Gone But Not Forgotten


My husband and I drove up to the kennels in Stoke to meet Rio. He came rushing into the reception area to meet us, rolled onto his back and promptly did a 'spaniel sprinkle'.

We took him for a walk and were in love. He was just the dog we wanted to share our home with. We took him home and found out what a character he was. He was truly a cheeky dog. We learnt that Rio thought it was his job to investigate every cupboard door that was opened, investigate the sides in kitchen and the dining room table and hoover up anything that was on the floor. He was possessive with food, so we fed every meal by hand, so that Rio could learn that hands were for giving him food, not to be nipped. That helped in his bonding with us. The 'spaniel sprinkle' when we arrived home after being out, gradually stopped. Although he always wanted a tummy rub whenever someone walked in the door.

We worked hard on his recall, in the garden he was fantastic, coming to a whistle and a treat, even when he was woofing at the cats sitting on the fence. Every day he would go the park and my husband would throw tennis balls for Rio to retrieve, mainly those balls which Rio had found in the hedges around our local tennis court, which he would do all day if we let him. In the woods, recall was non-existent, due to abundance of pheasants and deer to chase. However we enjoyed daily walks round those woods on the extendible lead.

Rio was able to tell the difference between a pheasant on the path ahead and a jackdaw. In the summer we filled an old dinghy with water and we would spend lots of time playing splash with Rio, to try and keep him cool, if we were not splashing him with water he would stand inside the dinghy and using one front paw would splash himself. He loved home-made doggy ice-lollies and learnt to recognise the sound of the freezer door.

Rio was one of a kind and we were truly blessed to have lived with him and will treasure all the good memories that we made with him.

Although he was only with us for nine months and the last forty-eight hours were most traumatic, we did sooooo much enjoy having him to stay.

Thank you Di for placing him with us.

Thank you CAESSR, so much for your help, advice, support and understanding in the truly hard decision we had to make, when we had Rio put to sleep.

Vanessa Geoff and Charlie


Abbie came bombing into our lives in July 1998, aged 19 weeks.

She had been "homed" twice and "returned" twice and within 24 hours of her arrival in our home we soon realised why.

But Abbie was a very special dog to our family — she shared a birthday with someone we had recently lost.

Abbie was one of a litter of 6. Her mum was a dainty English Springer Spaniel who had been found "wandering and pregnant" at Christmas 1997. Her father ? No idea — possibly a black Labrador.

The first few months were difficult and she tried our goodwill and patience to the very limit. She was very naughty. Abbie could clear a 5 foot fence with ease which she did and often. She was a fantastic and prodigious food thief — her speciality — steaks marinating in red wine and yes she drank the wine as well with no ill effects. Abbie could run and jump for England scattering all in her path. Her antics were always spontaneous and although she could be wearisome we never gave up with her. Abbie was a "free spirit" and this was something we were careful to nurture and protect.

In her quieter moments — yes she did have them — she loved to be cuddled. Her ears were like pieces of beautiful black velvet — as we told her many times. Abbie was just adorable.

We remained patient, loving and over time she grew into this sleek, beautiful and obedient girl. She was very biddable. An absolute treasure. We have been privileged to have Abbie in our lives for fourteen wonderful years. Abbie retaining her "sparky" English Springer Spaniel spirit until the end. It was important to us that she did SO.

Abbie passed away peacefully on May 17th after a short illness. Even to the end she remained loving, loyal and wonderfully patient. We will all miss her so much.

Our Darling Girl

Norma and David Edwards


It is with great sadness that I write to tell you that two weeks ago after a short illness we lost Harry, our beloved Springer. We adopted Harry 18 months ago and immediately he became part of the family, he was a real character. Harry was such a loving dog; he enjoyed his cuddles on the sofa and he never tired of chasing a ball. We all miss him terribly but are thankful for all the happy memories and the special time we shared with him. 

The Clegg Family (18-05-2012)


Dear John and all at Caessr,

It is with great sorrow to have to tell you that we have lost our number 1 son Marky on the 19th April 2012 at the age of 10years and 2 months.

Our Marky a real Springer Spaniel for 18 months of the time we had him he loved his life and found it so good running around and playing in mud.

Loved his life and enjoyed it true. enjoyed his holidays and life through and through.

His ashes will now be scattered on the places he loved.

Marky Petrucci. 4/2/2002 to 19/4/2012


Surprises can come in odd shaped packages. That was the case with SADIE. Apart from being deaf and agoraphobic with a pot belly, a back bowed by countless litters. A tail that looked glued on and only wagged in the down position. With paws bigger than a bears, that still didn’t help her walk that well on her front. “Queen Anne” bowed legs. A partial mammary strip that left her tum hairless and lopsided, hips that clicked when you picked her up Sadie was a normal every day springer, well maybe she was a bit slower on the uptake than most to be honest.

That’s who we picked up along with her mother LUCY from the CAESSR kennels one warm June day in 2010. CAESSR had just got off the ground we had just lost our 17 year old rescue Springer. John Powell needed foster and rescue homes for springer’s that had come from a puppy farm in Shropshire. All were in a horrendous condition. One didn’t survive long enough to get a chance at a decent life. David Thomson the vet along with Gina the nurse explained to us that Lucy had an enormous tumour removed, unfortunately they could not be sure that they had got it all so doubted she would live more than a month, maybe two. John Powell wanted Lucy to be fostered with her daughter Sadie as they had a very close bond and indeed they did. Sadie’s mammary strip seemed a trifle then compared to her mums condition, frankly she was second priority at the time.

Sadie was pretty bouncy then but always had an eye out for mum (Lucy). Neither was house trained but that got sorted within a couple of weeks. All went well for a month or so then Lucy had a “stroke”. Her head went to one side and stayed there. Balance went, she would not eat or drink we thought her time had come but the two girls had other thoughts. When Sadie had a drink she would go to Lucy and moisten her mouth with great long wet licks and push her behind when she fell over. For a while I spent some time down stairs with Lucy, Sadie watched and waited for me to sleep. I would often wake with Sadie fussing over her mum.

Lucy gradually got a bit better and I had to have some treatment Foster carers Pat and David kindly looked after them for a week with their pack of springer’s When we went to pick them up we knew we were going to keep them. The girls somehow knew, they settled back into the car curled up together asleep with big grins on their faces a permanent fixture from then on.

Soon we were in Ireland Right in the middle of the country. A Springer’s dream -fields, streams, lochs and furry things to chase. Not for the girls, it seemed no one had actually told them they were Springer’s. Neither was inclined to go outside on their own. In fact for Sadie it was sheer hell! All walks had to be on a lead or she would run (well waddle) for home. One day she just fell to the floor. Hip dysplasia the vet said. Out came the metacam a regular dose from them on. One day Sadie surprised us by going swimming in the loch and the Atlantic. This became her regular exercise except when she got a stick or a ball in the water it was the old story straight back to the car. Things plodded along days out mucking about until a few months ago when she started to go off her food. Never a great eater she would chew thoughtfully savouring every bite unlike her mum the “hoover”. A few trips to the vet indicated nothing then suddenly she stopped eating and drinking. We fed her via a syringe but she went downhill rapidly. The decision was made and we said goodbye the day after Valentine’s Day.

You wouldn’t think there could be much interaction with a dog that had had such a hard life with all her disabilities but it was exactly the opposite. We will sorely miss her gentle graceful ways and so will her mum Lucy. The best things in life come from where and when you least expect them. Sadie was one of them.

John and Mary Parker

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