This article can also be found in the May 2018 issue of Mercer Island Living Magazine.
Dogs have the incredible ability to love us unconditionally and to make us smile when we need it the most. Their antics make us laugh out loud and they make us feel protected and loved. Because of this, losing a dog can be just as heartbreaking as losing any other family member.
“Nala was a real source of comfort,” said Kathleen Spitzer, a Mercer Island resident whose dog passed away in mid-March. She was with the family for nearly 12 years.
“She was the family dog,” said Spitzer. “Our whole family felt like she was in tune with us.”
Nala was a German Shepherd whom Spitzer’s family rescued from a shelter in Seattle. She had been brought into the shelter, which was meant for cats, at six weeks old along with two other puppies after the owner’s friend had attempted to breed the mother.
Nala was always very protective of her family and would bark with great fervor when anyone came to the door, friend or foe, Spitzer explained. However, once everyone was inside and settled, she was as friendly as could be. She had a very assertive personality and wanted you to pay attention to her at all times.
She was also wonderful with young children and babies. “She was always like, ‘Yeah, I’ll take care of this one,’” said Spitzer.
Being an energetic German Shepherd, Nala needed lots of exercise on a regular basis. The family would often take her to the dog park to run around, or to their cabin at Lake Chelan where she had much more freedom than on Mercer Island.
She loved being on the boat at Lake Chelan, although she didn’t like going in the water so she never jumped off the dock. “She fell off the dock a couple times but immediately came back to the shore,” said Spitzer.
Pets will always hold a special place in our hearts when they pass. “We’ve always had dogs,” said Spitzer. “They don’t become teenagers and start hating you – they offer unconditional love.”