Sparky was a white fluffy American Eskimo dog. He had just turned 14 in January. He was my dad’s dog but when he moved to Europe last year, we felt Sparky was not in good enough health to make the plane ride. The grief of losing his owner was buried so deep in him that it started to make him sick, no matter how much I doted on him.
The seven months I lived by myself with Sparky, he was my dog and I know that he loved me just as much as I loved him. We would take nightly walks around by the lake near my house. Whenever I watched TV in the living room he would sit by me, start licking my leg, and after an appropriate amount of licks would turn over onto his back and wait for belly rubs. He’d done that with me since he was a puppy. In fact, we were both so conditioned to this exchange that sometimes when someone else’s dog approached me I’d instinctively pull up my pant leg and get weird stares from the hosts.
I would go for McDonald’s at night and each time he’d climb up to get some of my fries and a plain hamburger.
A month ago, I took him to the vet because the cough had become chronic and found out that whatever degeneration had occurred, this was the end for Sparky. He could put him to sleep that very day or I could get some medication to help him survive a few more weeks with an improvement to his quality of life. I chose the latter. I needed a bit more time with him. I sobbed the entire ride home.
The meds kept him comfortable and gave him lots of energy and took away his pain but his lungs continued to fail. If somebody off the street saw him they would never even suspect he was so sick
This last weekend he couldn’t sleep through the night any more and kept us up because he was starting to struggle again. I had a dream that night about seeing him at a farm surrounded by animals and felt deeply that this was it. I had to end his pain.
Things worked out in my favor. Despite covid-19 protocols, I could be there with him until the very end. They set out a blanket for him and invited me inside. I got to hold him and hug him and kiss his forehead and tell him he was going to be okay. That’s all that I wanted. I said my goodbye and he was gone fairly quickly. I left the vet’s office and started sobbing so hard I could barely walk.
Now, this is the truly incredible part. I wasn’t planning on telling my mom right away. I had to make the decision and go through it for both of us. I had to be strong enough.
Yet, when I checked my phone it turns out that she had called me twice at the exact moment that Sparky passed. 12:51 pm
I called her back and the first thing she said was “He’s gone. I know he’s gone. I called you I was sitting at the kitchen table with Teresa who was helping me pack. There were two women upstairs packing up the bedrooms as well. All of a sudden we heard this loud bark clear as day as if he was in the hallway.
Teresa said “Oh, I guess they’re back. Maybe they canceled the appointment” I just stared at her and said, “No, they went through with it.”
She went to look for herself but there was nobody there. She exclaimed, “That’s impossible! I heard very clear barking. They must be back” yet, there was no one, not even on the sidewalk outside.
My mom just looked at her and said “No. Sparky came back to say goodbye.”
The two ladies upstairs also confirmed that they heard it clearly as if he was downstairs.
Sparky is gone, yet his spirit came back to say goodbye one last time. He was in pain and now his pain is gone. I got to be blessed with the most wonderful amazing loving dog for 14 years of my life.
Submitted by Evelina
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