Saturday 17 March 2018

My Pet: Sparky was truly the best to the end


Martina Dockery

January 2001 was a turning point in our lives when it came to animal ownership, as it was at that time we became the proud owners of Sparky.

Sparky was a Jack Russell terrier, eight weeks old at the time and, as a result of a passing remark from a friend, we were soon on our way to collect Sparky from a gentleman in Lawrencetown near Ballinasloe in Co Galway. Certain times and events are indelibly marked in all our lives and this trip was no different. On arrival, we were met by Sparky and her mam and little brother. We could have picked her or her sibling but there was no contest. Alongside her mother, she followed us out to the car and we fell in love with her there and then.

That first trip back to Roscommon was, to say the least, eventful. Little Sparky suffered from travel sickness on the journey home. On arriving back home, we fed her and at bedtime she went to her new bed for the first time alone without the companionship and warmth of her other little family. Amazingly, she slept through the night and in the morning, her bed was dry and clean, which was a wonderful achievement for a puppy on her first night alone.

What followed was 16 years of pure devotion from this little dog who became our constant companion, friend and inspiration. She travelled all over the region with us and attended music events, dog shows, joined our local walking club and got to know every one of our neighbours, friends and family. She became inseparable from myself and my mam and she was a familiar sight sitting in the front of the car, watching the world go by.

Jack Russells are generally known for their tenacity and loyalty, and Sparky was certainly at the front of the queue when they were handing out those qualities. She was loyal, strong and determined and these qualities really came to the fore when she became ill last Christmas with a mast cell tumour.

She responded magnificently to surgery 10 weeks ago, recovered very well, and was back to her usual self within days but unfortunately the tumour began to grow aggressively three weeks later and although she fought bravely to the very end, we had to let her go two weeks ago.

We miss our beautiful little dog and the house seems empty without her but we will never forget the gorgeous puppy we brought back from Lawrencetown all those years ago. She gave us so much more than we could ever give back and she truly was "the best dog ever".

Martina Dockery, Elphin, Co Roscommon

Name: Sparky

Finest hour: The bravery during her last illness

Likes: The sight of the lead and my walking shoes

Dislikes: The postman

If you would like your pet featured in this column please send a story of 440 words, in your voice not the pet's, and a photograph to clearly labelled MY PET

Sunday Independent

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