He licked jackies tears when her father died and comforted her when she was ill. Silver gave us so much happiness and was a real character with his merry cocker antics, sadly in his last few months Silver began to slow down, then the sad day came when his little body finally gave in, and we had to let him go,on that day our hearts were broken,we miss him so much, our only consolation was that he had a good long fun life and gave us lots fun and pleasure


Born: August 1, 1995
Died: February 11, 2006

Snuggles was one of the most unusual dogs I had ever met. We got her when she was just a baby, and I was only 11 years old and my brother 9. Over the past 10 1/2 years she wasn't a dog, but the third child. She was a sweet, kind, loving dog, she was my "baby."
Snuggles was a very happy, healthy dog with one wicked sense of humor. She would sit in a our huge bay window in the front of the house and watch the neighbourhood. Everyone deemed her the neighbourhood watch dog. She had a way of making her presence known, and always making you smile, if dogs have a sense of humor she had a big one.
Although she only passed away, I still hear her in the house, and she will never leave; I don't think she would have it any other way. I have so many memories with her, and have troubles knowing that I am going to have to wait to see her until I can get to Rainbow Bridge. But I know I will see her again.

RIP "Snug-a-nator"

Your Family, the Hunters


American Cocker Spaniel


August 20, 1990 - June 30, 2005. I was 12 years old when I got Sparky. He was actually a new pet for one of my friend's mother. They had many big dogs at there house so Sparky didn't fit in very well. I fell in love with Sparky the first time I saw him. Since the family with many dogs felt bad for him they gave him to me. That was the best day ever. Sparky was a very healthy dog, never had any illnesses. He developed a tumor in 2004 but the vet said he was too old to have surgery so we left it alone. Then July 25, 2005 Sparky wasn't doing so well, he could barely walk and he was not eating well. We watched him everyday, made sure he had water and food right in front of him. He would just lay there and sleep. We scheduled a vet appointment for Friday and by Thursday he was doing much worse. That Thursday night we got in the car to take him to the emergency clinic, Sparky died on the way there. I was in the back seat with my angel when he was taken away. I have never cried so much in my life, I couldn't go to work the next day. I will never forget him, he was the sweetest dog ever. He would never hurt a fly and was always happy to see you.

Sparky we love you very much..
Kasia, Monika, Henryka and Jan Pasciak
Euless, TX

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