Spike passed on today.
Born on Christmas Day, he was a gift to Mom from BBB and SIL. She loved him from the start and certainly could have had no better companion than that little guy. Always easygoing, he was still protective of her and as she was dying he stayed by her and offered constant comfort. Her first thought on awakening was always, "Where's my little dog?"
Spike brought the same comfort to LBB and me throughout her illness and when she passed. I don't know how God managed to fit such a huge heart into such a little dog, but for us Spike was a miracle.
When LBB first came to help care for Mom he thought he didn't like dogs, but Spike cured him of that. Not too long after arriving he had to admit that Spike was pretty special. He said, "I don't really like dogs, but Spike loved me so much I had to love him back."
That never changed. Spike was accepting when we added Julie's dogs to the household while she was dying, and never complained at the permanent addition of Peter's dogs after his death either. He seemed to know that they were in need of a home and just accepted them. He just continued quietly being the loving little guy he always had been. He actually guided and helped the two old dogs, Porter and Rocky, until they passed and seemed to be as sweet to them as to us. He was also kind enough to allow Peter's Josie to continue to think she was in charge, though we all knew better.
He was only obstinate about one thing. His morning walk was a Sacred Ritual and he brooked no interference with it. When we fenced in a quarter acre for a back garden to keep the dogs safe while outside he refused to adjust. In the morning he would just sit looking out the fence at his usual path and wait until we gave in to his walk. You could practically hear him singing Don't Fence Me In.
We couldn't have had a better, sweeter, more loving companion through the years and now he's with Mom again, and has no fences and all is good. But we're really going to miss him here.