Merlin was a full-bred English Springer Spaniel and the dearest friend a person could ever have. Merlin died today at the age of 12. Merlin loved playing with our children when they were young. He was friendly to all people and animals. However, toads beware. He would often steal one of our slippers in the morning to get us out of bed. Sometimes he would steal both. I would tie knots in worn out socks to play tug with Merlin. Outside, Merlin could spend hours chasing dirt clods that I would dig up and throw. Even more, he loved racing after snowballs in the winter. Merlin would run full tilt right up to me as I would toss a snowball ahead of him, and on the run he would catch it straight ahead, leap up for it, or pounce on it. Then, he would turn and the whole routine would start again in the opposite direction. If the ground were muddy, then so were his paws, legs, and belly. Before going inside, he knew to wait patiently as I washed him down with the hose and dried him with a towel.
Merlin knew the word “walk” and loved walks no matter the weather. He had a perch on the arm of our sofa where he could look out a large bay window to survey several acres left and right. Monday through Friday mornings, Merlin would sit next to the bathtub while I shaved my face. He left, though, when I started the shower.
Merlin had his moments. One Christmas he knocked over the tree to get at an ornament. He pilfered any unattended and open trash bag. To get our attention, he took the tv remote outside. Luckily, he outgrew this particular behavior. If food was left too near the edge of the counter, he took it. No questions asked.
Merlin’s great accomplishment was that of a “single parent” raising a beagle whose name is Beaver. Merlin taught Beaver well, and they were the best of friends and cuddle buddies. Merlin taught us all two very important lessons: take time every day to play, and nose nibbling is the ultimate show of love. We will miss the joy that Merlin brought to us every day.
Merlin’s family – Glenn, Judy, Elisha, Erin, Gerald, and Beaver the Beagle