Monday, June 12, 2017


We had to make the painful decision to put our cocker spaniel, Abigail, to sleep last week. She had endured too much and her future was in serious doubt. We couldn't, in all good conscience, let her suffer anymore.

I'm kicking myself because I can't find a picture I had of her as a puppy. It was taken within a few days of when we brought her home. She was adorable! A classic cocker spaniel. Abby was our second cocker. When Norm and I lived in Keuka Park we had our first cocker, Kasey. He was our dog and not too crazy about anyone else! He was a black cocker and I only have a few pictures of him and none that are digital. He was happy being an only child and wasn't too crazy about us going away for two weeks, leaving him with family and friends and then coming back bearing Alexa! They had a typical sibling relationship. Kasey would try and steal food off Lex's plate and she would in turn bop him on the nose!

When we moved to Buffalo we thought we would get another dog. We went to the local Buffalo AKC show and looked at many different breeds but came back to the cocker spaniel. We found a breeder up in Wilson and got on the waiting list for one of her dog's puppies. We were sent photos of the litter when they were around two weeks old and I picked out the one I liked and sent the photos on to Norm for his opinion and we agreed, Alexa - not so much...She liked another puppy in the litter but we chose Abigail. We didn't even change her name. The breeder had named her puppies and we thought the name fit perfectly. I have a picture somewhere, but again I'm kicking myself because I can't find it, argh!!

Abby was a human's dog, not a dog's dog. She loved her humans! All equally, but differently. Here she is with my mother-in-law, Joyce. Joyce loved Abby. She's been especially hard hit by her loss. I was skeptical about getting a dog with Joyce living with us but these two hit it off. Abby was a wonderful companion for Joyce when no one was home. She would sit next to Joyce up in her room and look up at her with her soulful eyes which Joyce interpreted as her saying, "I love you Grandma, I'll keep you company."

Abby and Alexa had a bit of a sibling relationship. Lex would get exasperated with Abby at times but every year we had to have a photo session with antler ears under the Christmas tree - whether Abby liked it or nor!

Most of all Abby loved Norm. She was content to stay with me or Joyce during the day but when Norm came home from work, that's where she wanted to be.

This is my favorite photo of the two of them together. Norm was the dog walker and by that I mean Norm loves to walk. He'd take Abby with him and they would walk for miles! Abby was always up for it especially if it meant she'd get to chase a squirrel or a deer or a rabbit - once a turkey. Luckily she never caught anything or any of the rabbits that live around our back yard.

Abby would hang with Alexa when she came home from school and parked herself on the recliner with Lex the day she got her wisdom teeth removed. (Lex, forgive me the photo). 

She would also be on the look out for the bus when Alexa was younger and took the bus to school. Later Abby is watching from the window as Lex is taking her driving lessons.

She had her share of injuries and ailments - this is the famous bot fly infection aftermath. I have to go through more photos and see if I can create more scrapbook pages of her. I'm pretty sure I have a few already.

She also had a not so fun side. Human food could never be within reach. She would gobble up anything she could find! She got into Norm's stash of dark chocolate nonpareils a few years back with a trip to the emergency room and some serious treatment afterwards. Tissues, food wrappers were her favorites - all garbage cans, pails, containers had to be kept out of reach. She hated thunder as many dogs do but she also hated the sound of my guillotine paper cutter! If I was cutting paper for cards or scrapbook pages and she could hear that cutter blade drop, she would run for the hills, hiding behind anyone she could find!

Abby developed a spinal infection a month after she had had ACL surgery. We ended up taking her to the Orchard Park Veterinary Hospital but they couldn't manage her pain and recommended we take her to Veterinary Specialists in Rochester for more extensive testing to determine what was wrong. Both facilities were wonderful to Abby and to us. They treated Abby with deep care, compassion and expert knowledge and experience. However, her system had been through so much that it just could not rally. She was a fighter till the end. She gave us kisses and love until the end. She was our sweet, sweet girl and we miss her every day but are comforted in the knowledge she is no longer in pain or suffering. 

We love you Abigail. You will always be in our hearts.