Sixteen Years of Devotion — 188 Comments

  1. sorry to hear about your friend, I alwasy take solace in the fact that I gave my pets a better life than many animals enjoy.

    • We all have those special dogs in our life. Your family is their pack and they serve you, love you, watch out fir our kids, and defend our den. I know you led and cared for him.

      I like to think they continue to visit us to make sure we are happy and safe.

      Thoughts and prayers to you and your family,
      My family to yours.

  2. My heart goes out to you. Maybe you guys should have steak for dinner as it is what Blackie would have wanted..

  3. My thoughts are with you and yours right now Jack. Losing a family member is losing a family member, two legged or four.

  4. Jack – sorry to hear brother. I’ve laid to rest a few good furry friends in my day and know that it never gets easier. Your post made me realize that I need to enjoy my pups just a little bit more everyday as there will be that day when they’re not there. Stay strong brother – I know this isn’t an easy day for you.

  5. Sorry for your loss, Spirko family. Some dogs never seem to stand out, but others are a large part of our families. 16 years is a long time to connect with an animal that shows nothing but true love, and a spirit of happiness we all strive for in our own lives. God bless.

  6. I’m so sorry Jack. Having been a listener for so long I feel like I knew him in a way. Seeing this brought a tear to my eye.

  7. Blessings on you and yours today….Prayers of healing, hope, resurrection and revivial for your family…Jim

  8. I’m sorry Jack. A great sadness is that dogs lives are so much shorter than the average human life. Yet we go through it all again and again, never getting any easier. You have my sympathy.

  9. You have my deepest condolences Jack, my wife and I just put down her two cats that she has had for 16 years as well. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done, and as a paramedic I stare death in the face everyday.

  10. I’m sorry for you guys. It’s one of the hardest and most selfless things to have to do. It’s been 5yrs. since had to put down our friend yet I’m typing this with a lump in my throat like it was yesterday.

  11. I will be in the same spot soon enough. My dog is 13 now. Thanks for sharing that touching story.

  12. So sorry to hear about Blackie. I have enjoyed hearing about him for the past several years and how impactful he has been in your families life. I am so glad that you were able to be with him for his last moments. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  13. Sorry for the loss of your family member. I remember when my dog, the only brother I had, needed to be put down when his stomach turned over. It was one of the worst days of my life at the time, he had been my dog since I was in elementary school and to put him down when I was 20 years old was painful. Thanks for making sure your son saw his best buddy one more time before he passed, my father made sure I saw my dog before he went and it meant the world to me.

  14. I’m sorry for your loss. It was clearly time to let him go and have comfort, but I know that doesn’t make it any easier to come back home and not see them following you around the house.

    You gave Blackie a great life. He was very fortunate to be the dog that came home with you.

  15. So sorry to hear about your family’s loss, Jack — it’s a feeling that I know too well, having experienced it twice in the past 3+ years, with one of those happening at the vet. I’m sure that Blackie was one of the luckiest dogs around to end up with a family like yours and that once the pain has passed, you’ll be able to think back on him and smile.

  16. Sorry Jack, We lost our two yr old basset hound to a vehicle a couple weeks ago. It’s been a long time since the loss of a dog has hit me so hard. I never dreamed it would happen that way. I always assumed she would live a happy, long life. I don’t know which would be harder. Losing one too soon or having to put one to rest after a full life. I don’t know. What I do know is that little dog changed me and my wife as well. She had never had a dog when she was a kid and it took her a long time to get comfortable with her but, when she was taken she felt the emptiness left behind and realized her love for the dog. It’s amazing what a loyal animal can do for a person.

  17. Sorry for the loss of your good friend of 16 years. It is the saddest part of pet ownership to see these devoted friends pass. Sometimes we need to help but they know that you are the last thing they see, that you were as devoted to them as they were to you.

  18. Labs become part of your soul. My yellow lab, Duke, passed the same way in June’09 so I painfully understand your loss. You will always remember Blackie with a fondness that only Labs can engender. Take Heart.

  19. I share your tears,remember the good life you shared.
    Time will dull the pain,but not the memories.

  20. Condolences, Jack. Words won’t help much, but I know what you are going through. I’ve lost several lifelong canine companions in my days.


