The Last Papillon

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It was a sad day. We had to say good-bye to our last papillon, Spot. He was the youngest of our four papillons. His mother Cleo died in the Fall of 2018, and his two half-sisters, Pippin and Patches, died last year. He was 13 years old. He had heart problems for about a year and was showing signs of neurological problems. He still was able to keep up with our other dogs and cats until yesterday. He left us today but our memories of him will always be with us.

Our family still remembers Spot’s dramatic birth. Spot was one of two puppies born in Cleo’s second litter. Cleo, his mother, gave birth to her first puppy but couldn’t get her second puppy out. We took her to the Veterinary Hospital where she was given medication to get her labor going. Soon after, she gave birth to the puppy but it was still inside a sack. My two youngest children looked devastated because it didn’t look like the puppy was alive. Cleo licked the sack until the puppy was visible. We were all relieved when we saw the puppy move. He had a spot on the top of his head so we called him Spot. The name must have fit him because we never changed it.

Spot’s brother’s name was Champ. As they grew, we noticed Champ had different coloring than our other papillons. We already had Spot’s mom and two half sisters and they were black and white papillons. We were planning on keeping Champ because he was brown and white. To our dismay, my husband had already promised Champ to a co-worker. We sadly said good-bye to Champ and welcomed Spot into our pack. He slept in my arms every night when he was a puppy. As he got older, he continued to follow me but stayed in his own space. He liked me to hold him in the car though. He fit between me and the steering wheel.

We also have memories of him playing soccer. He loved to kick a ball around. He also loved playing fetch. His two front paws would lift up and down in anticipation of us throwing the ball. He was close with his sister Patches. When we adopted Nemo (a Papillon-Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix) a few years ago, the two of them became best buddies. He acted like a puppy again. When Nemo arrived, Spot’s ears went back up. Let me explain. Spot’s ears were sticking up when he was born. After a year or two, one ear was up and the other one went down. Soon, both ears drooped, but after we adopted Nemo, both of his ears went up again. We have no idea why this happened.

Spot was the definition of loyal. He was my shadow. Wherever I went in the house, I’d look around and there he was. He followed me everywhere. He didn’t like me to pet him because his skin was very sensitive. He didn’t even like to be picked up, but he was always with me. That is why I was glad I could be there for him during his last couple days. Spot might not be near me now physically but he will always be in my heart.


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