Monday, December 15, 2008


I first met Spencer in 1998. Howie took me to Mamaw's house for some reason or another and he was there. He was her seeing eye dog; a big, energetic, fluffy golden retriever who would, if given the opportunity, lick the skin right off of you.

He LOVED Howie because he would take him outside and wrestle with him until he was forced to put Howie in a head-lock and fart in his face.

His job was to lead Ellie (Mamaw) to and from work in the capital building of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where she owned a concession stand. He was good at his job. Ellie said that he was one of the most reliable dogs she ever had. Except for that one time when he barreled down the steps of the capital and nearly landed Mamaw face-down on the sidewalk.

When Mamaw and Pappy retired and decided to travel the country, they didn't know what to do with Spence. Since Howie and I adored him and always wanted him for ourselves, we quickly offered to take him. He joined our family in early 2005 and has been a huge part of our family ever since.

I say huge because he was...a giant, hairy beast with droopy eyes and rank breath. But oh, how he could snuggle. He loved to be brushed or pet and quite enjoyed licking up fallen goldfish crackers. He was a connoisseur of apples, carrots and cat food.

He enjoyed taking walks through the neighborhood and really like stopping every ten feet to take a dump on everyone's yard. He didn't want anyone to feel left out! He was infinitely patient with the kids who tried to ride him bareback, stick their fingers in his butt hole, poke his eyes and bite his nose.

We often found him sprawled out on our couch in the wee hours of the morning with his head snuggled in a throw pillow. He was petrified of thunder storms, he rarely barked and made a terrible guard dog. If someone would have broke into the house in the middle of the night he would have been like, "dude, scratch me right here...just under my leg... oh,and you can help yourself to anything. Mi casa es tu casa!"

We were all shocked and heartbroken when we woke up on the morning of December 7th, 2008 and found that Spencer had passed away. He was twelve and a half years old. He gave us no indication that he was deathly ill. We had been petting him just hours before he passed and he seemed as normal as ever.

We miss him so much. The house seems painfully empty when we come home, there is nobody to greet us with an enthusiastically wagging tail. Nobody to lick spills from the kitchen floor. . I miss those giant eyes, those soft tufts of fur. We love him and miss him so much! There is such a huge void in the house. I keep expecting to look over and see him begging for a bite of my veggie burger. I keep expecting to step over him or see his sweet, familiar mug looking up at me.

Farewell, old man. Thanks for the snuggles, for the friendship and for the love. We'll miss you more than I could ever describe. Forever and always.


  1. Oh NO! Licha, I am so sorry. (sniffle). You have had a crappy, crappy year for this.
    Pets passing always makes me all teary eyed.
    On the bright side, Spence was at home, happy and content when he crossed over the Rainbow bridge.

  2. I'm sorry for your losses this year. You are doing such justice to the memories you have, though!
    I'm halfway across the world don't even know ya, and I'm tearing up about Spencer and your Mum!
    I hope your kids are dealing okay with Spencer's passing. I was nine years old when my black lab Shadow (real original on the name, eh) died, and it still upsets me.
    Good thing you've got such a sense of humour and a loving famiy, that'll hopefully drive you so batty you can't even remember why you're sad!

  3. Oh no! The loss of furry family is always hard. I am very sorry you had to lose him, he sure is adorable.

  4. How heartbreaking! Licha I am so sorry for your loss. He was a looker and I am certain his personality matched!



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