  21. I am very sorry for your loss. I never know what to say at times like this but I know that you are going through something that all of us who are fortunate enough to own dogs have to go through. It sounds like Blackie had a good life and he was loved. You can’t ask for more than that.

    RIP Blackie.

  22. It sounds like this wonderful animal brought such great joy in your home and family, My prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  23. Wow Jack. I’m so sorry. At least he is buried at home. My best ever in the whole world kitty buddy died from a tumor in his throat as I was preparing to move to the house. I wrapped him up real good and put him in a couple of good tight containers and brought him along with me here. He’s buried right outside my front door. He was my best friend.

  24. Sorry to hear that as I am holding my best friend right now. I too know there will be a day and hope I can handle it. We have so much in life, they only have us. I am glad to hear that you were there at the end, so many say they can not do it and send unattached people to handle it. He needed you there.

    I hope you consider adopting again and giving another one a chance at love in life. Peace….

  25. I’m not a pet owner Jack, but you articulated it in such I way that I fully understand what it is like. Sixteen years is a good chunk of one’s life. All the best in finding the newest member of the Spirko household and if fate has it, another sixteen years of memories to be added.

  26. My heart felt sympathy for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  27. It is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever do. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Dorothy and your family I know your heart will be heavy, I also know our loved ones, when they pass, want us to share that room full of love we’ve built up for them, with others. Rest well Blackie, you had a long road, so rest a while.

  28. My heart goes out to you. I lost my big guy to pancreatic cancer a year ago. The pain eases in time, but it never really goes away. Followed NOLA lab rescue for a long time, finally put in an adoption app, looked at pictures but none “spoke” to me until I saw a pic the day they pulled her from the shelter and I knew I was hers. Ashley, a 7 year old black lab joined me here in Canada a week ago. An angel with fur, I can’t imagine life without her. Another will find you and that’s how Blackie would have wanted it. Dog Bless you.

  29. My heart aches for your family.
    I know the loss you feel and I wish you all love and healing.

  30. So sorry to hear Jack, but know that because you for share so much of your life with all of us–we grieve with you.


  31. I am so sorry for your loss, but so grateful that you had him and his love all those years. I shed a tear for you, and hope you find great comfort in knowing you gave him the best life possible. Perhaps you can put a bench near him to sit and relax from time to time.

  32. Sorry for your loss. He had a great life and bonus years as part of your family. So from your extended TSP family, we feel your pain, we’ve been there and understand.

  33. Sorry to hear of your loss Jack. Just know you did the best you could have for him. My condolences to you and your family.
    Jim P.

  34. I can’t stop crying. What you wrote is so beautiful and I know our time with Shalome our Cairn Terrier is short. She is 14 and has congestive heart failure and arthritis in both back legs. She has a hard time getting up and down the steps and I know the day is coming when she won’t wake up. She has been such a loyal, loving companion for so long giving us unconditional love and acceptance, just going home without her there will be so hard. Thank you for sharing and putting such sweet words to your pain. I’ll tell Shalome about Blackie and maybe they can find each other on the other side. God bless.

  35. Brother I feel for you I have had to lay to rest two of my best 4 legged friend that ever existed, I cried for them more than I did for family…. out prayers and thoughts go out to you.

  36. The sense of companionship between a family and their canine is one that cannot be adequately described with words, nor can the feeling of loss when one of these freinds passes on. My thoughts are with you and your family today, Jack.

  37. Dogs are the blessing that they help you though this walk of life. They give their all for the owners that love and take care of them. They do so much for us.

  38. Sorry for your family’s loss, Jack. Think of all the good years you gave Blackie!

    Great place for his final rest. He’d be proud of you, even if he did pee in his water dish. 🙂

  39. I am so sorry for you loss. There is a special bond between men and dogs and that bond extends to the dreadful day where we have to be their advocate and prevent them from suffering. It hurts and it’s a heavy burden, but we commit to carrying it as our part of the deal.

    It sounds like Blackie won the dog lottery when you adopted him and gave you 16 years of love in return. There won’t be another Blackie, but somewhere out there is another dog about to win life’s lottery by being your dog.

  40. You gave him a good life in a loving home, and in return he gave you his love and friendship for life. It’s always hard to say goodbye, even when it is expected.

