For many, a dog becomes a member of the family. We had two dogs that we considered part of our family: Jezebel and Spike. Jezebel is a Shepard/Golden Retriever mix. Spike was an American Staffordshire Terrier, also known as an Am Staff or Pit Bull. I say “was” because this past Wedesday, I had to put Spike down, “put to sleep” as some would say. It was a sad day for the family, but I had been preparing us for it for a couple months. Spike had been having trouble with one of his back legs. He would drag it behind him when he walked, which also scraped up his toes. It was getting progressively worse. We live on the second floor, and it was getting difficult for him to go up and down the stairs. It was also becoming a challenge for him to complete his daily “dooties”, so to speak. We tried different meds to correct the problem, but the final conclusion was that he had a spinal disease of sorts.
I had already had Jezebel for 2 years when Spike came into the family. In 1995, I had moved to Salt Lake City and through a series of events came to own Spike. A friend told me I would give him a good home. And so I did. Over the years, I had a hard time figuring out if he was dumb, or just playing dumb. There were times he clearly didn’t know what was going on, but then he would surprize us. He was terrified of water, and hated baths. When we moved here to Connecticut, he found a love of rabbit poo. It took him a while to realize that when he got rabbit poo on him, he would get a bath. Finally, he stopped rolling in it. However, he never outgrew his love to get into the garbage. What dog does?
But, he was fun to have around. I would play “fetch” with Jezebel; her favorite game. Spike would want to get in on it. So I’d throw the stick for him to “fetch”. He would go get it, then run off to the side, lay down, and commence chewing on the stick! He sure had his way. We are fortunate to have had him around as long as we did. And we’re also grateful that we were able to take him on our first family vacation this past May.
Spike was the “second” member of my family, Jezebel being the “first”; he was six months old when I got him. I had not yet married, and did not have children when Spike joined Jezebel as a K9 member of my family. It was extremely hard to make that decision to put him down, as I had him for twelve years. But I had to think about the quality of his life. And Spike just didn’t have much “quality” left. It was the right thing to do for him. Spike was cremated and I should get his remains back in a week or so.
I have many memories of Spike, and might share some more with you in the future.
Spike, we love you and we will miss you.