Wednesday, June 14

Farewell to Sparky Ray

Shortly before Memorial Day, a number of Frenchie admirers learned of an elderly stud dog being advertised for sale. They pooled some money, bought his freedom from a commercial breeder and surrendered him for rehoming to FBRN. Over the course of the next two weeks, Sparky Ray travelled from North Carolina to his foster home, several states away. Volunteers who'd never met each other had the chance to meet as they handed him off on each leg. He brought his charm to everyone who met him.
In his foster home, he underwent a dental surgery and neuter and came through with flying colors. He had just begun to learn the pleasures of life in a home. Yesterday morning, Sparky Ray passed away suddenly. Here are some of the notes we received about Sparky Ray during his time with us and yesterday when we learned of his death.

From Kim:
I picked up Sparky. He is an absolute DOLL!!! My husband is in love with the old man. He has about 6 teeth left in his mouth--he moves pretty stiffly and is a VERY loud eater! He just takes everything in stride and seems really happy to sit on the couch and be petted...but likes NOTHING better than a slice of American cheese.

From Sally:
Sparky is very sweet and was very good on his ride with us. It took him a little while to settle down in the crate but I just think he was so tired he just didn't know what to do. It was a very long day for this old boy. His body is a little crooked, his tongue doesn't fit in his mouth but he walked on the leash very well for me and went potty like he knew what he was supposed to do. For a poor dog that hasn't known the kind touch of a human hand or a warm bed until a few weeks ago, he still knew how to give kisses when you bent down and asked for a kiss.

From Jan:
I got to our meeting place a little early and had Sparky and my Philippe playing together in the grass. At one point they were both on their backs head to head snorting up a storm as I tickled their chins and rubbed their bellies....they had a great time. In between the funny jumps he made, the rolling around in the grass and the many kisses he gave you could see a great personality in there.

From Sherry:
It is with a very heavy, heavy heart that I tell you all that Sparky
Ray has passed away. I am as shocked as all of you are now. He was
doing so well and he was starting to play with my girls. Everyone
was napping peacefully, I asked if they needed to go out, he got up
and just dropped to the ground. I performed CPR on him the 10
minutes it took to get him to the hospital with my husband driving,
but I could not revive him. It is very gruesome to think about, but
I had a necropsy done to see what happened. My vet found that the
right atrium of his heart was very large, indicating heart disease.
She was surprised that he was able to recovery from the surgery, but
with the stress of everything he's been through, it was just too
much. She also found evidence of early cancer in his bladder.
There was no way for anyone to know he had these problems, as they
do not show up on routine bloodwork.

I wanted to thank everyone, especially Karen, for taking such good
care of him the short time he was with us. At least his last few
weeks were loving and happy. I am so sorry this had to happen.

From Karen:
He found some way to give love even though he wasn't loved most of his life.He was livestock to his owners, and valued only for what he could produce. And yet, he had a twinkle in his eye and literally a skip in his step. When he would come in from being outside he would gallop across the kitchen as if to say, "ok, what's next, I am ready to start living." He would greet my kids and their friends with the warmth and the enthusiasm only a kind heart shows. He liked to be held like a baby and have his belly rubbed. He liked to watch you cook and wait for little bits to fall on the floor. I spent a whole evening in front of the TV with him one night with popcorn, teaching him to beg. He loved it!

I wonder if his purpose was to unite some of the FBRN volunteers in that amazing caravan that took him north to make himself known in order to show what these forgiving creatures can endure in life and still have the capacity to love. I don't know, but I do know that he was special, and that he will be remembered by everyone who had the privilege to meet him.

From Marisa:
It's really amazing how many hearts that little soul touched in such a short period of time. My husband is reeling (Sparky REALLY reminded him of Willy, our "original" Frenchie that has passed on). His coworker and her partner came to meet him while we were waiting for Jan. They're both terribly upset. Of course, there are then all the Rescue volunteers from all walks of life, the vets that helped him, etc.

I can't help but think he brought us all together for a reason.

I still am haunted by the feeling of his little chin resting in the crook of my arm, eyes closed, tongue out, ears relaxed and little nose tilted up while calmly inhaling the cool breeze.

I'm sure he's now running around, telling all our beloved souls that have passed on what we're all up to, exclaiming stories of American cheese, animal crackers and warm hugs. Run, Sparky, run and rejoice!!!

Sparky Ray had a very short time to be the pet every FBRN dog should be.We have a special place in our heart for older dogs from breeding operations who've never known a soft bed, a warm touch, a loving look. Remember Sparky Ray and his crazy grin, his days of pleasure, and his loving, happy spirit. His life has touched the lives of all of us in FBRN and we are deeply grateful for his time with us.
Peace and comfort to all of Sparky Ray's friends from
The Frog Princess


Anonymous said...

Oh that is so sad. He had the sweetest face. I wish that he had know love much earlier in his little life. I am very sorry.

Anonymous said...

I live in Singapore and own a Frenchie named Princess. I had tears in my eyes reading this story. How lucky Sparky Ray was to find such wonderful people to give him hope and love and comfort. He had a peaceful end - filled with love and joy. I know you all feel sad, but what you brought to his life was amazing. I'll bet his little heart gave out because one heart can hold only so much love. I saw that in his face.