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Losing Lady

Lady "I am losing my beloved Lady. I can't really believe it, even though the overwhelming tears come. She's been mine since she was eight weeks old, delivered to me in a Denney's parking lot after a patient 4 month wait.

I called her breeder at least weekly, for the puppy report, still not sure I'd been accepted as a home for one of her puppies. She taught me about what her grooming needs would be, everything from cleaning her face to brushing her teeth. I had so many questions.

Now, just short of eight years later, I am watching my precious pup breathe her last breaths, she pants as though getting air is an effort. I didn't expect this day when I picked her up those years ago. The tiny thing wrapped her front paws around my arm, making herself instantly mine.

We have had a wonderful life together. With hours of patient practice I learned to groom Lady into a sculptured and graceful shape. She took a show ring on full of bounce and stride, sneaking kisses to judges who dare bring their nose too close to hers.

Oh, my Lady. How unique you have been. I think about the judges that smiled. The people everywhere who enjoyed your kisses, your full of life leaps. You've brought back so many sticks, caught so many tennis balls.

We started a life together you and I. I'd take you to the beach, determined to have a dog that would fetch. Every time you brought back that stick, a piece of rollover was yours. How quickly you learned. You loved to run after whatever I would throw for you. Soon you even picked out the right stick the minute we hit the beach. I wish I could have you back on that beach now."

- Barbara, Lady's "mom", wrote this tribute to her beloved Lady.