In June, my Labrador retriever, CC, went to heaven, and we will always miss her.

Her friend, Sparkey, also misses her every day. I got Sparkey about 12 years ago from the animal shelter as a friend for CC. When I first met him, he had just been found walking down the street with a beautiful bloodhound. There stood 10-month-old Sparkey standing in front of me, looking very much alone and sad. He had swollen ticks on his eyes and needed a bath. Looking at me with those big brown eyes, he pulled my heart strings.

The shelter took Sparkey to our wonderful vet, Michael Veitch, who himself sadly has since passed. Sparkey was cleaned up, given shots, and altered. Then we got the highly anticipated call: Sparkey was ready to be picked up. Later, at his first veterinary appointment, Dr. Veitch told us that Sparkey was not a mutt, but a purebred German wirehaired pointer. We loved him, mutt or purebred.

How did Sparkey behave? He pulled the stuffing out of the sofa, ate the heels off my shoes, and ran away from home, but came home within the hour. But he trained quickly. Within weeks he had sitting, coming and sitting up down pat.

We had a gate up to keep CC and Sparkey out of the kitchen. Sparkey did not like that, so he would flip the latch up with his nose, and the twosome would have some fun as they raided the fridge CC had opened. Much to my husband’s chagrin, I taught Sparkey to speak in one day. The lesson sped up when I demonstrated barking. We were using it as a command, but Sparkey thought he was commanding us. He spoke, swirled around and led us toward his destination, just like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin.

We had a dog walker, Katie, come while I am learning to walk again myself. Sparkey loves Katie. He stands like a little soldier to await her. After she enters, he goes over to his leash to instruct her to get it. Then Sparkey takes Katie for a walk. Recently, he wanted my attention when I had my iPad on my lap. To my amazement, he shut it with his nose, and I was all his. He understands English very well.

CC and Sparkey were best buds. After all, she was his and nobody else’s. Sparkey was very upset when she died. At times you could tell he was looking for her to come home.

All we have is her pawprint from the vet and wonderful, wonderful, memories. Sparkey is beginning to smile again.