Memorial for Spencer the Labrador Retriever

November 13, 2016

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It’s always challenging for my clients to lose a beloved pet.  It’s even tougher when that canine or feline companion is actually part of your family.

October 2016 was a sad month, as not only did I lose Gentle Ben as my patient, but my sister, Michelle Scott, had to let go of her Labrador Retriever Spencer.  I first got to know Spencer when I lived in Washington, DC. and have great memories of him romping around the Scott family’s Delaware backyard with Cardiff and his canine sister Riley.

Spencer was also a patient of mine, as I performed his neuter and took radiographs (x-rays) of his hips while he was under anesthesia.   Fortunately, he had good hip conformation which carried him well into his senior years.

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Caption- Spencer and the Scott family enjoy the Delaware snow

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Senior Spencer and Riley with Allison, David, and Erin Scott

I feel the best memorials come from those who care for a pet day in and day out.  Here’s Spencer’s memorial as written by his canine mother Michelle.

I can still clearly remember the day when we decided to add Spencer to our family.  We had talked recently about getting a dog, and Brad definitively said it had to be a big dog – we learned about a family whose yellow Lab had just given birth to puppies.  We immediately drove out to the farm to see the puppies.  The kids were immediately drawn to the one with the largest paws.  Thinking that this would fit Brad’s requirement for a large dog, we said we’d love to have him. 

We picked him up for good after a family vacation to Hilton Head.  The breeder said he had just been to Wilmington for the blessing of the pets the previous day.  This was the first of many blessings.

Spencer was blessed first and foremost with endless energy – our fondest memories remain the endless evenings of family baseball in the back yard, bike rides around the neighborhood just to tire him out, the time he sprained his tail as he swam in Stiles lake, swimming after us as we waterskied, and tossing sticks to him at the pond at Carousel Park and at White Clay Creek.

Spencer was blessed with endless love as well – he was always on the lawn or at the door ready to greet anyone who entered our house, although he always saved the best wags of the tail for Brad, Allison, David and Erin.  I swear he could tell the moment one of their cars entered the neighborhood.  His best friends were home to play with him and love him.  Love him they did!  As Brad worked from home these last few years, Spencer was his constant companion.  Spencer looked forward to David’s love whenever possible – I still believe there is a special love between a boy and his dog – David and Spencer were best buds!  Allison and Erin also had a unique bond with Spencer, made even stronger when we brought Riley into the mix.

Well, after 13+ years, the energy gave out … the love did not.  He loved us to the very end, trying to gently let us know that he was ready to cross over that Rainbow Bridge.  We finally let him and on October 20th, we said goodbye.  As we’ve reflected in the days that have followed, we realize how truly blessed we were to have him in our lives for as long as we did.  He gave us love and more important, he made our family complete.

Thanks to all who loved him and cared for him over the years.  To the friends that took care of him as we traveled to the wonderful care he always received at Limestone Vet.  We were also blessed to have Dr. Patrick Mahaney as our personal, family veterinarian, giving advice long distance from California, providing thorough check-ups when he came to visit us on the East Coast, and in those final days letting us know that it was okay to let Spencer go.

We hope everyone has the opportunity to have a pet enter their life and to be as blessed as we were by Spencer!

Although Spencer is gone he’ll never be forgotten and will certainly always be missed.

Have you lost a pet who was near and dear to your heart? Feel free to share your perspective in the Comments section.

Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Thank you for reading this article. Your questions and comments are completely welcome.
Please feel free to communicate with me through Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine by liking Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets on Facebook.
Copyright of this article (2016) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Michelle Scott November 17, 2016 at 4:32 PM

Patrick, thanks so much for honoring Spencer with this memorial. He has a special place in our heart for sure and love the care and love your provide him during his long and healthy life! zoo

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