Barb and I first met when she bought a little stripey brindle bitch from me named “Rosey”, aka Bullmarket A&A Stripe Ts. Rosey was Tessa’s half sister, and, just like her sister, was a complete and utter charmer with people (although not always with other dogs).
Rosey had a few litters, one of which was sired by Ch. Pinetree’s Baileys Kahlua and Cream. This litter produced a lovely little dark brindle bitch, call named Lola, registered name Pinetree’s Absolut Lolita. Lola lived with Barb, and I nicknamed her “Dark” Lola, to differentiate her from our ‘other’ Lola (who is perhaps better known as The Dread Pirate Lola, official mascot of Talk Like a Pirate Day).
Things can get confusing when you have a few dogs, and some of them share the same name, but I always felt slightly guilty about Lola’s nickname, because there was nothing at all dark about her, other than her coat. She had a sweet, sunny nature and loved everyone equally, whether people or dogs. Lola had a litter of her own, producing Absolut Amron Vol De Nuit, better known as Connie Lovece’s GiGi.
Lola is the dog who taught me that there was far too much that we don’t yet know about degenerative disk disease. In spite of a back that showed almost no hemi or malformed vertebrae, Lola woke up one morning unable to walk. Common veterinary advice was ‘operate, asap’, but Barb had seen another dog die during this surgery, and she preferred to treat Lola using alternative methods. Crate rest and Metacam, initially, followed by cold laser treatment. Within months, Lola was walking again, albeit a bit wobbly on her pins.
Barb had just lost Rosey, Lola’s mother, and the loss was hard for her. Rosey had been Barb’s heart dog, and had died a slow, painful death from cancer, with Barb hanging on for as long as she possibly could, even when the money for Lola’s chemo meds (some of which cost an almost unbelievable $500 per pill) left her hurting financially. Barb knew that she needed to find a home for Lola with someone who could give her the one on one care she needed, and who could afford to do any additional care which Lola’s condition might require. I put the word out on my mailing list, and that’s how we met Lauren.
Lauren lived in New York City, but she was willing to come and pick Lola up in Traverse City. As Lauren puts it, it was “love at first sight”. A while later, Lauren bought Tucker from us (Bunny’s son, and Dexter’s brother), as a friend for Lola, and I loved getting photos of the two of them together, Tucker sleeping next to Lola like her photo opposite.
Lola passed away just over a year ago – and it took Lauren that long to be able to write a memorial for her beautiful girl. Some losses just leave you without words.
Our sweet Lola passed away a year ago today on July 27th, 2010.
Lola was the quintessential Frenchie girl – funny, sassy, stubborn and self –
assured. My first memory of her was when she walked into the airport where I
was picking her up. She walked right up to me, climbed into my lap, and looked
up as if to say “yep, I’ll keep you”.
Lola had an amazing love of life and she fought through injury to walk again,
through illness to be with her family, and in the last days of her life she fought so
bravely so that I could have the chance to goodbye.
But what I remember even more than her fighting spirit and love of life is her
generous, loving heart. When she passed away, her room was filled with people
who loved her for all that she had given to them and who couldn’t imagine having
to be without her.
Lola – you were such a small little girl but your spirit and heart filled so many days
with laughter and love. I still miss you every day, but I am comforted by your
love, kindness, patience, and generosity, which I see reflected everyday in the
little brother you raised and cared for.
We love and miss you forever,
Mom and Tucker