Lady was an extraordinary being who brought extraordinary joy into the lives of so many. I first met Lady as my friend Caitlin’s dog when we were roommates many years ago. One night myself and our friend/roommate Shane declared that her new name would be Butt Cheeks. We stood at one end of the room calling “Butt Cheeks!” with Caitlin at the other calling “Lady!” Though I forget the outcome I do recall her confusion and how hilarious the whole situation was to me.
The difficult circumstances of life eventually led Lady into my care where she remained for about the last eight years of her life. I feel eternally grateful to have been provided this blessed opportunity which has quite deeply effected my well being through the years.
If I am to be correct Lady was born and grew up in Red Bluff, CA. Lady was initially the pet to her previous owner’s mom’s partner, but care was quickly taken over by Caitlin, who absolutely loved the little nugget on sight; a love that never diminished with their eventual distance apart. I remember the depth that I saw in Lady’s life and emotional capacity after our friend Lelania first told me that Lady had had two litters in her younger age and provided me the details of their life trajectories.
This afternoon a friend in Germany told me that just yesterday she had thought of Lady when seeing another pup “patiently waiting for table scraps.” I laughed and said that while it was nice to hear Lady’s spirit was brought to Germany I didn’t think that Lady would ever wait patiently for food.
Early on in my care for her it clicked in my head that of course dogs can eat more than dog food man! I began to buy her little baby carrots to crunch on. She could chew watermelon and bananas all day and would run circles around my room, working herself into a fit, if I ever ate a bowl of spaghetti around her. I used to slip her little crumbs (maybe slightly more than crumbs) of mint chocolate Newman-O’s as well. Pistachios were also a favorite. And, if you asked Lady, whoever could forgo dropping bits of their pizza crust into her begging maw ought to reassess their priorities and perhaps have charges of animal abuse placed against them.
Lady detested skateboards. I have two antecdotes on this matter. The first being that, back when I used to drink I was enjoying some alcohol with friends on the porch. She was out there with us that night and at some point bolted down the steps and then off to the left of the house and out of sight. What in the Hell we must have said in one way or another perplexed by the sudden zero to lightspeed blast off of the furball we loved. Before we could stand up and follow after her a skateboarder with headphones passes the porch heading in the opposite direction with Lady now chasing behind and barking at his heels. He appeared completely unaware. I had to run and wave my arms at this guy, before he led her into the busy intersection just ahead, for him to realize and stop.
The second being when I was in a parking lot with friends as someone comes through on a longboard. Before I spot him and pick her up she launches herself like a fur covered cruise missile into his ankles. More due to being caught off guard than any real force of Lady’s attack the skateboarder stumbles off his deck.
When it would snow in Portland I always took her out on a walk for as long as she could take it. She seemed to really enjoy the snow and exploring the transformed landscape of peculiar cold soft layers of white. She once tread upon a small frozen over shrub. The ice broke and she fell through to my laughing at her surprise.
About five years back I took her on a flight back to California for a friend’s wedding. The steward allowed me to unzip the carrier and let Lady’s head peek out to stare over the clouds. She seemed unimpressed, but perhaps she was just left speechless by this spectacular first time sight.
One of the last times her previous owner came to visit Lady we fed her a ton of watermelon. I kept saying more was fine because the moment between them felt so right; full of love and joy. It was quite some time later before I admitted to Caitlin that the over-abundance, which was my mistake entirely, had led Lady to get the poops and a growling tummy for a few days. I bet Lady thought it was worth it.
Her final hours were spent wrapped in a bundle of blankets as I carried her through my neighborhood to sit on the edge of a steep hill overlooking the industrial district and beyond to a forested sort of area further out. It was a beautiful day with a warm sun shining down on us both.
Lady passed back home in my arms to the sound of wind chimes and birds chirping as the occassional squirrel ran along the fence or through the yard. What an incredible being and what an incredible loss, but what an extraordinary and positive effect upon so many lives that needed nothing more than everything you had to offer.
Goodbye dear sweet friend,
My love is forever yours