While we do have two other wonderful dogs Noelle had that extra something special and her passing is such a void that our hearts seem unable to comprehend the reality of it. Believe me when I say this post was pared down from the original version. There was so much more to share about her.
The first time I saw Noelle was at a flea market where a local shelter had set up a table of information and had several cages of dogs looking for homes. Her cage said I'm Noelle, and I am about 5.50 years old and me my companions have lost our home.
Noelle quickly showed us she not only knew routines touching her nose to which flower pots needed watering next but, how adaptable she was. Boat ride? No problem. She enjoyed sitting right at the helm. She practiced walking the gunnel's too. Long car trips she was game as long as she could put her head out the window. Sun time was her favorite to lay on the hottest surface and simply doze.
Noelle had great will. She suffered two severe spine injuries and worked very hard to learn to walk all over again both times.
Since Noelle had gone to work with one of us for many years she made many friends. Sometimes a treat or a toy would arrive for her. Well for her and for Lilly shown with her below but Lilly didn't care much for toys.
Lilly and Noelle 2004
We were always curious how she knew what bags were for her. Be it a toy, coat, or some hermetically sealed treats she would cry in delight and wriggle her body into the bag and proceed to remove them. I never caught a photo of that action, she was just too fast!
Lilly and Noelle
Left to Right: Noelle, Molly and Zoie June, 2012
We had hoped she would pass at home but; instead had to make the painful decision of giving her relief from the cancer which had overtaken her. It seemed so wrong that would be her fate. Noelle had given us so much joy how could we deny the one request she made after letting us know she had had enough.
In Noelle's final hours we took her to the beach one last time. I was so touched she still sought to have me in her line of sight no matter how poor her vision had become and then snuggled with her Papa.
I whispered the same words to her like I had done every night for over ten years. Telling her how much we and so many loved her and what a good girl she was.
Most of all, what we will remember is when Noelle looked at us it was like her gaze was saying. I am happy I know you, and I know you how much love me and I love you too.
Loving and restful peace to you sweet Noelle. It was a great honor to be your family.
In 2010 I wrote a post about how lucky we were to have found Noelle.