Colita was born February 8th, 1997, one of a litter of nine. At seven weeks, she began her training with her introduction to the "Sit" command and rapidly learned it and many other simple instructions. Colita, who also answers to Coli and Col, received her black and white colors from her father. Her mother is liver and white. Coli has traditional English Springer markings: white blaze, neck, collar, and running gear, with a black face, saddle and hind. She also possesses a white marking snaking from her collar down half the length of her back, a marking which reminded the breeder of a river and inspired the name she was given by her purchasers. The name Colita, which in Spanish means "tail," is one of the few feminine names given any river in Texas. It seemed appropriate.
The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-build, long haired, hunting breed, at home in the outdoors and a lover of exercise. It possesses an extraordinary sense of smell and keen eyesight. It quickly bonds with its master[s] and displays genuine love and loyalty. It loves to play and the adults are very good with children. An unusually intelligent breed, the English Springer Spaniel is capable of learning a huge repertoire of commands and situational routines. It is naturally curious, but submits willingly to obedience.
Diane McCarty, in English Springer Spaniels (Neptune City, New Jersey: T.F.H. Publications, 1995), wrote, "There is no doubt that the dog from which the English Springer Spaniel has been developed has an ancient and proud ancestry. Many authorities claim that the ancestral stock of the spaniel family originated in Spain, undoubtedly more than six hundred years ago. Gradually they permeated the continent, eventually being brought to England.
"Originally called a 'Springing Spaniel,' legend has it that the Springer got his name from the fact that he flushes game from cover, not holding a scent. From the ancestral stock of the spaniel race, most of our present-day land and water spaniels have stemmed. Several different varieties such as the Cocker Spaniel and Sussex Spaniel have developed from the original strain." (pp. 6-7)
Elsewhere, she writes, "The dominating characteristic of the English Springer Spaniel is his ingratiating attitude toward the entire world. He loves people, he loves life, and his jolly appreciation of everything make him a fascinating fellow and a wonderful companion not only for adults but also for children....He is not entirely a one-man dog in the ordinary sense of the word; his great affection embraces the entire family fortunate enough to own him. On the other hand, his loyalty gives him a fiercely protective spirit for his own people; strangers, particularly, are not warmly greeted. Springers make remarkably good watchdogs...." (pp. 22-23)
I, for one, can attest to the accuracy of Ms. McCarty's description of the Springer Spaniel's character and personality. In Coli's case, her love and loyalty seem boundless. She is a remarkable bundle of joy and expresses her love unconditionally. She is now six years old (her birthday was February 8th!), but is still very much a curious, energetic and loving puppy.
On April 28th, 2008 my beloved friend went to play frisbee with God. She was sleeping eternally on the patio when I got home, but her eyes were open and the color was wrong; I knew she wasn't there. I have no shame in saying that I lost it. I was completely unprepared to never play with her again, to never again feel her nose nudge my empty hand, to never again see her dance around with happiness when I picked up her frisbee. I knew when her time came there would be a hole in me, but it's so much bigger than I ever suspected. She was a good friend, a loving companion, always happy to see me, and filled me with boundless joy. She taught me so much about life and love.
I buried her in the far back, with her frisbee, under the wildflowers she liked to smell and romp in. She was 11 years, 2 months and 20 days young. I enjoyed every day of her life, and I will miss her terribly. I already do. -- Jack Keller
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -- Will Rogers, 1879-1935