Sparky, O Noble Hound!

We put to sleep our beautiful Sparky this morning. We never knew actually his age, but we would have had him 5 years this July.  We estimate he was around 9 or 10, way too early to die.

Sparky was a rescue from a drug house, given  by an officer from the Red Dogs here in Atlanta.  No one could figure  why such a breed, English Field Spaniel, would be at a drug house.  But it didn’t matter, he was  scared, sick, full of heartworms and afraid of everyone.  My dear son was bitten twice , and it took three months before Sparky got over his fear of people.  One day he crawled into the surprised arms of my son, and the terrors were gone.  After that, Sparky was the ‘best friend’ of everyone he came around, and that was fine with us. 

Over the years, he became my favorite doggie, one of four, but somehow different.  Calm, loving, oh so obedient, we took him on his first North Carolina Mountains camping trip just a week ago.  He did well, but then we didn’t know of the cancer in his stomach, about the size of a small grapefruit.  This morning we considered the options which weren’t very good: Sparky’s blood pressure was very low, though he had shaken off his high fever of last week through meds.  He wouldn’t have survived any possible surgery. His ailment seemed to come on fast, but of course, the cancer had been growing for a while.  When we took him in to his vet, he had perked up, wagging his tail, greeting everyone in the waiting room like the old Sparky.

These things are never easy.  We brought him home, buried him with a rose and a hollyhock next to his nose and planted an old boxwood over him.

The other dogs, Merlin, Galahad-The-Mook, and Laddie attended the funeral and Merlin whined all through the service, climbing down into the grave to paw at his buddy.

Animals have short and brutal lives.  Love them fiercely and redouble your affection for the living. Rescue as many as you can.

Lady Nyo

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22 Responses to “Sparky, O Noble Hound!”

  1. Liras Says:

    Bye, sweet Sparky. You will be missed!


  2. Susannah Says:

    Oh, this made me cry. What a lovely boy.

    Sending much love to you and the dogs

    It is always heartbreaking when they go. x


  3. Steve Isaak Says:

    Sorry to hear about your loss. Ana and I have a black cat, Sable – a furry, bulky (she’s big, sans fat) third member of our tiny family, and if she died, I’d be sad for a quite a while.

    I’ll be reading your book as soon as possible. I have a ton of research reading and writing to do, as well as the ongoing job search. Apologies for being a bit phantom-like of late.


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Nah, Steve….life gets in the way. Love and cuddle Sable as much as you can….smother him with love now.

    Don’t worry about “White Cranes”…it’s not flying anywhere right now….too hot here to fly.



  5. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Susannah….

    He was such a wonderful boy….my best boy. This pix was last night, before dying this morning. I see how frail he looks….

    But still noble and beautiful.



  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Liras.

    To know Sparky was to fall in love with this wonderful being.



  7. sunmoonstar13 Says:

    Very sorry to hear of the loss of Sparky, Jane. What a beautiful dog. Bless you for rescuing him and giving him a good home and a good life.


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Hello, Nick.

    You knew Sparky, at least by pix and reputation all these years. Thank you, friend, for your sentiments. I know you join me in sorrow for this beautiful dog. I am trying to get myself around the fact that he is gone. I can’t yet believe it.

    Thank you, Nick.

    Love, Jane


  9. Pat Hatt Says:

    sorry to hear about Sparky.

    Yeah they do have such short lives, but the best we can do is enjoy them immensly well they are here and give them a good life, as they are just as much a part of the family as any one else and are better than most humans.


  10. ladynyo Says:

    thanks, Pat.

    I agree. I know people who pray all the time, have ‘good’ words in their mouths but they don’t descend to the heart. Dogs don’t pray…they aren’t cult members, they aren’t hypocrites….they just love , the way we humans should do to each other…unconditionally.

    And…they don’t want to be seen as ‘right’ all the time. They couldn’t care less. They just want to express and receive love.

    Dogs are better at humanity than most humans. They don’t cloak themselves in righteousness. Their hearts aren’t hardscrabble.

    Lady Nyo


  11. Margie Says:

    “…better at humanity than most humans…” truer words were never written. Beautiful picture of Sparky, Jane. He was lovely and I’m sure left behind lovely memories.


