Lady the Dog – July 27, 2008 | March 12, 2018
I remember when Meghan, Brent, and I first held you. You had that puppy-fat belly and wanted to get down to run and play with your sister. Do you remember jumping off that retaining wall only to hurt your shoulder?
I remember how happy Mom was to see you at the airport when she picked you up. The Delta Airlines Freight employees thought you were a super cute puppy. Yeah, you were.
I remember Mom telling me how you and she went for walks in French Park down by the creek.
I remember when I’d get home after sixteen hours of driving from New Hampshire to see you and Mom. I’d growl at the back door, you’d do that puppy-courage bark, I’d make the monster sound hiding around the corner, you’d pee yourself and then run back into the family room to huddle next to Mom.
I remember how Mom took you to training classes and you’d do the lazy sit.
I remember how Mom trained you to lay down, turn around and look at us.
I remember when you’d play orange ball but not give it back.
I remember when you’d bark and bite at the waves in the lake.
I remember you scratching me while we swam together.
I remember you crying like a baby when we locked you in the house as we’d walk down the hill to go kayaking. You knew you couldn’t swim that far silly dog!
I remember when you’d be a troll at the top of the steps not letting the cats up to their food.
I remember you being Nala’s tool. She’d peer at you looking under the couch, see what way you were facing and then dart right past you like greased lightning. Your whimpers, while you chased after her, were pathetic.
I remember you licking the empty peanut butter jars and you warning me not to try to take it away from you. I knew better. But you let Mom have the jar anytime she wanted it. You trusted her.
I remember you taking naps on frosty winter mornings as the warm sun would stream into my basement office.
Meghan remembers how much you loved swimming in the lake, even when the water was freezing cold.
Meghan and Brent remember you swimming far out into the lake as they paddleboarded. When you were tired, you tried to climb up on their boards to rest.
Achilles, Meghan and Brent’s fierce cat, had no use for you.
Meghan remembers how happy you were to see her when she’d come back home to visit. You’d not stop jumping or nipping at her for close to half an hour it seemed like.
Meghan remembers when she’d come home, you’d sleep right next to her like you were her own personal bodyguard. And if Meghan woke up during the night, you’d nuzzle her to be pet.
Meghan remembers sneaking treats to you.
Tristan remembers when Mom and I would leave you for a week to travel back to see Grandpa. Right after we left, you’d lay up next to the front door for hours. Tristan said eventually you’d come down and lay quietly next to him until we got back.
Tristan remembers you laying on the warm basement floor in your cozy dog bed.
Tristan remembers you trying to mooch peanut butter after midnight. Holding up your paw was a dirty trick.
I remember you tangling with the porcupine the day Kelly and I took you for a walk.
I remember you getting too close to the skunk.
I remember you chasing deer.
I remember you chasing squirrels.
I remember the chipmunk chatter driving you crazy.
I remember you digging to China to get the chipmunks. That’s how you skinned your nose.
I remember you biting bees.
I remember that dark night you went chasing after some animal up the big hill above the house. Your barking became fainter and fainter until I could barely hear you. I whistled and whistled for you to come back. I thought you lost your way. But you didn’t. I was so very happy to see you on the porch.
I remember you barking each night at the invisible animals outside.
I remember making hoot owl sounds that would make you bark. Mom wasn’t happy when I did it inside.
I remember us playing snow.
I remember us playing water.
I remember you making it very hard to wash my truck.
I remember you making it nearly impossible to shovel snow.
I remember how you used to tell us how hard it was snowing by the amount you brought back in on your jet-black fur.
I remember looking through the man-cave window down at your tracks in the fresh snow. Some days you’d roll in the snow taking a snow-bath. Now nothing’s going to disturb the white carpet.
I remember how angry you got at the central vacuum. You would bark and want to bite the brush. I think you didn’t like the rushing air.
I remember how many thousands of times I opened and closed the gate so the cats could rest without you bothering them.
I remember how much you loved romaine lettuce stalks.
I remember how well your hearing was. No matter how slowly and carefully I’d try to open the stiff cellophane bag of mini-pretzels while you were downstairs or in the other room, you’d be next to me within seconds looking up at me for your share.
I remember how you’d loiter in the kitchen each night as dinner was made wandering ’round and ’round the island. You knew someone would drop something.
I remember never having to sweep the kitchen floor because you ate every crumb and morsel that ever touched the floor.
I remember you helping me load the dishwasher. You’d lick the plates and silverware trying to do your best to keep the septic tank in great shape. The men at Rowell’s told me you did an excellent job.
I remember being upset with you some days telling you to run away. You know I didn’t mean it and you always forgave me.
I remember when you, Mr. Cluett and I went for a hike. Mr. Cluett loved you too.
Mom remembers that you weren’t really a Lady, but more like a bull in a china shop.
Mom and I remember when you’d go outside just to eat bird food.
