Visit my show at the PSCCU Credit Union, Vashon, Washington May, June 2024 

When you can’t always get what you want…

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” _builder_version=”3.0.47″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.106″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_layout=”light”]


You can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometime, you just might find..

Do you have something that you want, maybe really want, in your life, but perhaps it’s not to be…

Can you still savor a piece of what you want…maybe a lick of the ice cream you shouldn’t eat, a whiff of the wine you can no longer drink, or a chance to cuddle babies you can no longer have?

Life can be difficult…and yet…sometimes there’s a way.

Here’s what I learned this week:

I have this thing about Springer Spaniels. I grew up with a male, Freckles, a liver-colored, long-haired, ebullient, field spaniel. My family adopted Freckles when he was three and he soon became my dog and my best friend for years. Only Freckles could understand how much I hated that bully, Maureen Paris, who lived down the street. Only Freckles could help me walk off some loneliness, as we explored the woods, him bounding after squirrels, me enjoying a special world where we were safe together. Those walks were my bliss except for the days in which Freckles found his bliss rolling in a patch of stinky skunk cabbage in the swamp near our home.

Freckles helped me survive elementary school and junior high. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered that my sister, during the same period, mistakenly believed Freckles was her dog. I’m pretty sure my Dad thought Freckles was his dog as well. That’s a Springer for you, liberally spreading around the love, convincing each one of us that we were The One.

Before I was married, I decided to get a dog, and of course, it was a Springer. I chose a puppy, Lady, who came with no fancy papers but had a personality that could charm the scowl off of any neighbor she visited. Lady became the light of my life for many years. When I married my husband, Steve, Lady showered him with love and made him her special guy. When she died, at almost 15, we were devastated.

For years, I couldn’t look at photos of Springers or puppy litters, knowing that the time was not right for us to look for a new dog. We had adopted a cat, Barry, who ruled our dog-free roost. And, we soon learned, there were certain advantages to being dog-free, when it came to making short trips out of town.

Temptation strikes

But this past Christmas, as  I faced the bleak-getting-bleaker national political landscape, and the challenge of watching my mother die, I started craving some joyful, all accepting love, and found myself sneaking online to the English Springer Spaniel Rescue America (ESRA) website. For just a peak, I thought. But as I stared at the faces of those black or liver colored love-bugs, all waiting for adoption, my cravings kicked in, and once again I wanted some Springer-magic. I could almost feel a scratchy tongue licking my face and the joy of swimming in open water, a Springer at my side.

Then, I discovered a photo of a Springer cuddled up with kittens.  My heart beat faster at the sight of a dog who liked cats. Maybe, just maybe, he’d fit into our home. I approached the subject cautiously with my husband, and then applied to the Rescue Association. Within a few weeks, I had an interview, was approved to adopt, and spoke with the foster owner of the cat-loving dog I had seen in the photos.

When my husband realized that my desire was no longer hypothetical, he offered up a heavy dose of reality, asking, “How can you possibly spend an hour a day taking care of a dog? Aren’t you always talking about being overloaded?”  Yikes, he was right. Moreover, there was the big question of Barry the cat. Would it really be fair to ruin his reign?

Sadly, I asked the association to put my application on hold.

ESRA has a long list of people wanting to adopt a Springer so they were quick to ask me if I’d be willing to screen other applicants. I hesitated. That seemed like a bleak prospect: talking with other people who might get their Springers…while I couldn’t have mine.

I said yes.

But here’s what the experience of interviewing others has given me: a little bit of Springer love. No, not that scratchy tongue on my cheek. But I feel the magic when the people I interview describe their former Springer Spaniels. Our interviews extend far beyond what is required as they share their love for their dogs.  My heart melts. I’m so happy to help them find their next true companion.

I talked to a man in rural Washington who lives alone. He’s not well off, and was a little hesitant to agree to license a dog. We didn’t talk politics. But as he described how much he had loved and doted on the three springers he had owned, we bonded. I discovered, in talking to this man I would have never otherwise known, that we shared one big thing in common: we’re crazy about those dogs.

You may not want a Springer or even a dog. But there may be some area of your life where you can’t have what you want, at least right now.

Could you create a way to have a bit of what you want, if not the whole thing?

The joy of helping others find their dream dog is nourishing me with a taste of what I’m craving: Springer love.

In our over-stuffed lives, we may not be able to fit in everything we’d like to have or do. As we age, we may have to give up stuff that we’ve loved.