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Margie.
    He looks so frail, though. He was so robust for so many years…playful and funny. Yesterday,. on the table, before he went out….I was crying, trying not to have his last moments full of sadness…but it was so hard. I was calling his name and playing with his ears, covering up his eyes….and he reached up and licked my nose. A goodbye kiss.

    I am aching, but Margie, you and the others here know. You are part of that better humanity, the ones that don’t hide behind dogma, religion, etc….to show compassion in honest and truthful ways.

    Thank you.



  13. libithina Says:

    what a beautiful little sparky ~ sounds sparky to the end ~ as an owner of three dogs four until recently I can easily empathise ~ when my daughter moved and took this little shzi su with her (the fourth)~ he too (Alfie) a rescue from also atrocious circumstances ~ severely neglected ~ we have had him about five years also ~ sadly he has just been diagnosed with heart failure ~ after suffering two heart attacks ~ but seems happy ~ but all we can do is give them a home shelter food comfort and love ~ sounds like Sparky was well loved and will never be forgotten ~ shed tears myself at your write ~ the thought of him wagging his tail ~ shows his great spirit ~ warm hugs Jane ~ Lib ~ @Libithina


  14. leslie Says:

    oh, though i’ve only met you here, i so feel your pain… i still miss the dog friends we have lost over the years, the last one went much like your sparky. but you gave him such a great life – such love. and that is and always will be a wonder… and you’ve written a beautiful tribute to your good and loyal friend.


  15. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, LIb. I am so sorry about Alfie….but this is manageable. Cancer in the abdomen was not. I wish it was heart disease for Sparky.

    Love them as long as you can….animals in all societies suffer short and brutal lives… He was my first English Field Spaniel, but he won’t be the last.



  16. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Leslie. Thank you, regardless where we have met.

    I understand, I have a list of pets gone that is too long. I felt really guilty about taking him just a week before up in the NC Mountains….but my husband thinks he enjoyed it…as sick as he was. We had no idea what was wrong with him, but we knew something. It was a shock when I found out yesterday morning.

    I wrote that tribute so fast because I was so deep into pain, but I will write at some point about Sparky, and what a marvelous doggie he was for those 5 years of life with us.

    Thank you, Leslie.



  17. hedgewitch Says:

    My sympathies sincerely, Jane. We had to put down the best companion and smartest dog we ever had, a Jack Russell, about six years ago due to spinal injury, and there are times when I still lay in bed at 3 am and think about him. Unconditional love is scarce in this world.


  18. ladynyo Says:

    thank you, Joy. Oh, Russells are wonderful, high energy dogs. How sad. Yes, unconditional love seems to come only with paws and four feet in this life.




  19. Rose Says:

    Hi, Jane,

    So sorry to hear of Sparky’s passing. It sounds as if he was a very special dog, indeed. It is never easy saying “good-bye” to a loving and loyal friend.

    Thanks to you, though, Sparky lived the good life for the past almost five years. He left you with warm memories and love in your heart and he took love with him, because of you.

    Hugs {{{{{{{{{Jane}}}}}}}}}

    Rose 😉


  20. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Rose,

    You know, because of Ben…how hard it is…to lose them. I am devestated, but this will pass. He floats around me, though. A Field Spaniel is a marvelous breed, something I have never come across before. They are dignified but loyal and loving and amazingly smart.

    I want another of this breed, and have been talking to breeders and rescue around the country. But today I am going to make the trip to our Animal Shelter just because there is a dog there that needs me as much as I need him. Breed doesn’t matter in the end, it’s all about heart.

    Thank you, Rose, for your kind words about Sparky.

    Hugs, ((((((Rose))))


  21. Kavita Says:

    😦 I am very sorry to hear about your Sparky, Lady Nyo… he sure seemed like a doggie with spirit!!
    Love, whether it be towards a human, or not, is love indeed… and it simply cannot be replaced…

    I hope Sparky – wherever he is now – finds the peace he sooo deserves…

    Hugs and Love to you and your family, my friend..


  22. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Kavita. I miss him so much but I can look out at his grave from my window. That at least is a small comfort.

    Lady Nyo


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