  41. Sorry for the loss of your family member Jack. Our golden was buried in the corner of our garden, a place he was never allowed in when he was alive, and every time I pass by where he was buried I think of the memories we have of him

  42. So sorry for your loss.

    There are places in this world were the vail between this world and the next has become thin, sounds like you found one of those. I hope you can visit your freind there, until that vail is removed and death can no longer steal our freinds.

  43. I am so glad you had the chance to move and settle in so that Blackie can be in Texas with you and your family. I too am approaching this stage of our first family dog member as she is not doing so well. It will be a sad day for my daughter but we have enjoyed the time we spent with our beloved dog as a family can. Our hearts are with you and your family.

  44. sorry amigo. I know how terrible loosing a dog can be. I mourned mine for over a year, because they are family.

  45. So sorry to hear of your loss and yet happy to know that Blackie was blessed with an amazing family that gave him a wonderful life and a beautiful final resting place, where he can be with you and watch over you always. Praying for your peace and comfort.

  46. After my father died I had a vivid dream of my dog King, who had died years ago. He wanted me to follow him, and I did, right to my Dad sitting in our deer hunting blind…I knew everything was as it should be at that point..

  47. I feel your pain Jack. Be happy in the knowledge that he’ll be there waiting at the fabled Rainbow Bridge waiting for you. We just had to do it ourselves with my wife’s first dog from a puppy…taken at only 9 years from an immune disease in only 4 short days. Keep on trucking brother. Keep doing your thing. You are making a difference in people’s lives.

  48. So sorry Jack… It’s never easy. Glad you got the “extra” two years with Blackie.

  49. “All dogs go to heaven”…..very sorry for your loss…..agreed, that a good teaching moment is always at hand during these times.


  51. So sorry for the loss of your precious furbaby. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of your family.

  52. Sorry for your loss Jack. I know how hard it can be to lose our four legged family members.

  53. Sorry to hear about your lose. Dogs and other pets become one of the family or we become members of there pack. It is always hard to let them go. But remember this Blackie is waiting for you at the rainbow bridge to have one more toss of the stick or ball.

  54. So very sorry for your loss. The funny, goofy dog stories will keep your lovely friend in your life forever …

  55. So sorry to hear about your boy. One of the things I love about your videos is seeing your dogs in the background!! It seems alot of the time they are wondering what in the hell you are doing!! LoL. We had to do the same thing 3 weeks ago today. We lost our boxer Rosie, I had a mobile vet come out to the house and do it in the front yard in the sun laying on the grass. I would highly recommend this to anyone in this position. You are in our thoughts, brother!

    • I have never been able to find a mobile vet. Part of why we let him hang on over the weekend instead of finding an emergency clinic was two fold. Fist hoping he would just pass away naturally, which just didn’t happen. Secondly though I didn’t want his last experience to be going to the vet. He always hated the car rides and the vet. The good news though was he was pretty out of it, we used a blanket like a stretcher and he never saw the truck until he was in it. If I could find a mobile vet though when this has to happen in the future though that would be great. Laying in the sun on the grass is better then a stretcher in a sterile office for sure. I sure wish I could have done that for my buddy, well done sir, well done indeed.

      • When we had to put our St Bernard down last year, we had a vet that does horses come out and do it (since they do ‘house calls’) It was a little more, but it was so nice to do it at home!

    • We also have a family member who had the vet stop by thier home. Did the same thing in the backyard, in the sunshine on a warm Maine summer day…. and oh yes they all split a pizza together.

      So sorry Jack… you did your friend right. Thats all he ever wanted from you.

  56. Jack,

    I wish to extended my sorrow at your loss, but hope you and your family are able to rejoice in the fact this oh so very special animal was a part of a loving memory will still be an example of the good experiences and down right joys of sharing such a wonderful thing as life within your family.

  57. Blackie looks so much like my lab. He’s 13 and, boy oh boy, do I dread the day I have to let him go. So sorry for your loss Jack. I’m sure you gave him the best life possible, but it’s always so very hard to say goodbye. Please accept my condolences.

  58. It sounds like Blackie had a great home with you guys. I’m a sucker for rescue dogs also. I have six. Sorry for your loss. Ya’ll had a good run. Happy trails Blakie.

  59. when we had to put down REX our timbershepherd the vet hospital made clay printed paw prints which was a nice touch.our prayer’s are with you.