I remember you making your nest in the mulch at the end of the sidewalk to lay in the warm sun.
I remember you jumping up into Brian’s UPS truck.
I remember you having no manners with Brian insisting he give you three or four dog biscuits. He’s going to miss you too.
I remember boxes on the front porch with a dog biscuit left on top for you.
I remember you coming up in the morning with me to the man cave and putting your head against my leg.
I remember how forlorn you’d look when you saw me come out of the bedroom with my carry-on bag. You were so smart and knew I was leaving, but not for how long.
I remember getting back from business trips and how you’d knock me over on the front sidewalk you were so happy to see me. Not once did you ever scold me for staying away so long.
I remember all your fur. Everywhere.
I remember you being my shadow.
I remember you always pushing the door open. You just had to be first to check out what the cats had been doing.
I remember you and me sitting in the living room waiting for Mom to come up and start dinner. It was always so quiet there with you at my feet.
I remember you telling me you were hungry. Those were the only times I ever heard you complain.
I remember Mom getting angry at me because we’d sham fight before dinner. “Take it outside you two!”, she’d shout.
I remember you biting me when we’d play, but only so hard to let me know you could tear me apart if you wanted to.
I remember you being outside the bedroom door laying on your back against the wall in the morning.
I remember when you’d go for a morning swim.
I remember you laying in your comfy bed chair.
I remember how you hated getting your picture taken by me, but Kelly could do it anytime she wanted.
Kelly remembers how much you loved to go to the beach with her, especially to watch the sun kiss the clouds goodnight.
Kelly remembers taking lots of photos with you, especially toe-to-toe.
I remember whenever I’d lace up my boots, you’d come over and nuzzle against my hands because you knew we were going outside. You love love loved going outside, didn’t you?
I remember saying, “Let’s go up to the mailbox!” and you’d follow me each time.
I remember how you smelled like dog. I know you don’t believe me, but I’m going to miss that too.
I remember how every winter morning when we’d go into the garage so I could get up to the man cave I’d have to tell you why I couldn’t leave the garage door open for you. You always turned left wanting to go outside. You were so predictable. 😉
I remember how each Sunday when I pulled the car into the garage after arriving home from church Mom would make me wait for you. She’d open the front door, let you out, and you’d come bounding around the corner saying in dog speak, “Welcome home! I thought you’d never get back!” Your ears were flattened and you were so happy to see Mom and me. I was so very happy to see you too. That’s why I always waited and exclaimed, “What took you so long to get here?”
I remember how much you loved me to massage your paws in the morning.
I remember how each morning you go outside and anytime you came back in you’d want to follow me. But lately I noticed you had a tough time climbing the steps to the man cave. I just thought your hips were bothering you. I now think you didn’t have the energy.
I remember saying goodnight to you before I’d go to bed.
I remember many a day before dawn when I was in that halfway place between sleep and awake you’d move to a new resting position outside the bedroom door. You’d let out that slow groan from sleeping on the hardwood floor for who-knows-how-long as you protected Mom and me from intruders. As you got to a new comfortable position, your dog tags would jingle and clank on the floor.
I remember coming out in the morning most days, kneeling down next to you in your bed chair and stroking your nose. I’d whisper to you how it was going to be a great day. You always looked me in the eyes and agreed.
I remember your unconditional love and affection.
I remember this last sunrise we shared together. We both stood so quietly on the deck. I had no idea days later you’d be gone.
I remember the happy look on your face when you grabbed the green ball from the snow minutes before you collapsed and got dizzy.
I remember you walked to the end of the sidewalk because you thought I was leaving you forever without saying “Goodbye, sweetheart”, didn’t you? I was just moving my truck so we could race you to Dr. Julie. You had such a relieved look in your eyes when you saw me walk over to pick you up and lay you gently in the back of Mom’s car.
I remember you crying one last time in Mom’s car as we rushed you to see Dr. Julie.
I remember Mom softly stroking your head as you took your last breath. I stood helplessly hoping in shock while Dr. Julie did all she could to save you.
I remember how warm and peaceful you were when I held you that last time.
I remember that loving look in your eyes before Mom and I walked out of the room.
I remember thinking how dreadful today would be.
I remember trying to eat dinner and looking for you under the dining room table before I moved my legs. But you weren’t there and my heart sank.
I remember not wanting to come out of the bedroom the next day because I knew you’d not be there.
I remember thinking how hard it would be not to see you, but not this hard.
I knew I loved you, but didn’t quite understand how much until now.
I’ll never ever forget you Lady the Dog.
I can’t wait until I see you again.
Kathy, the kids and I want to thank Dr. Julie and the entire staff of the Interlakes Animal Hospital for their great skills in doing all possible to save Lady the Dog. We deeply appreciate their compassion and love in allowing us to say a very private goodbye to Lady. Thank you Dr. Julie.