away at nine years old on November 3rd, 1999
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whenever it was retracted and put away.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
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
Is a lush, green meadow where time
Where the friends of man and woman do
When their time on earth is over and
For here, between this world and the
Is a place where each beloved creature
On this golden land, they wait and they
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over
No more do they suffer, in pain or in
For here they are whole, their lives
filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health
Their bodies have healed, with strength
They romp through the grass, without
even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from
For just at that instant, their eyes
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
The sadness they felt while they were
Has turned into joy once more in each
They embrace with a love that will last
And then, side-by-side, they cross over....
Go back to
the Rainbow Bridge Page.