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June 26, 2011

LADY OF THE MANOR

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April 10, 1999-June 26, 2022

This morning at approximately 7:30 a.m., our wonderful Labrador Retriever, Lady (aka Ladykins, Ladybug, Ladybuggles, Baby Girl), died.

We had Lady for just over 12 years. She came to us the day of Heather's graduation from Northfield Mt. Herman. I remember that beautiful, sunny, blue-skied day well. Leaving Northfield, we stopped at a nursery and bought Heather a red rose bush to commemorate the occasion and, when we arrived home, we quickly unpacked the car and headed down to Clinton to pick up our new puppy. I can see that little black ball of fur with the red collar calmly sitting on the passenger lap now, leaving the only home she had known.

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Lady had a great life at Thirsty Boots Farm. She loved to play and there were plenty of people who loved to play with her.

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She loved to retrieve sticks or tennis balls. It was her regular routine that when a visitor got out of the car, she would dash off to find her stick or ball which was then dropped at the visitor's foot. She'd look up with those brown eyes...."Go on! Throw it!" This instinctive habit of hers continued even when she lost the use of her right rear leg due to an ACL injury and we had to beg people not to throw things for her.

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Lady loved to swim. At first it was in the pool. I remember that requiring some repairs to the vinyl lining. She learned that was a no-no and moved on to the pond. She loved to glide after us when we were in the rowboat and we'd order her to "go back." She loved swimming out through the lilies to retrieve her stick or tennis ball. She could go forever.

She loved digging the dirt out from under bushes and lying in the cool spots she had created. Up went fencing. She loved food and had greater finesse at stealing from the table than Tucker. In fact, I'm sure Tucker got blamed for a few of Lady's thefts. She loved her own mealtime. She was the best alarm clock I had. When she came over to me and sat in front of me and stared at my face, I knew it was 3:00 p.m., dinner time.

She loved the couch. I gave up a long time ago trying to keep the dogs off....electric pads, spiky pads...forget it. She particularly loved the couch or loveseat if you were sitting in it. She'd hop right up and put her head in your lap (or her entire body). She loved John's side of the bed where she got to sleep when he was away on business.

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Lady loved people and animals. When people arrived, she would often break into a huge grin, something that was a little disconcerting to those who did not know her well. I remember two deliver men who refused to get out of their truck. She hated the UPS truck but loved the driver with his cookies. She loved the horsie vet who often greeted her with a piece of his morning doughnut. She loved being in the middle of holidays and family gatherings. I have many mental pics of her surrounded by mountains of wrapping paper. She loved Tom Wells, our neighbor across the road. She loved the chickens and every once in a while would bound after them pretending to chase them. At the beginning of her life, she liked the horses but after she got kicked one day, she'd bark protectively whenever she accompanied me out to the barn at feeding time. Ahh...Lady hated squirrels.

There were three places Lady particularly loved to sit and survey her domain. One was on the hill lawn looking down at the pond. She'd spot things moving we could not see and bark, "Stay on your side." She loved sitting in the entry doorway, with her front paws hanging over, watching the comings and goings on the driveway and across the street at Tom's house. Her most favorite place was in the sun out by paddock gate.

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This morning was a normal day for Lady. She went outside and came back in to eat her breakfast. As I came down the stairs, Lady had her first episode (which the vet tells us was a heart attack) near the bar door. She fell and began breathing raggedly. I gently placed her legs under her and rolled her on her side. Her breathing stopped and she stared fixedly ahead. I called John and as we stroked her and massaged her neck and told her she was a good dog and all was OK, she heaved three huge breathes and came back. In another minute or two she was lying normally. She continued to improve and got up and went into the den. We gave her water which she drank. She sat at my feet and thumped her tail as only a lab can do. After another few minutes she decided she wanted to go out and it was on her way through the hall with me she had her second heart attack. She took three breaths and went down. On her side and with me beside her and stroking her, she drew her last two breaths. It was quick and her last thoughts were of going outside and of a voice telling her she was loved.

She now rests near her favorite sunny spot and next to the Northfield roses. She joins our dogs Ben and Miles (her first TBF buddy), and cats Tippy and Cotton. We are so terribly sad and are missing the great black presence in the house but are so grateful for her quick and "easy" death. We will miss her more than we can say, but are so grateful to have had this happy, loving, devoted "Ladybug" with us for twelve years.

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Thanks, Heather, for the headstone.

About June 2011

This page contains all entries posted to KathyMcCurdy.com in June 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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