Last week we had to make a very hard decision. Our 16-year-old Brittany Spaniel, Windy, had to be put to sleep. She had been fading fast the past 6 months and no longer cared about her favorite things like People Food and Petting.
Windy joined my family when it was just my daughter and I. We already had a cat, TipTip, but DD (dear daughter) really, really wanted a dog. So I started looking into breeds that would be good with kids and with other pets.
If you’ve never met a Brittany Spaniel, they are great with both kids and other dogs, cats, etc. Windy never acknowledged the cat’s presence. This annoyed the cat from time to time, but they worked it out in their own way.
Windy came to us through the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network (NBRAN, http://www.nbran.org/). She was about 3 years old and her first family was going through some tough times and could not keep her. I drove out to meet with the foster Mom and Windy was so pretty. Orange and white and lots of freckles. She was very shy (not at all Brittany-like) but loved attention and petting.
So at first, she was very timid, very shy. It probably took a year before the full Brittany craziness came out. Then she would bounce. Bounce, Bounce, Bounce. For treats – for people food – when we came home – when we let her outside – when we let her inside. You get the idea.
Still, her favorite things were People Food and Petting. My husband (who joined the family a few years later) once tried an experiment to see if Windy would get tired of being petted. Not a chance. I don’t remember how long he petted her, but his arm got tired way before she lost interest.
Windy never did learn to do some of the things that most dogs (at least sporting breeds) do. She wouldn’t chase a ball, she hated the water. A spaniel who hated water?!? She didn’t even like getting her little, delicate feet wet after it had rained. Silly girl.
As the years passed, Windy calmed down again. In her senior years she was very sweet and even did several months volunteering as a Pet Pal visiting local assisted living centers. Stand (or sit) and be petted for an hour? Yep, Windy was great at that.
We added a second Brittany to the household 2 years ago. Koda — Koda Bear, Koda the Destroyer. She is all 100% Brittany from the start. Silly, bouncy and lovable. She and Windy got along wonderfully. Windy was a little too old to play, but Koda didn’t let that stop her. As long as Windy was outside with her, she would run and chase things and have a ball.
When we left with Windy last week, Koda ran around the house and howled. Howled! She still seems to be looking for her buddy. Well, I’ve forgotten a couple of times too that she isn’t around.
If you have room in your home, please consider adopting one of these dogs. They will bring laughter and joy to your family for many years. Saying goodbye is so hard, but we all know Windy had a very good life. She was well loved and there are many people whose lives she touched that will remember her. Thank you to all the people who have sent virtual hugs and condolences.
Goodbye, Windy girl. I love you.