Earlier this week, we lost our Frenchie, Lucy, a constant source of joy in our lives. After nearly nine years of ruling our house in her sassy, happy way, she had a sudden series of seizures that only worsened. After a series of tests, we brought her home. Four days later, with her boys and family around her, she left us peacefully. She was only a few months short of her ninth birthday, and our beloved girl was taken from us far too soon.
But Lucy would tell me to stop being a drag and to celebrate the joy that she embodied every day of her life. She’d probably bark in my ear, crawl into my lap and demand that I stop being such a bummer. Let me share her story…
Lucy came to us by air, flown in from her breeder. My first glimpse of her was in her travel crate; beating on the front door, clearly shouting “Let me OUT!!” She launched into my arms, a tiny bundle of black and white fur, with waving feet and endless kisses. She flew into our lives and proceeded to run amuck, leaving nothing but laughter and love in her wake.
We very carefully introduced her to our two Boxer boys, Sinjin and Angus, both 90+ pound bruisers compared to the 4-pound baby girl. Sinjin sniffed at her with indifference and went back to his nap. Angus took one look at her and fell head over paws in love. (I needed no explanation of imprinting in the Twilight books…I’d seen it firsthand) He was besotted with her from that moment, never again apart from her for more than a few hours. I worried that Angus, the proverbial bull in a china shop would accidentally trample on this tiny girl. Never fear…while Angus steps on everyone else daily, I never once saw him set a foot on his girl. In fact, I’m certain he once took a direct hit from a skunk on her behalf. They’d raced off across the field in hot pursuit, but I only heard Lucy barking. I can imagine Angus, flinging himself bodily in between Lucy and the skunk saying ‘noooooooooo’ in a slow motion voice. Poor guy, when wet he smelled of skunk for almost a year, but always seemed to be doing things like that for his Lucy.
Lucy soon took her place as ruler of the pack and our family. She loved puppies and old dogs, and always kept our little pack in harmony. In a lifetime of living with dogs, she has been my only girl, and was truly the beloved Queen Bee of our family.
She was a firecracker, a direct blast of ears and attitude, and everyone was powerless to do anything but adore her. She especially loved Angus, popcorn, red wine and throwing her shoulder into her brothers to watch them go spinning over her (it’s a bulldog thing). If you blew a raspberry, she’d roll over and wave her feet, asking you blow the next one on her tummy.
Lucy absolutely loved to hike. When we would put on her purple pick-her-up-if-she-gets-stuck harness and her I’m-not-a-coyote bandanna, she would start to dance, those little white feet beating a pattern on the truck seat all the way into the hills. She’s probably the only Frenchie to have gone backpacking to the bottom of Neon canyon in the Escalante, to the top of the Sawtooths or wading in the high lakes of the Trinities. Most nights, even though she had her own backpacking sweater, she would wind up snuggled with my husband in his sleeping bag. She also adored going chukar hunting in the Owyhees, grinning her big bulldog grin while riding sandwiched between my husband and I on the ATV ride down.
She was a noisy little creature, and the house seems too quiet without her. She’d bark at falling leaves, or farting grasshoppers, riling up the other pups in the process, leading the charge to attack invisible phantoms. Every now and then, I would catch her standing in the living room, barking at nothing, just to get the other dogs to come downstairs and bark with her. I swear she’d wink at me at these times as if to say: boys are soooo gullible! She snored like a buzzsaw, snorking and snorting through the night, only relieved by her love of diving under the covers in the early morning. She would curl up in the small of my back…and while I couldn’t hear her quite so clearly, it was like napping with a pleasantly furry two-cycle engine.
Lucy was unapologetically friendly, never having met a stranger she couldn’t charm. She was the Jedi master of bulldozing her way into the hearts of just about anyone she met, accumulating many non-dog people as her ardent fans. She was just irresistible that way, never taking no for an answer, relentlessly working on a new person until she had them wound around her little paw just like everyone else.
And wound around her paw we will remain. Lucy was special. As my father (completely smitten with her) said,
“Lucy spent her entire life making everyone around her happy. What a great way to have lived.”
I couldn’t say it better. Lucy, our little Frog-Dog, you have forever left your little paw prints all over our hearts. You lived your life to the fullest each and every day, in your unapologetically happy way, always willing to share a snork and a kiss, and always willing to hop into my lap for popcorn and a stolen nip of red wine.
I hope she’s sitting on that big couch in the sky with her brother, Sinjin, waiting to join us on the next family hiking adventure. Lucy, we miss you terribly. For us, the world is a little dimmer, but we will always remember you with a smile. Thank you for sharing your life…and your sassy Frenchie love with us.