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Colita, an English Springer Spaniel

"Dear Lord, please help me be the person my puppy thinks I am."

 [Photo: Colita]

A six-week old darling!

Colita was born February 8th, 1997, one of a litter of nine. At seven weeks, she began her training with her introduction to the "Sit" command and rapidly learned it and many other simple instructions. Colita, who also answers to Coli and Col, received her black and white colors from her father. Her mother is liver and white. Coli has traditional English Springer markings: white blaze, neck, collar, and running gear, with a black face, saddle and hind. She also possesses a white marking snaking from her collar down half the length of her back, a marking which reminded the breeder of a river and inspired the name she was given by her purchasers. The name Colita, which in Spanish means "tail," is one of the few feminine names given any river in Texas. It seemed appropriate.

The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-build, long haired, hunting breed, at home in the outdoors and a lover of exercise. It possesses an extraordinary sense of smell and keen eyesight. It quickly bonds with its master[s] and displays genuine love and loyalty. It loves to play and the adults are very good with children. An unusually intelligent breed, the English Springer Spaniel is capable of learning a huge repertoire of commands and situational routines. It is naturally curious, but submits willingly to obedience.

Diane McCarty, in English Springer Spaniels (Neptune City, New Jersey: T.F.H. Publications, 1995), wrote, "There is no doubt that the dog from which the English Springer Spaniel has been developed has an ancient and proud ancestry. Many authorities claim that the ancestral stock of the spaniel family originated in Spain, undoubtedly more than six hundred years ago. Gradually they permeated the continent, eventually being brought to England.

"Originally called a 'Springing Spaniel,' legend has it that the Springer got his name from the fact that he flushes game from cover, not holding a scent. From the ancestral stock of the spaniel race, most of our present-day land and water spaniels have stemmed. Several different varieties such as the Cocker Spaniel and Sussex Spaniel have developed from the original strain." (pp. 6-7)

Elsewhere, she writes, "The dominating characteristic of the English Springer Spaniel is his ingratiating attitude toward the entire world. He loves people, he loves life, and his jolly appreciation of everything make him a fascinating fellow and a wonderful companion not only for adults but also for children....He is not entirely a one-man dog in the ordinary sense of the word; his great affection embraces the entire family fortunate enough to own him. On the other hand, his loyalty gives him a fiercely protective spirit for his own people; strangers, particularly, are not warmly greeted. Springers make remarkably good watchdogs...." (pp. 22-23)

I, for one, can attest to the accuracy of Ms. McCarty's description of the Springer Spaniel's character and personality. In Coli's case, her love and loyalty seem boundless. She is a remarkable bundle of joy and expresses her love unconditionally. She is now six years old (her birthday was February 8th!), but is still very much a curious, energetic and loving puppy.

Cloita at 3 years

Colita among the wildflowers at age 3


Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Fire in the fireplace

When there's a fire in the fireplace, lay in front of it and turn often.

Take naps and stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you've had enough.

Be loyal. Love unconditionally.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

When someone is eating popcorn, sit by them but don't beg. It will come.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

When you need to go outside, be insistent. People are not always paying attention.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

Coli on tree

When squirrels try to steal your food, chase them back where they belong.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

Water tastes better if it's flowing and cold.

Walk in the rain and smell everything. Avoid hail.

Always walk in puddles to see how deep they are.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout... run right back and make friends.

When you leave the house, run around the yard a few times real fast.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Stop often and smell the flowers.


Coli last picture

On April 28th, 2008 my beloved friend went to play frisbee with God. She was sleeping eternally on the patio when I got home, but her eyes were open and the color was wrong; I knew she wasn't there. I have no shame in saying that I lost it. I was completely unprepared to never play with her again, to never again feel her nose nudge my empty hand, to never again see her dance around with happiness when I picked up her frisbee. I knew when her time came there would be a hole in me, but it's so much bigger than I ever suspected. She was a good friend, a loving companion, always happy to see me, and filled me with boundless joy. She taught me so much about life and love.

Coli's grave

I buried her in the far back, with her frisbee, under the wildflowers she liked to smell and romp in. She was 11 years, 2 months and 20 days young. I enjoyed every day of her life, and I will miss her terribly. I already do. -- Jack Keller

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -- Will Rogers, 1879-1935

Colita's Awards:

Chandra's Award of Excellence for Colita

Faye-Linda's Chandra's Award of Excellence for Colita

Peckin' Award for Excellence

Our ParrotWorld's Peckin' Award for Excellence

I Found Tanya!  Webpage Award

From In the Distance there was Aahh!!!, the I Found Tanya! Webpage Award

Maeve Silvermoon's Love and Care Award

From Maeve Silvermoon's Secret Sidhe Realm, Love and Care Award

Majon's Seal of Excellence Web Select

Scars Publications' Majon's Seal of Excellence Web Select award

Dog Day Afternoon's Awesome Site Award

From Dog Day Afternoon, Dog Day Afternoon's Awesome Site Award

Nu-Horizon's Pet Award

From Nu-Horizon Design Studios, Favourite Pet Award

A Portrait For You's Emily's Award

From A Portrait For You, Emily's Award

Last update was April 28th, 2008; two photos added July 4th, 2008; typo corrected February 22, 2010; visited often.

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