Growing up on a farm, we had many dogs and cats. I always thought of myself as a "cat person" because I seemed to prefer their company. That was until my late 30s. My partner rescued the most beautiful Dalmatian female in the world from the Houston SPCA. Her family had dumped there because they had a baby and didn't want her anymore. She was 1-1/2 and couldn't understand what she had done wrong. Little did she know, her life was about to change...and so was mine. We brought her home, changed her name to Sooner and promised her she would be with us forever. As the years went by, this beautiful creature found her way not only into my heart but into my soul. With one look, she could bring me to my knees. I had never known what unconditional love truly was until Sooner gave us hers. She and I would watch my beloved OU Sooners play football on Saturdays. She would bark in glorious response when I would cheer for a great play; and she would console me when they would lose. I refused to watch a game without her. We had Sooner with us for 5 wonderful years. And then the cancer came. In a few short months, she went from a healthy, happy princess to lifeless eyes. We knew we could not let our baby suffer. So on November 13, 2009, we held her close as she made her way to the Rainbow Bridge. I have never felt such utter devastation as I did when we lost her. Three years later, I still cry when I think of that day. I feel like we lost a child. We are still grieving even though we have tried to move on. We have opened our hearts to two more Dals, but as much as we love them, they will never be Sooner. And, we did keep our promise. Sooner was cremated and resides prominantly in our home. Every Christmas, we still give her "stocking stuff" and we still celebrate her birthday. She will be in our hearts forever. We love you Sooner and some day, we will join you at the Bridge.
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