  60. Sorry for your loss. R.I.P Blackie! I lost my border collie Ernie in December. We had him for nearly 16 years. He was one of those “one of a kind” friends. So sweet and loyal. You always think another one won’t come along but they always do. Dogs are truly “Mans Best Friend”. I honestly believe dogs are for the most part, better than people. Blackie has now crossed the Rainbow Bridge and you better believe you’ll get the greatest greeting when you reuinte with him one day!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. Jack, I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  62. thoughts and prayers to your family, jack.

    i remember having to put down my childhood dog years ago. it sounds like you and i are the same in that dogs are more than just pets to our families. they are members and extensions of us with their own quirks and personalities.

  63. Jack, today my thoughts are with you and your family. I know the journey you and Blackie traveled today all to well; may you always feel his spirit with you.

  64. Jack, it sounds like you gave Blackie the best 16 years a dog could ask for. Well done, Master.

  65. Jack, I listen most days and you seem like an old friend. As a dog owner I too am close with my animals and have seen several pass. He is in a better place and at peace. God bless you and yours.

  66. Real sorry to hear Jack. I can relate as I had a similar experience. Never easy. What you shared with all of us was beautiful though. I think I speak for many of the other listeners by stating we sincerely appreciate all your contributions. Thank you for sharing about yourself and your life with all the listeners here on the Survival Podcast. Looking forward to us growing as a community and mutually supporting each other’s efforts. Looking forward to hearing about the new puppie that joins the Spirko clan. Best Regards, Pete

  67. I am sorry for your loss Jack. I only recently discovered how wonderful dogs are and our Nelly is as much a part of the family as could be.

    My best to you,


  68. Hurting with you, Jack, Dorothy and Matt. If only all dogs could have a life that good … thank you for giving him those 16 quality years.

  69. So sorry to hear about your loss. I think I started crying during the second paragraph, if not the first. My thoughts are with your family today.

  70. It’s hard to let our faithful friends go after so many years.
    But in the end we have to do the responsible thing and end their suffering.
    My wife and I had to go through the same process about five years ago.
    It was tough, but we were glad we could be there holding our Buddy at the end.
    Jack, I don’t have to tell you that you did the right thing.
    But I will tell you my heart goes out to you and your family.

  71. What a fortunate dog to have been a member of the Spirko family. May he rest in peace and your family find comfort knowing that you loved him to the fullest, and he loved you back 10-fold, as labs do.

  72. So sorry to hear of your loss and heart pain today, Jack. I know it well from my own experiences. As the pain fades, the memories and love will keep you going.

  73. Sorry for your loss of Blackie, Jack.

    Great doggie’s life, great story! I’m glad you’re taking time off for attending to your dog and family.

    Kamakura, Japan

  74. Here is a little verse I wrote when we had to put our blue heeler of 13+ years down.
    What I Learned From my Dog (as told to me by Sadie over 14 years)
    Dedicated to Sadie, A Wonderful Blue Heeler -13 years 9 months.
    Died July 18, 2004 10:02 a.m.

    1 – Life is too short to stay sad or mad.
    2 – There is always time to play, no matter the time of day.
    3 – Doing things the right way, makes my Master glad.
    4 – If something starts to hurt, don’t whine and sniffle, just curl up with a loved ones shirt.
    5 – There are times to be tough and times to be sensitive.
    6 – There are times to demand your way and times to let others have their way.
    7 – If someone angers you, just let it go and refer back to lesson # 1.
    8 – Be strong and courageous and always available for your friends.
    9 – Traveling is exciting with so much to see. New faces and places, it’s all fun to me.
    10- Always greet your loved ones with your voice and a smile.
    11- Unconditional love, it’s hard to explain. In part, no matter what happens you are always in my heart.
    12- Though we have gone our separate ways, I am sure we will meet again. The ending of my life is not the ending of my days.

  75. Jack, your story touched me deeply, I have put down 2 great dogs in my life. The first one when I was about 12 years old. Dogs are truly gifts from God. They teach us so much about ourselves and I look at my pointer who no matter what is always happy and worry free ,and think although I am always teaching him new commands, maybe he is trying to teach me something.
    God Bless Jack, and I love where you decided to lay him to rest!