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A Tribute to


Passed away at nine years old on November 3rd, 1999

LACY by Joel Genung

She was a thirteen pound West Highland Terrier who came into our lives 9 years ago. I still remember her perched in the cardboard box on our friend's driveway as we debated over what puppy we should pick. We toyed at first with trying to figure out a name for her. But that decision was quickly made by our, then 7 year old, youngest daughter after the frisky puppy playfully untied her shoelaces. We settled on the name Lacy.

Lacy quietly spent weekdays in the house alone, anxiously awaiting the return of her human friends. When Annie or I arrived home from work at night, Lacy was always at the back door, treating each encounter as if she had met us for the first time. While the departure of our oldest daughter to college and her younger sister's ever-increasing school and work schedules had somewhat limited Lacy's daily human contact, she accepted the loss as all loyal dogs do. And it in no way diminished the daily love she showed us each and every day as she trotted playfully at our feet. If there was ever an example of a dog who loved human companionship, Lacy would get my vote as its true definition.

Over the past 9 years, she had developed some insane habits that, at times, would drive us crazy. While sometimes they could create irritating distractions, it was nevertheless funny to watch her viciously attack the Hoover upright, tearing holes in the paper vacuum bag. And while the replacement of the Hoover with a more up-to-date (and durable) model prevented continuing damage, she was no less guarded in her protection of our home from the evil Vacuum God. Later on, she also developed a propensity to bark at and bite the tip of the ironing board whenever it was retracted and put away. And whenever a baby cried on television, she would emit a faint low bark as long as the crying continued. My guess is that it was her way of telling the baby she was there and that everything was okay.

It's sad now to think that when David Letterman's staff was in town last week to make their selection of "local talent" for the show's "Stupid Pet Tricks" segments, I actually thought it would have been fun to carry her, along with the ironing board, to the audition.

Last night, while Lacy was taking care of her business in the back yard after we had returned from work, Annie noticed that our little friend was not at the back door, barking her short but quiet demands to be let in. I had also noticed her absence but neither of us gave it any particular attention, assuming our dog was doing what was expected of her. As I was routinely unpacking the groceries I had just brought in the door, I heard Annie call for her. My heart stopped when my wife returned into the kitchen, grief anguishing her face. Lacy lay on her side in the backyard under the oak tree, as if asleep. I haltingly moved towards her, hoping against hope that she would jump up again and that everything would be alright. It wasn't. Her little furry body was still warm. Lacy had quietly departed our lives.

For nearly fifty years now, I have been an avid reader of "Blondie" in the Sunday comics. Within a year or two after Lacy entered our lives, I began to compare her to the Bumstead's loyal pup, Daisy, who is always trotting at Dagwood's or Blondie's feet. Pick up most any Blondie strip you choose and you'll likely see Daisy in at least one frame. This, more than anything, defines Lacy.\line Until now, I would never have pictured the joy such a small creature could bring into our lives. Lacy's companionship proved, more than anything, that dogs are truly man's best friend. I know Lacy was ours. And I am certain that if Doggy Heaven exists, our little pal is there, ridding Paradise of vacuum cleaners and playfully running off with dirty socks.

Goodbye little girl. You were as good a friend as we could have ever asked for.


By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,

Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.

Where the friends of man and woman do run,

When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,

Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.

On this golden land, they wait and they play,

Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,

For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.

Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,

Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,

Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.

All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,

Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;

Together again, both person and pet.

So they run to each other, these friends from long past,

The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,

Has turned into joy once more in each heart.

They embrace with a love that will last forever,

And then, side-by-side, they cross over.... together.

Author Unknown

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