The sun is shining, the grass is green, the birds are singing; I think it is safe to say that summer is on its way! There are so many things to love about summer and I thought I would celebrate with a new contest!
Please read this blog post and there will be instructions at the end.
The Story of Spotty
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved dogs. I dressed up as a Dalmation for Halloween when I was five, my favourite movie was Lady and the Tramp, and I even tried to dognap the neighbour's black and white pup, Cody! In fact, instead of Stephanie, my sisters often called me "Fruppy Puppy".
Every day I cried and cried to my parents. I wanted a dog SO badly! I distinctly remember falling asleep and wishing that I'd wake up to find a puppy at my feet in the morning. What I wouldn't do for my very own dog!
When I was six years old, my parents decided that I could have my own puppy. Growing up, my dad had a black Cocker Spaniel, named Topsy and he said this is the kind of dog that I could have.
I flipped to Cocker Spaniels in my Dog Breed Dictionary. I saw that they had long, floppy ears, and I approved.
Even my Grandma's first dog was a Cocker Spaniel!
My family and I went to visit a litter of puppies, out in the country. I immediately fell in love with a black and white puppy, who fit perfectly in my hands. At this point, she still looked more hamster than pup, but I thought she was adorable. Her name would be Spotty!
My dad told me that I had to be very patient because the puppies would not be ready to go for another six weeks, at the end of summer. That meant a whole summer of waiting.
In the meantime, my dad helped me fill out a form to order a new red, dog shaped tag for Spotty's collar. She wore this for 16 years!
The day had finally come! I was so nervous as my dad and I drove out to pick up Spotty. It felt like the longest car ride I had ever been on. When I walked up to the pen, Spotty and one little, black litter mate were the only ones left.
The man gave Spotty to me to hold and I felt so proud. I tried not to smile, so as not to reveal my toothless grin, but it was the proudest moment in my short life! I tried my best hold onto her, even though she was kind of heavy and a little bit squirmy. I was now a dog owner to a very sweet, spunky, pup: Spotty!
I grew up with Spotty always with me. She was sweet, playful, stubborn, and brave. So was I!
Spotty's favourite season was summer. She spent sixteen summers patrolling the yard, playing with foxes, going on adventures (and misadventures) at the lake, and receiving many odd summer haircuts from a young, aspiring dog groomer, Stephanie.
She was a fairly stocky dog weighing 27 pounds, but i was always surprised by how skinny her legs were when I shaved her fur. I always made sure to groom Spotty myself because if I didn't, my dad would trim her bangs with scissors in an often less than flattering cut!
We had so many good times, but Spotty was getting older and I knew that it would soon be time for her to go. She was getting confused and ended up in the river. Luckily a neighbour saved her and brought her home.
It was on a summer day that I said goodbye to my sweet girl. As difficult as it was, I held her paw and felt her last breath. I always said I'd be there with her til the end. I do not like to dwell on this thought for long.
I like to think back to my memories of her trotting down the road in the summer, or drinking from the lake on her rock and the way that her whole bum wiggled when she wagged her docked tail.
I especially like to think back to that summer day where my dream came true; when I went with my dad to pick up my very first pup.
Spotty, you will always be remembered!
Can you think of a favourite summer memory? If so, please write about your memory in the comment section of this blog or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 20th!
The winner will be drawn randomly and will be announced on the first day of Summer, June 21st!
Prize: 11x14" watercolour painting of your summer memory