Yesterday we had to let the last of our founding terriers go. Like all Smooth Fox Terriers, she had her own personality. She was a bit of a diva. Her younger brother Oscar was always reminded by her that he came second. She demanded to be fed first. If you were patting Oscar, she’d muscle him out of the way and demand her attention. She especially liked men and would walk up to any man she saw — a vineyard worker, the UPS man, Ranch Manager Louis — and paw at his leg requesting her share of pats and chin scritches. Early on, we had an inkling she might grow up this way, so we gave her a name to match the attitude: Lady Lucinda Davinia Doglington-Smyth.
Lucy was a good traveler. And for a good number of years, she accompanied me on my annual roadtrips.
Besides her many appearances in this blog, Lucy had other brushes with fame. There was the time she stole a rawhide chew toy from the Dachshund owned by Madeleine and T. Boone Pickens. There was also the time she volunteered to patrol the Louvre as an Art Heist Prevention Dog. Of course, she was always ready for her close-up should Tom Ford decide to cast more Smooth Fox Terriers in any upcoming movies.
A month ago, investigating some long-term bladder problems, the vet discovered cancer in her kidneys that had spread to her lymph nodes. He thought the cancer might be slow growing and we could manage it over time with antibiotics and pain killers. But, in the end, the pain was too much. I had her up to three times the recommended dosage of her opioid and she still became uncomfortable. So we arranged for a home vet visit to let Lucy go in her own bed.
On her last morning, we did all the things we love to do on an early Saturday. We watched AM Joy and barked at the Republicans. We went for a walk down the vineyard road. We walked belly deep in clover, found some fox poo and wee’d on it. Then we ambled back home and had some dog biscuits.
The vet gave Lucy a very calm and comfortable send-off. And it’s worth noting, she ate 20 soft chicken jerky treats before she went.
So now Two Terrier Vineyard is down a terrier. It’s a little too early to talk about getting a new pup to fill our quota. But not extremely early. Because once you have one of these wonderful little dogs, your heart grows by — in the internationally recognized unit of measure — the exact size of a Smooth Fox Terrier. And only another Smooth will fill that space. So no dog will ever replace Lucy, just as no dog replaced our founding terrier Charlie. But eventually a new Smooth Fox Terrier will fill that heart-space in a different way.
So vale, Little Lucy, you ruled Rancho Los Dos Terriers with a furry paw of iron and you went out on your own terms. You’ll be buried above Lake Charles — named for your brother — where all our terriers have splashed and played. And I won’t be surprised to see light imprints of your little terrier paws some muddy morning. We are always revisited by the Smooth Fox Terriers that we have loved.