Submitted by Paul Stippich

It is interesting to me that it has only been one day, well really less than one day since we put this dog down and there is already a space and a void that I can feel. I walk down the stairs in the morning from my room and I just feel an overwhelming emptiness filling the house. Yes I can see three dogs, one in a different spot in the living room but there still is an emptiness. It isn’t an emptiness of someone you have lived with moving away or even really dying, but just an emptiness and want of something to be there.

It’s funny to think that getting another dog would help suffice this emptiness but they could never hold the same place as this one did, and it isn’t to say that we haven’t fostered around 15 dogs, whether it was 6 or so puppies at a time or a real shy skitsy dog, or one that was suffice it to say, a girl who thought she was an alpha dog.

This void can’t and won’t be filled by another foster – it is impossible to fill the spot of an 11 year old yellow lab, with the softest chin, biggest barreled chest and the most interesting whiny bark you ever heard.

There are countless times when our young gun dogs would bark at something outside and the old guy would just raise his head from where he was lying down, and start his barking just to fit in with the boys. He followed us wherever we went in the house and he really had the best manners and set the example by just laying in the middle of the floor around the kitchen table, not begging for food like our other dogs. He was a pure gentleman and a love bucket. When it rained he would climb the stairs and break down my door to somehow magically hop up on my bed.

And as annoying as it was for him to burst into my room when it rained and I was studying, there is a void, a deafening silence, a whiny little bark that can’t and won’t be heard any longer. His presence will be missed and even though we had him for a little less than a year, he was family, he was a dog we chose to foster. He had a home, it turned out to be permanent, but he had a home, and that home was in our hearts where he will forever stay.

This dog, this cute, little, barrel chested old man…his name is Spanky and he will always have a home in our hearts. I hope even now that he continues to chase the bunnies that he did in his dreams here in our house.

-Paul Stippich for the Stippich Family