[LARRY NOTE: Our pal Dianne Cole knows what it means to love. As many of you who have lost dear members of your family know, sometimes you just aren’t able to immediately press through the barrier of mourning and write. Your heart keeps the words inside. But, in time, you need to express, to explain, why you are missing someone so dear to you. So, from March 25, here is Dianne’s tribute to Lady, a loved soul.]
Lady, the Queen
July 1, 2001-March 4, 2016
“Three weeks ago today, March 4, 2016, Mike and I helped our sweet Lady, the Queen of the House, cross the Rainbow Bridge. She would have been 15 years old on July 1st of this year.
“We adopted Lady from the Dallas SPCA in July of 2002 when she was just over a year old, the day before I was to have surgery on my right foot. I met Mike at the SPCA after work to adopt a dog…He had already selected Lady from their website unbeknownst to me, but she was a beauty and I fell immediately in love with her.
“The SPCA had her listed as a Yellow Lab/Red Heeler mix and she had the best qualities of both breeds…loving, sweet, and very, very smart. She was beautiful…a reddish gold color with gorgeous brown eyes.
“Mike and Lady left the SPCA while I stopped to pick up some doggy things for her and by the time I got home she had bonded with Mike and wanted nothing to do with me…I was heartbroken…cried myself to sleep that night. After my foot surgery the next morning I was confined to the house for 6 full weeks, on crutches with no weight on my foot and by the end of the 6 weeks, Lady and I had bonded; she became best friends with Doc, our old dachshund, and was the love of our lives.
“Just a year after Lady came into our lives, Doc, crossed the Rainbow Bridge at the age of 18 and Lady was lost without him to mother, so we adopted our black Lab, Cisco, to be a companion for Lady.
“Cisco came to us from a Lab rescue and Mike and I took Lady to meet him at his foster home in Ennis to see if they would get along. They romped and played like old friends, but as soon as I brought Cisco home a couple of days later, Lady wanted NO part of him. Again I was heartbroken and so afraid Cisco would have to be returned, but I was patient and after a couple of weeks, when Lady ‘allowed’ Cisco to get on the bed with us one night, I knew she had accepted Cisco and he was there to stay. After that they became BFF’s…always together wrestling, sleeping, protecting their family, but Lady was ALWAYS the leader of the pack and never failed to put Cisco in his place should he get out of line.
“Lady was one of the most dignified dogs I had ever had. On the very rare occasion that she had any kind of accident in the house, she would always find a throw rug to use and you could see how embarrassed she was when we found her ‘accident.‘
“She absolutely LOVED water. I can’t tell you how many times that I’d start running my bath and turn around to see Lady walking around in the tub enjoying the warm water…she actually jumped into the tub with me several times. One of her greatest pleasures was being blown dry with the hair dryer.
“Up until a few months ago, in the mornings when I’d wash my hair, she would come running from wherever she was in the house when she heard me turn on the hair dryer. I would always take a few minutes to ‘dry’ her off…stroking and telling her how much I loved her (in all honesty I think that was the part she enjoyed the most…LOL!), and after a few minutes she was happy and would go about her merry way. Many mornings as I got dressed, she would come into the bathroom and lay behind me as I put my makeup on.
“Lady loved being outside…anytime…cold weather, ice, rain…nothing bothered her. She especially loved being outside when the weather was nice and sunny. She would often lay in the grass in the sun until she became hot to the touch, walk to the shady concrete patio to cool off and then head right back to the sun to bake again. I often told Lady that she really wasn’t a ‘lady’”…She’d watched Cisco hike his leg to pee and learned how to do it quite well when she felt the mood.
“She loved babies of any kind. Once we had a neighbor that had a small dog that had puppies and Lady would lay just as close to the fence as she could get and the puppies would come to her. Abby joined our household at the age of 8 weeks old and Lady quickly became Abby’s adopted mother and Cisco her father…they were the cutest little dog family and Mike and I loved them so much. Lady was 12 and getting to be a bit crotchety when I rescued Lil’ Bit and brought her home to live with us, but Lil’ Bit was a small dog and Lady adopted her and treated her like a baby, but never failed to put Lil’ Bit in her place if Lil’ Bit got too rambunctious for Lady’s liking.
“In the summer of 2015, Mike came home from work to find Lady immobile. We rushed her to the vet and she was diagnosed with ‘old dog syndrome.’ … After a round of meds and lots of love and patience she bounced back to the Lady we loved. Several months later she was diagnosed with doggy dementia, but handled it like the Queen she was. Her hearing and eyesight weren’t what they had been and arthritis in her hips caused her to have difficulty getting up and down on occasion. Though she had a great appetite she would often walk around the house like she had no idea of where she was and she would pant a lot. Her love of the outdoors diminished and we would often have to guide her out the door where she would take care of business and immediately want back in.
“Our precious Cisco crossed the bridge July 6, 2015, while Mike was in Houston. I think Lady was lost without Cisco and in looking back I think she was often ‘looking for him’ when she paced around the house. The end of February I felt in my heart that it was ‘time’ to let her go while she still had her dignity, but Mike wasn’t quite ready. She had always been ‘his girl’ and I think the fact that he wasn’t here when Cisco crossed just made him hold on to Lady a little longer.
“Three weeks ago today, Mike got home before me to find Lady unable to move. In fact, when he left for work that morning and took her treat to her, she was lying on her bed and was in the exact same spot when he got home where she had peed on herself…something she never did.
“I had just left work on my way home at 4:30 when Mike called to tell me he thought it was Lady’s time. I called our vet’s office and explained the situation and made arrangements to come home and take her in. Mike had been sick and was not able to life Lady into his truck so the vet waited until we could get there where we said ‘goodbye’ to our precious girl, Lady. She had been so much a part of our lives for almost 15 years. What a blessing she was and I take great comfort knowing that she and Cisco, her BFF for 13 years, are now together again on the other side…running and playing as they did when they were young.
“Lady and Cisco, Mom and Dad love you both so much…then, now and forever. Tell all our other fur babies how much we loved them and we’ll see you all again one day. RIP, my sweet girl….Lady, the Queen. Lady is now home with us where she belongs.”
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