Sparky, a terrier mix who has been spotlighted in The Bee's Pet Tales several times, has entered a new chapter in life.
Pet Tales was a standing feature on the pet pages that sought great pet stories from Bee readers.
In 2008, Stan Murray, a retired farmer, wrote that Sparky was going to sing with him with the Good Times Band at Fig Garden Village.
"He is such a ham," Murray wrote.
In March 2009, Stan Murray died. He was 80. Four months later, Jean Murray wrote to say Sparky missed "Daddy Stan."
She submitted the Pet Tale as if Sparky wrote it: "I miss the rides to the farm, my back being scratched, the hamburgers in the car and all the love he gave me."
In 2010, Sparky had a serious eye problem. So Murray asked for Bee readers' prayers for Sparky.
Murray, now 89, recently wrote again. She lives in a retirement home and is now in a wheelchair with health problems. She says it became harder to care for Sparky, so she found a new home for him three months ago.
"A good home" with Linda and Rudy Perez, writes Murray, adding that Sparky and the Perezes come to visit her. Without visitors, Murray says, she "couldn't make it."
Sparky also needs a lot of love. He is getting up there in years. He is 14 years old, which translates in dog years to 98.
Sparky had been part of the Murray family since 2000, when Stan Murray found Sparky abandoned at a truck stop and brought him home with fleas, ticks and allergies.
"He was not a pretty puppy then," the Murrays' daughter, Marilyn Murray, remembers.
She says her mother misses Sparky very much.
"He's just a special dog," Marilyn Murray says. "Mom says he's almost human."
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