Tommy and I began dating 18 years ago, but took a three-year "intermission". During a phase where we weren't speaking, we both got dogs (literally within weeks of one another). Tommy rescued Spridel from a woman in Virginia who advertised the puppies but had them flea-ridden and in bad shape. He also bought Spridel's sister. Both dogs came down with Parvo, but we always joked that Spridel was too stubborn to succumb. Tommy trained Spridel, and he was always a great listener. Spridel got his name from the cartoon "Speed Racer", and was nicknamed "Sprinkle" for his tendency to lose control of his bladder when he was a puppy and got excited.
I hadn't planned on getting a dog, but then my friends Catherine and Larry had a pregnant Golden Retriever. I was there when the puppies were born on July 4, 1997. Some time later, the dogs did not all have homes. I became the proud owner of Spanner (aka Star Spangled Banner, aka Sir Spanner of Ashton, aka Spanks), a reddish Golden Retriever. He went to formal puppy school, and never listened nearly as well as Spridel.
Spridel and Spanner became brothers before they were a year old. They were very different dogs, but spent their lives together. Spridel loved his personal space, but was never mean. Spanner thought he was a lap dog and would try to sit all 90+ pounds in my lap on a regular basis. Spridel loved to smell everything (especially as his hearing went). Spanner had breath you avoided smelling at all costs. Spridel had his ear cut by the tooth of another dog while playing. Spanner had belly surgery after eating a tin can.
When we had our children, Spridel and Spanner welcomed the onslaught of crumbs on the floor, and were always very mild-mannered. We will miss our boys terribly, but they gave us so many wonderful years. Their time had come, and they are no longer in pain. I am so thankful that they passed peacefully, and together, after spending so much of their lives together. Rest in Peace, sweet boys.