Thursday, June 2, 2011

In Loving Memory of Our Best Friend, Lancelot (6/1995 - 3/2011)

He could no longer hear the doorbell ring, nor the dinging of the letters of the Wheel of Fortune puzzles that just a year or two earlier would instantly send him into a startling choir of barks.

Tears fill my eyes thinking of the many times I would find myself wondering whe
n was the last time he had actually heard my voice…

We would giggle as he jerked his head excitedly trying to find the trea
t that escaped his grasp, his eyesight failing, working himself into a tizzy until he chomped it up happily detecting it after a while, right next to his elusive giant paw…

He lay in the kitchen, quite literally in the middle of where I would be working, while I made dinner every night as he nodded off, sleeping away more and more of the day.

Quietly, Yoda would come home from work,
put down his things, give me a kiss hello and together we would wait…

Lance’s ears, eyes, and old joints were steadily betraying him…

But not his NOSE!

After a few moments, we’d watch his eyes begin to flutte
r and see his nostrils catching Yoda’s scent in the air, both of us laughing out loud as his eyes flew open in excited recognition, tail thumping as he shuffled to his feet to propel his body against Yoda’s legs in hello as we both laughed…

Every night for years, we would find ourselves in a twin-s
ized ball curled up tightly on half of our king sized bed as he lounged on the other side comfortably.

But he had long since stopped jumping on the bed…

We created wall-to-wall carpeting throughout the house using strategically placed $12 Walmart runners over our gorgeous mahogany floors to help ease his difficulty with traction on
the slippery floor.

Last summer we bought a little red wagon hoping he could join us on wal
ks around the block and enjoy the fresh air, and we chanted “BEEP… BEEP… BEEEEP!” as he slowly maneuvered himself in reverse when he couldn’t spin his body around to go in another direction…

But every morning, after Yoda left for work, he would stumble back into the bedroom where I lay, and heave himself against the foot of the bed, his great big otter tail thumping against it as he slithered his body under the blankets that spilled over the edge, pushing himself from one side to the other, nudging me to wake and give him his daily hugs and kisses…

I had thought that this particular ritual was reserved just for
me until the last time my nephew stayed the night with us before we lost our beloved Lancelot.

I heard him shuffle from the foot of my bed across the hall into the guest room where he would always sleep when Joel spent the night – the world’s best babysitter.

I followed him and quietly stood at the door to the guest room.

I smiled as I watched my little old man, almost all white with hints of golden yellow,
jerk his body familiarly against the twin sized bed, thumping his tail against it while he slithered from the foot of the bed to the pillow of the sleeping boy.

Tears once again filled my eyes as I watched him push his nose under Joel’s neck and gently raised his head nudging his favorite boy awake. Joel sleepily smiled and wrapped his arms around Lance’s big neck and draped his leg over the side of the bed wrapping himself around him. I stood there realizing that I had witnessed for the f
irst time a morning dance that must have gone on forever.

Morning Lance!” mumbled Joel nuzzled into Lance’s neck as I walked away my heart full of love and joy to have been able to witness the love between a little boy and his dog.

Lance was a true Lab puppy, high-strung, destructive, and downright psychotic!

(Yes, Lance is TWELVE YEARS OLD here! LOL - always a Lab puppy! A very helpful grocery carrier!)

I could write my own novel based on his puppy antics

But these were the moments… the memories that I cherish the most are of his last year with us.

He would have been sixteen years old this summer; we couldn’t have been more blessed with the time we had with him.

It has been almost three months and not a day goes by that I don’t wake up expecting to hear his otter tail against the foot of the bed and feel his cold nose under my neck against my pillow, wishing me a good morning.

Sixteen years is a long time to love someone – for half of my life he was my best friend – the keeper of all my secrets
and the source of my greatest unconditional love.

I learned what it meant to have someone else dependent on me completely for their care, made life altering decisions based on that commitment and somewhere in there, we grew up together.

Thank you, Lance for being my best friend and filling our lives with your wagging thumping otter tail and loyal laughing smile.

“Save a Lab, have a friend for Life!”


  1. (((hugs))) beautiful post - he'll always have a special place in your heart & memories. :)

  2. i miss him well Lance!

  3. Crying....crying...crying. I loved that baby dog too. Love you honey.