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In Memory of Patti

Patti 1996-2009 When she came to us she was 10 months old, my husband’s mid-life-crisis gift to himself for his 40th birthday. “A petite blonde” he said.

“I want you to be prepared” the breeder told us, “for just how small this dog is”. She was tiny – about the size of a loaf of banana bread and she never grew much larger, topping out at 13 pounds. She had a luxurious coat – someone said she looked as if she had been upholstered in yellow lab. Patti’s eyes were shiny black diamonds like a clown (a clown who meant business, that is) and she was all muscle, her hind legs pork chops with pistons inside. She goose stepped with straight front legs as though she had no joints in her pegs or perhaps determined that she need never bow or bend. She teed up with our pit bull Jane, who rolled her eyes and walked away, unwilling to so much as glare at this guttersnipe, this folly, this….dog?

Patti happily blustered her way though life, dashing around fields herding barn cats and kid goats; for until she turned nine and we moved back west Patti never walked on a lead. The unlikeliest farm dog there ever was, Patti outlived Jane and Walter the pitbulls and Vincent the frenchie, the only dog with whom she ever shared a bed. She put the fear of God into the Johnny-Come Latelys, Joey One Eye and Loolie, both FBRN grads, and Tommy Boy the gentle foster dog. Patti took no crap. She was so formidable in fact, that hers was the face chosen to represent the Frog Princess on the pages of FBRN’s blog.

In the end, it wasn’t Patti who gave up. Wracked with chronic pain and paralysis from a deteriorating spine, a sudden and gigantic mass on her jaw and constant UTIs, Patti could no longer see, hear, or walk worth a damn. Yet she soldiered on, willing to eat, sometimes playing, and always calling the shots. Mostly she slept. We knew she suffered and that her time was at hand but told our vet “she just isn’t ready to let go!” “Patti is one of those dogs”, she gently reminded us, “who may never let go.”

So this evening, after a cheeseburger and some sedatives she drifted off to dreamland in the dappled sun on the front porch; and even though it was our vet’s day off she came back to the house and released the tiny tyrant to her dreams and ours, charging toward her beloved ocean, wind at her back, and with a spirit that wouldn’t, that couldn’t! call it a day.

Give our love to the gang, Patti.

We love you forever,

Charlotte Cooney and Kevin Guinn