Ode to Lou

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”
Charles M. Schulz

I must first apologize for the self indulgence in this post but as we evolve this blog to include all things that make life good, we have to include our pets.

Val and I are both saps when it comes to our furry friends and have had the pleasure of having cats and dogs in our family.  I write to you today to pay respect to those we have loved and lost.  This post comes a few days after we said goodbye to our ever loyal and loving Golden Retriever, Louis.

Louis was our second Golden we  have had in our family; the first was named Hugo, who lived about 14 years.  Louis was 10 and a half years old when he succumbed to cancer.  Ten and half years was not nearly long enough with this guy.

Louis had a very distinct personality.  Being a Golden, they are definitely ‘people’ dogs and he never really ever warmed up to other dogs like some do.  I was always a little hesitant when walking him and we saw another dog.  Sometimes the welcome was joyful, and other times, not so much.  Lou could walk on his leash with ease and was truly a joy to take along with you on walks.  In the car; that was another story.  He suffered from motion sickness from the day we got him and although near the end of his life, wasn’t getting physically sick, he always had an anxiety about being in the car.  That didn’t stop us though from doing a long road trip to Prince Edward Island with him and our three kids.  There, he learned how to swim and did quite well in the car after a few days of hyperventilating.  I will look back on that trip with great memories, especially now.

Louis was very much our family dog.  Our kids grew up with him, as did all of their friends who would come to our house.  Everyone knew Louis.  He would join them up in the attic family room when they played video games (and I am sure hoping to score some chips or anything that may have fallen on the floor).  Louis would go to the park with them and run around like a puppy even when he was getting older.  He slept on our daughter’s bed for quite a few years, even when Moe the cat was sleeping there.  Eventually he made the trip to our room; sometimes on the bed, sometimes on his pillow, but he slept there right until the night before he died.

Louis and Moe the cat had an unlikely friendship.  They truly were bonded and when Moe passed, his presence was not only missed by us, but by Louis as well.  I have wondered lately if that may not have something to do with the fact his illness accelerated after losing his buddy.

Louis had a love hate relationship with squirrels and birds.  He enjoyed the Walking Dead but didn’t like Hockey Night in Canada, and particularly Don Cherry. Sorry Don but he would bark at the tv as soon as he heard the music to Coach’s Corner.

We knew the end was coming for Louis; who was named after Louis Armstrong.  He had surgery in the summer and the results of the tumour they removed were not good.  The tumour grew back very rapidly and we saw a steady decline.  Even though we saw it coming, that morning he woke up barely being able to catch his breath we were caught off guard.  Laying down was impossible and the look he gave us was that of a desperate cry for help.  We called our wonderful veterinarian and were able to get him in right away.  After a quick consultation, our thoughts were confirmed.  He was in a quick decline and there was only one thing to do to help him at this point.

That last morning we got two of our three kids up (the other is away at school) and we all spent the last hour outside on the deck where he grumbled at the squirrels, wagged his tail, and said good bye.

So to you Louis, we say thank you.  Thank you for being the best friend to us all. You will be missed more than we can even imagine.  We are hopefully better humans for having you in our life.

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Louis Armstong

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Moe the Cat

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Val and her side kick for 18 years, Smokey

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Hope, Lovey and Pebbles – Val’s current ladies

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Our old boy Hugo.

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