Sleeping Lady's Paris Frances
We wanted to let you know that we said good-bye to Paris Saturday morning. She did not seem afraid or in pain -- the vet's became a safe and familiar place during her treatment. Most of her favorite helpers were there, and they gave her lots of pets and treats, as we did. Her leaving was very sweet and peaceful -- she was on the floor with us and her vet petting her, feeding her treats, and she seemed to just stop a few seconds after the injection.
As you know, Paris did not have an easy beginning. She seemed to be shortchanged from the start: little bat ears, a stumpy excuse for a tail too short even for the traditional docking, short bandy legs. She had to be re-po'ed by her breeder from her first owner in Alaska when it became clear she was being abused and neglected.
But as much as we rescued her, she rescued us right back. She taught us about patience and perseverance, and gave loyalty and love unstintingly. She took her job of guarding us very seriously and was vigilant around people she didn't know well. It took us a few years to know how to manage her -- sorry to those of you who met her before we had the drill down. She was fiercely loyal to and affectionate with her friends. (Once we heard her vet in the back of the clinic looking for an assistant: "Are YOU a Friend of Paris? Oh, are YOU a Friend of Paris?") She loved to be scratched and petted and she loved to eat more than anything. She was serious and steady in her temperament, and in time triumphed over her fears - mostly. Thanks to several trainers and Lisa's work with her obedience and agility training, her confidence and courage grew. She was a good, if sometimes bossy, big sister to Emma, and after initially wanting us to send Emma back, played well with her. (Emma, more patient and wily, usually could maneuver around Paris to end up with the contested toy.) She tried to boss us, even the last day, barking peremptorily as if she needed to go out when all she wanted was more treats.
A few stand-out Paris memories: Her thick black body hurtling down the beach, chasing after seagulls. Once up on Cathead Bay we noticed her racing back and forth in shallow water and a big black wave moving back and forth in front of her: she'd found a school of carp to herd! Our friend and neighbor Bill teaching us to scratch above her tail until she looked up to the heavens, licking her lips fast like she was in a trance. Paris ran low to the ground when something caught her attention and she took off like a bullet. (Last January Maureen had her at the forest preserve and she smelled a deer and shot off out of sight. Emma and Maureen searched for hours in the cold, until finally some nice guy found her on the railroad tracks, called the sheriff's office and walked her out of the preserve, her prancing along like she'd found a new best friend.) She laid on her Aunt Patty's feet at the cottage so P. would stay with her when we were running around. That after taking off down the road the first time Patty watched her there, making Patty give chase in her bathrobe! Paris sat on the floor in rapt, admiring attention whenever anyone did anything in the kitchen, ever hopeful. We found she loved, among other things, tomatoes, green beans, cantaloupe -- the only food she ever gave back was lettuce. And whenever anybody wanted to take a nap, go to bed early, or sleep in late, she was your girl.
There are many good Paris stories. The sad one began on Valentine's Day this year when we found the first tumors. She had one 16 week course of treatment which bought us some months, but when we felt the tumors again around Labor Day we knew it was just a matter of time. We took her for lots of walks and rides in the car and pronounced a rule-free zone for the last few weeks, which Paris enjoyed and Emma took great advantage of. (Now to rein Ms. Emma in!) But the last 8 months with her were a bonus, and we are very grateful to Dr. Yael Cidon and everyone at Pet Vets in Oak Park for taking such good care of her!
For a squatty 88 pound dog, Paris was a big spirit and had a huge presence. She leaves a deep black hole in our house, and a void in our little pack. It's like one of the four wheels of a car has fallen off and we are struggling to move forward. Emma keeps looking for her, and only sometimes remembers to bark when someone comes in or goes by like Paris taught her. Thanks to all of you for helping us care for her, and for being supportive during these last difficult 8 months. We are very grateful to have had the time with did with her.
- Maureen and Lisa
Paris and Emma.
Sleeping Lady Bouviers,
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