In loving memory of Spencer.
March 1, 1998 – February 17, 2009
This is what love looks like, big, true, pure and unconditional. Spencer.
Spencer entered our lives as a foster dog. We had lost our last Golden angel, Raja, seven months earlier to bone cancer. After some time to heal, we decided to foster Goldens for rescue. We got a call late one Thursday in September 2006 that rescue had a senior golden boy but no where for him to go. He arrived at our studio, a large (he was very overweight) beautiful and anxious boy. We were told he was an owner turn in, that he had been trained to be in movies and could apparently hold 3 tennis balls in his mouth at the same time. That turned out to be true.
We instantly fell in love with Spencer and adopted him into our family. He adapted quickly to life with us. He was the gentlest boy with big brown old soul eyes. He loved to greet everyone who came to our recording studio and got cookies from the post lady and the business neighbors in the warehouse next door. He enjoyed many walks daily to local parks and the adoration of neighborhood children.
He was with us on a walk the day we found our dream home and came to all the inspections to make sure it was perfect before we made it our own. He was the fore-dog on our renovations and approved all our landscaping. He became the official yard inspector, making his rounds every morning to see what wildlife had come and gone during the night.
With his gentle giant nature, Spencer was a perfect candidate to become a pet therapy dog. He passed his test with flying colors. Big laughs were had when in the wheelchair test, the gentleman whizzed up to Spencer who didn’t flinch and proceeded to put his big head on the man’s lap once he stopped in front of Spencer. He sat with patients during chemotherapy, he got hugs from doctors and nurses dealing with the stress of the job, he knew exactly how to maneuver his nose close to a hand hidden amongst a jungle of IV’s and tubes for patients in pediatric intensive care. Children with IVs would pretend they had a leash like Spencer and ask if he could stay all day to visit while hugging him so tightly. He willingly endured tiny baby feet kicking his nose to make them smile. He had an uncanny knack of knowing just exactly where to go and who needed him most. As we walked down the hallway he would go to those he knew really needed a hug. I just followed his lead. Often time no words were spoken and he just accepted tears falling on his fur while being hugged. When it was too much for Spencer to walk the many halls of the hospital, he became part of a special pet therapy team that specialized in working with stroke and brain trauma patients. These were people who had undergone a massive life change and were often in the hospital for months. Many of these patients would come to adore Spencer and give him their first smile or word in their long road to recovery. He made them laugh when laughter did not seem possible.
One time he went to visit a hospice and while wandering the halls, Spencer came upon a senior lady sitting sullenly in a wheelchair. He parked himself beside her and maneuvered his head strategically under her hand as he was so expert at doing to get pets. She began to stroke his soft fur and smiled. On of the attendants ran over to us and began crying. He told me that she hadn’t smiled in the year since she had been in the hospice. He was so overjoyed to see her smile.
Spencer could stop traffic. On more than one occasion, someone would pull over and get out of their car to hug him. Complete strangers never thought twice about hugging Spencer and while hiking or on walks many would approach and do just that. He was happy to let the neighborhood kids take turns holding his leash and walking with them. You could often hear the kids yelling “Spencer!” ad soon as they spotted him on a walk. He even went to school to help teach kids about the hospital and pet therapy.
He welcomed foster pups into his home. And though he was a senior and not too happy about dealing with young pups jumping on him and always wanting him to play, he let them. When we fostered the tiny 4 week old abandoned Ben & Jerry, they followed him around like he was their mother. They adored him and would snuggle up into his massive body, all but disappearing in Spencer’s fur. When they were gone he looked for them for days.
Spencer loved to be with us and we took him everywhere with us we could. In his time with us he was rarely separated from us. He loved to hang out in the studio and would make every work day a lot of fun.
Spencer loved to explore new places and we enjoyed his company. He was the perfect beach companion and loved to have lazy days hanging out on the beach. I think he really liked the picnic part the most.
We loved Spencer more then anything. He was one of those once in a lifetime dogs.
We had the best times with Spencer and though we are broken hearted, we can remember so many wonderful times with him. Many people all over the world smiled with Spencer and we are grateful that he has touched the lives of so many.
Although we were only privileged to know Spencer for an all too brief 2 years and 5 months, he will forever remain in our hearts. We will recall the many silly moments, paw pokes, tennis balls and hugs to help heal our aching hearts. Spencer passed away in his own home in the arms of the two people who loved him the most. We would like to thank all of our friends for all the love and support you have sent our way during the time we have had. We will be leaving Spencer’s blog up as a tribute to his life so that maybe even more can smile because of our Golden boy. Please remember one thing about Spencer that made you smile.
Spencer we miss and love you .
PS: If you like this song, it’s “elevation” by U2… go buy it and support the arts!
Posted on February 18th, 2009 by Spencer
Filed under: golden retriever