Love stories between a family and their beloved animal companion are deep and lifelong. The story of a stray spotty dog named Skip and his adoptive family started back in 2001. His family wrote this touching tale in remembrance:
“There was once a little spotty dog, roaming along a rural road. He was picked up by the pound in Langley. After a week, when no one came to claim him, he was put up for adoption and that very next day, a family walked in. They were looking for a companion for their beautiful girl, a beach blonde retriever with the loveliest brown eyes and the sweetest disposition.
When the spotty dog saw the family and the blonde, he knew right away they were his ticket to freedom. He leaned very hard on that kennel fence and put on his saddest face, and they couldn’t resist. As soon as he became aware he was leaving this place for something better, he became very excited, could not sit still and looked very happy. It was the start of a love story….
Once in his new forever home, the spotty dog (now known as Skip) found his food bowl right away and made it very clear that the blonde retriever was not to go near it. If she respected that, he would be her very best friend forever. So, she did…. When night came and every one settled for their bed time, the Skip chose the daughter’s bed.
Skip became very attached to his family and his blonde, and so did they to him. Over the next few years, Skip and the blonde enjoyed leisurely afternoon bathing in the sunshine, lying on the fluffy green grass. He particularly enjoyed chewing his Kong in the downward dog yoga pose and could stand like that for hours. He also spent a lot of time making sure his territory was free of any intruders, including bees, birds and squirrels.
At the age of five, Skip was diagnosed with epilepsy. That is when he showed his family the meaning of bravery and tenacity. Even if he was sometimes embarrassed by the lack of control during his seizure, he always did his best to recover quickly and showed his family that he was okay, that he would make it through.
Skip taught his family that patience is the key to get what you want. He could sit forever by the cookie jar, knowing that someone eventually would give in and offer him a treat.
Skip proved his dedication and faithfulness to his family and became their hero, the night an intruder entered their yard. He was so determined to protect his family that he even broke the fence. That night, even though terrified by the snorting and growling coming out of their spotty dog, the papa and the mama knew they would always be safe as long as he was with them.
Over the years, Skip became more and more precious to his family. He was there to comfort them when the kids were sad, when they were sick or when the parents argued. He was there to make friends laugh and keep the family active and he was also there when the blonde got sick and crossed over the rainbow bridge. It was a very sad time for everyone and not easy for him to lose her, as they had shared so many adventures in 11 years, but Skip remained strong and helped the family mourn.
After the passing of the blonde retriever, the young boy, who was now in his late teens, spent a lot of time with Skip, out and about in the neighbourhood. But with the years adding up, Skip tired more quickly and couldn’t keep up as much with his buddy. Skip’s black spots began to turn grey, his hearing and sight started to go, but the love and companionship of family remained and grew stronger.
When the daughter left for university, Skip continued to keep her bed safe and warm, trying to fill some of the void her absence left in the house.
When the boy became a young man, he continued caring for Skip. If the old spotty dog had trouble walking, the young man would take him out for rides in his convertible. When the fence was falling apart, the young man fixed it so his old friend would be safe.
The old dog in return loved that boy and his family unconditionally, even the kitten. Skip took her under his wing and made sure she was okay every time she went outside. It surprised the family that such a dominant boy would tolerate such a delicate soul in his home, but once again, he showed them that love has no prejudice and that if they loved that cat, well… then we would love her too!
At the age of 13, Skip got very sick. The family was devastated and hoped he would hang on, and sure enough he did! He was not going to let them down. The family was elated after a few months to see their old friend back to his old tricks and thought his sweet little head, now crooked forever, added to his charms.
As the years wore on, jumping on his chaise by the window to wait for his family, as well as climbing the stairs to the bedroom, became difficult, but Skip still managed to do it because being close to his people was what mattered the most to him. He had finally decided that sleeping in the papa and mama’s room was less lonely than in the daughter’s who had moved out, so every night, he faithfully made the climb.
One night, he did not make the climb. Instead, he went to lay down on his futon, his favourite place in the house, in the downstairs room. The next morning when the mama came to look for him, he let her know with his old tired eyes and his shallow breath that he was ready to move to that wonderful place on the other side of the rainbow bridge to be reunited with his blonde.
Later on that day, the family took their old spotty friend to the vet, and when he took his last breath the mama was finally able to hug him tightly and thank him for all these wonderful years.”
So many of our readers will relate to your story, a story of a lifetime of unconditional love between a family of humans and their devoted furry companion. You remind us all that there is little in this life more satisfying than opening our hearts and our homes to a loyal companion like your Skip.
Thank you for making the decision so many years ago to adopt this spotty dog into your family. You gave him a wonderful life.
Have you adopted an animal from the BC SPCA and want to share your joy with others? Submit your adoption story!