But we can still notice what we can have.

I always bend down and talk to the Springers I meet in the park. Sometimes I get my lick.

As the Rolling Stones taught us:

You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.”

Today, I have the joy of helping others find Springers.

Even as I still hope, someday, for a new waggy-tailed, drooling-mouthed, addition to my life.


Three Little Foxes


17 Responses

  1. What a wonderful attitude of love and generosity. Thank you for sharing this, your love of springers, and your efforts in helping others.

  2. Well, U did it. 3 Springers in my past. Now retired, widower and in desperate in need of my 4th Springer. Unfortunately living in a small condo space and exercise would not be fair to the dog. I continue to wish

    1. I understand, Dan. Now that our new Springers have come I see how much ENERGY they have, they could run the whole yard. Sometimes one can find a calm senior dog…who can provide company if only for a couple of years. Thanks for writing!

  3. I too am a Springer fan. When my Springer died I decided to Foster I went to the same rescue they contacted me and asked if I could foster someone’s dog until they found a place to live that took dogs. Abby was 11 yrs old but still had spring in her step. Needless to say the woman never came back for her do I kept her. She lives two more years even though it was a short time she was loved.

    1. Even two years can be golden. We had our last fosters for five months each…when they had to be put down, we were devastated.

  4. I’m not sure how I came upon your wonderful declaration of love, but I’m glad I did. I currently share my life with my 3rd Springer. While he’s young, only just turned 5, I find myself looking at Springer pups and wanting another in my life.

    I dearly love my “Jack” and am so proud of the love and attention he spreads to everyone everywhere we go… people always stop to greet him and question me on what breed he is and so on.

    I was raised with Beagles and German Shepherds.. but once you taste the love a Springer gives you can never have another breed.

    I”d love another little one to raise, but for now, Jack’s the only man in the house.

  5. We lost our Alexandra (Alex) a year ago. She was 15 yrs old. I look at the rescue site frequently and wish for a new Springer so understand where the author is coming from.
    I know it’s not a good time for a dog right now but it’s like a craving that won’t go awat!!

    1. Good to hear of your love for Springers. We’ve had 2 springers. We just lost our 6 yr old Springer in Jan to kidney failure and still feel the sadness. Thinking of another but at age 75 wonder if I’m too old to be fair for the new dog. Thanks for your story

  6. After spending over $6,000 at Cornell, mine lasted 6 months before dying. I would spend it all over again. I love Springers and would love another but I NEVER get an answer when I inquire about a dog through Springer rescue. I have done rescue for 50 years and cannot count the number I transported, fostered and owned. I guess it’s not meant to be if I can’t get a single question answered.

  7. Mine was Duke. I got him from a friend when he was one year old. He didn’t like the sound of guns so he wasn’t any good hunting. Kinda like me. In AF basic training I didn’t qualify on the rifle range and my drill instructor commented on how I must be a lover and not a fighter. That was Duke. I lost him almost twenty years ago but still miss him like crazy. I’ve got three dogs now, but none are springers. Perhaps that needs to change.

  8. I have had 2 Springers,a male and a female. I just lost my precious Holly 1 month ago today and am just devastated. She was the smartest,sweetest angel ever! She was my EVERYTHING for 13 glorious years and I am lost without her. I have looked at the ESS rescue sites hoping and praying to find another baby to give a wonderful loving forever home to. I know there are many dogs out there that need homes,but I just have an innate love for Springer Spaniels. Dear Lord,please hear my prayers

    1. It took us a while to find a new one. Here’s to the right companion coming your way — Springer, of course!

  9. I’ve had Springers for the better part of 40yrs! I lost my doggie, Beau(Boo Boo), a year ago due to a stroke. I was totally unprepared for the grief that followed. I got him when he was 2months old, and we had 15 glorious years, together! The time has presented itself to look for another Springer! I miss those doggie kisses, his hugs and his great companionship! Beau was a great traveller, always going with me everywhere, in my car or truck! The highlight of his trips, is when we went to Wendy’s, and he got a vanilla Frostie! Every time we went through a drive-thru, he thought that he was getting a Frostie! Talk about making me feel guilty, that was it!
    I miss him terribly, and it brings tears to my eyes, just talking about him! I’m looking for another Springer, but, no luck yet! Thank you, Steve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »

Create Your Own Story! Get the Free Download

Live your life with more meaning, creativity and joy. And enjoy our free e-book to help you create the story you want to live.

You have Successfully Subscribed!