Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Happy Birthday to my Sparky Dog

Every fall, when I was little, we would go to Gatlinburg for vacation as a family.

It's some of the best memories I have, going through the mountains, me & my mom getting car sick the entire time... miniature golf where we had to convince my mom every time the highest score does NOT win in this game... & just shopping & walking & shopping ... & oh, let's not forget the fudge.. & caramel apples.  Love me some Gatlinburg.

One year, when I was little, probably around first grade, 6 or 7, (hello 1970's) we were down there & my parents always let me pick one special thing to buy to bring home.  We walked into a kids store & there, sitting in the middle of a thousand black bear stuffed animals, was this dog stuffed animal. Have no idea how it was there, but I wanted it. Dont tell me I'm not a dog person - I was attached from the moment I saw it.

& I saw it on day 1 of our trip.  Like any smart parent, my mom was like, "Just wait... you may find something else while we're down here"...I was heart broken. I wanted that dog. I NEEDED that dog. More so, he NEEDED me, I was sure of it.

I was scared to death it wouldnt be there when we went back a few days later.  
My trip was basically ruined.
Nah, not really. I'm sure I totally forgot about it for a minute with the caramel apples... but as soon as that last bite, I was worried about that dog again.

& nothing else grabbed my attention.  So on the last day of our trip, we went back in the store & again, the dog was still there in all the bears.

I honestly can remember everything about getting that stuffed animal that day... even now.

On his butt was a tag that said, "Hello, my name is Sparky"... & Sparky became my best friend.

I slept with him every night... carried him with me on sleep overs... this was my security blanket.

Sparky was on the top of my bed every night waiting for me to drift off to sleep with him in my arms.  When he was fresh & new, he was made to set like his front paws were down & his butt was in the air, like a 'playing' position for dogs....

through the years, I slept with him against me so hard, it loosened up his legs & he couldnt stand up after a few years... so he had a place leaning against my pillow.

Much like this...

Sparky knew all my childhood fears, my teenage secrets & holds my grown up heart of remembering all those precious days....

Fast forward many many years.... years after I've been married for awhile, & we've moved... & have had some dogs in our life... & Ricky asks me if we want to take in another dog. A friend of his at work had a friend that had to give up her dog to move & they didnt want to give the dog to a shelter.

All we knew was it was a Cairne Terrier.... a dog like Toto from Wizard of Oz was what we were told.

I waited at home for Ricky to come up the drive with our new baby. It was honestly like an adoption story. I felt so anxious on the porch. I even took Buffy & Sydney (the two we had then.... ahh, miss my girls)... & had them sitting with me to welcome their new brother.

Ricky walked around the corner with this little guy.  He wasnt at all what I expected, I guess because he didnt look a think like Toto to me, but I instantly loved him.

He was overwhelmed & snapped at Buffy & Sydney, which made Ricky go in protection mode for our girls... I was more worried for this little guy & how nervous he was that his world had changed & turned upside down.

Bruno in that moment became my buddy....

& it wasn't long that when he settled in, he was always anxious to play with me... not the dogs... those girls never forgot that first reaction & didnt care to give him any mind... so I was Bruno's play buddy ....& the first time we played, guess what position he'd get into...

that same position of Sparky dog... butt up in the air, pays down on the floor to pounce.

I knew even more how & why this dog stole a piece of my heart... he was destined for me...I was destined for him.

Yesterday was his birthday.

I know we've had him 12 years now... & Ricky is pretty sure he was 4 when we got him.  So he's either 16 or turned 17.  I'm choosing to go with he's just turning 16 because I want to give him all the time in the world he can with us...

He doesnt get in that "Sparky" pose any more... he cant even see you to know you're there to play... but he still likes the snuggles & the hugs & the attention.

& I'm happy to do it for him.  Every day.

Happy Birthday Bruno Dean, my Grumpy Old man... my little blind boy... my Sparky Boy!!!


  1. What a sweet story! Happy Birthday to Bruno!! :)

  2. Aww what a sweet story!! I'm sure he loves being part of your family! xo, Biana-BlovedBoston

  3. Oh Bruno Dean, you are precious!! Happy Birthday boy, you are a gem!!!

  4. Oh what a sweet post!! He is so cute! Happy Birthday Bruno. My neighbors dog is partially blind and deaf, he just turned 16. He is the cutest little dog. Oddly, he loves to lick my feet when he sees me. I saw him the other day and he was so excited that I had open toe shoes on. It was hilarious.

  5. Aw what a sweet story! Happy Birthday to Bruno! :)

  6. Happy Birthday Bruno! I love childhood memories like that. It's funny the things we remember, huh? XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  7. Awwww I love how Bruno came into your life, and Sparky looks strikingly like him. <3

  8. is that your pup posting with his stuffed pup? BECAUSE THAT'S THE MOST ADORABLE THING I'VE SEEN TODAY!

  9. Aww Happy birthday! Dog birthdays are so special!

  10. Such a sweet story Rebecca. Happy Birthday Bruno!

  11. Sweet, sweet Bruno. He wandered into the perfect home with the perfect dog-loving family and the PERFECT mama who already had a warmed up spot for him in her heart! Happy Birthday, Bruno!!

  12. Happy Birthday Bruno. Such a sweet story. Both of them.

  13. Aww this is such a sweet post - happy birthday, Bruno!! I love these photos.

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

  14. Ah, sweet baby Bruno!! Happy birthday!! I really enjoyed your memory of that vacation and getting your Sparky dog. So sweet!

  15. Awwwwww I loved reading about your Sparky dog!!! Gatlinburg is special to us too, we go every year after Christmas and stay through New Years. Happy birthday to that sweet sweet boy!!!!


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