During the summer of 2006, I watched our senior Springer Willie age very quickly and slow down. I wasn't prepared to spend my life without a Springer in our home. I started researching rescue organizations and found Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue (MAESSR). We adopted Max in November 2006. I am absolutely positive that Max gave Willie the will to continue on for another year. I helped Willie cross to the Rainbow Bridge in May, 2008, at the ripe young doggy age of 15. We lost our other dog, an 8 1/2 year old Rottweiler named Sophie, in July 2008 to cancer. We weren't ready to open our hearts to another dog, but Max had never been without canine companionship, so we decided to try fostering for MAESSR. We failed Fostering 101 on our first try, and adopted Winnie in September 2008.
In the picture, Winnie is sitting and Max is laying down. Winnie was presumably a special needs Springer, having lost one of her front legs at a young age after getting hit by a car. She doesn't know she's handicapped, and gets around better than many four-legged animals. She gives hugs and kisses, even when we're not expecting them, and has a wonderful smile that she won't let me capture on camera. Max has become a much more affectionate pet since we lost the other two dogs. Needless to say, they bring us much joy.
Rescue organizations are great. I hope more people will adopt through their local rescues and shelters.