The newspaper ad read: “Yorkshire Terrier / Poodle Mix $ 100”. He knew there would be a special puppy among them. Mommy Yorkie puts us at the door, barking the typical terrier bark. She was taking care of the only puppy left.

The first night, Spike cried and tried mightily to get out of his box. He managed to get out a couple of times, to my surprise. The dog leapt into the air, a feat he perfected over the years. This human mom had to hug him so everyone could sleep.

The next day, he came back to life. Spike the Wonder Dog must have decided to enjoy life. He jumped onto the windowsill to bark at the neighbors. They thought it was funny that our tiny pup was playing watchdog. He didn’t have the typical bark of a terrier, not even the bark of a puppy. He already sounded like a mature male dog guarding his domain.

Spike ran into the bedroom and jumped onto the bed barking at passersby. He ran into the next room and jumped on my son’s bed to keep barking and following people passing by. What a smart 8 week old puppy this guy was!

Throughout his short life, Spike frequently surprised us. His barking would have scared off any potential thief. Teeth marks decorated our vacuum where Spike struggled with it every time one of his humans tried to tidy up. He instructed Daddy Guard Duck, and allowed the duck the privilege of watching alongside him when garbage collectors or UPS delivery men dared to enter our driveway.

But Spike had a softer side. Every day as I sat on the front porch to greet the day and read God’s word and have my first cup of coffee, Spike sat with me. The squirrels and birds learned that Spike would ignore them during coffee time. The birds swooped down for food, almost taunting Spike, but he stayed at my feet. The squirrels bravely sat on our porch railing eating peanuts. But once coffee time was over, Spike chased those same birds and squirrels.

My tough guy fell madly in love with a beautiful princess. Pebbles was a Shih Tzu and the resulting puppies from that love story were the cutest fur packs. We could have easily sold 25 or 30 of them.

We had two puppies and after they were weaned, Daddy Spike taught them to run and roll around the yard. They were never this quick or agile, and he almost smiled when they lay exhausted in a heap after a good workout. He taught his cubs to jump in the air and they escaped. They loved running in the orange grove behind our property.

One day when we asked Spike to look for his puppies, he did not return with them. Later he stumbled across our garden and died from a snake bite. We believe that he found his cubs trapped by a snake and ordered them to return home while trying to fight that snake.

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