A Tribute to Lexie
aka Sweetie Pie
Lexie was born with attitude, a typical Kerry. The first time I put her collar on, she curled her lip as if to say, what makes you think that you're the boss! She may have been just a little puppy but she wasn't going to suffer fools gladly.
Her first summer, she led poor Dickens, who was ten years older, a merry chase. She would run in ever-decreasing circles until she got close enough to snap at him, then off she would go again at breakneck speed. Every now and then, he would run out of patience and take off after her, in a futile attempt to catch her, but she was younger and more agile, and eventually he would give up and resume his place at the epicentre of this fuzzy whirlwind. That year, we built a new garden in the backyard, a large island bed. We were toiling away, turning in the topsoil and compost, when Lexie sprinted past us and proceeded to do laps through the soft dirt, running like a greyhound, her bum almost overtaking her front end, soil flying in all directions. We tried to stop her but she was having such a wonderful time that we gave up and enjoyed the spectacle. We laughed so hard, we could barely breathe!
Lexie didn't like to be ignored. On one occasion I was downstairs working on a stained glass piece and I guess I must not have been paying sufficient attention to madame. When I came upstairs, she had ripped a strip of wallpaper in protest! Another time, I was working on the computer, again depriving Lexie of the necessary attention, when I saw out of the corner of my eye, Lexie running down the hall followed by billows of toilet tissue. That'll teach you to ignore me!
Lexie loved to hunt anything that moved but her favourite quarry was squirrel. She had the patience of Job when it came to stalking them. She would freeze when she spotted one, tail vibrating with anticipation. Then slowly, inch by inch, she would close the distance, finally sprinting to the back fence, inches from the squirrel's tail. If the squirrel went up one of the trees, she would continue her vigil until someone called her in for a cookie and gave the squirrel a chance to make a break for it. Sometimes, she would go back up on the deck to wait him out, hoping that the hapless squirrel would get cocky and try to escape (which they usually did, in any case!) To hone her killer instincts, she would practice her death shake on her toy squirrels Rocky and Twiggy. (Rocky, in particular, required frequent replacement often succumbing to his injuries in spite of my valiant attempts to stitch him back together!) Although successful hunts were infrequent, amounting to only a couple of voles, it was really the thrill of the chase that she lived for. On winter walks, she would often stop suddenly, head cocked, listening to sounds emanating from the snowbanks, the telltale scurrying of a vole. Suddenly, she would pounce with both feet, scaring the vole to within an inch of it's life, no doubt, then burrow into the bank after him. In summer, the sounds of scurrying rodents in the field would have her gaily ripping up the turf with her front teeth, until I dragged her away, face covered in dirt and grass!
She was Queen of her neighbourhood, making sure that all who ventured down our street were aware, in no uncertain terms, that they were trespassing on her territory. If she was in the backyard and noticed someone passing, she would race back and forth between the two gates, so she could bark at them from both ends of the house. She loved her walks, especially in the good weather, when we would hop in the car and drive to the park or the college for a change of scenery. In the car, she would stand, front feet on the centre console, like Captain Kirk.. “Ahead warp factor one!”... scanning the horizon for dogs to bark at. She must have thought that they were all deathly afraid of her, they disappeared so quickly!
Lexie was definitely Mummy's girl, my little shadow, but in times of crisis, she would run to Daddy for protection. She worshipped her “brother” Jeremy,
bringing as many toys as she could carry in her mouth and laying them at his bedroom door as soon as she heard him stirring in the morning. When Jeremy
left for work, he would kiss her on the nose, and she would curl her lip. At the end of the day, she was never happy until we were all home where she
could keep a watchful eye on us.
Lexie's best features were her beautiful, expressive eyes, and her unruly fall. Her best tricks were sit, down, speak and whisper, and a little basic math (2+2)! Her greatest accomplishment: training her family to fulfill her every whim! Lexie's time with us was all too short, but she has carved a special niche in each of our hearts where she will remain forever. Rest in peace dear Lexie.