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In Memory of Louie
My sweet, silky, wonderful Louie has passed away at age 13. There is so much about Louie's life before NBRF that I will never know: what his name used to be, why the toes of his back feet were broken, why (if visiting an unfamiliar city) he would insist that we stand outside the homeless shelter; how this beautiful dog could end up sick, matted, and abandoned, and why on earth he'd been at the shelter so long that they sent him to animal control to be destroyed.

But then his life with NBRF began. Carol put out the call to rescue Louie before it was too late, and responder Dee described him as "truly an Aristocrat who had fallen on hard times in Opelousas. But he rose with grace and breeding, saying ah, there you are. I knew you would come." Chiaki doctored this skin-and-bones senior back to health, Amy drove him as far as Tennessee, and I drove him north the rest of the way to Illinois. At long last, Louie was home.

Reserved at first, Louie gradually learned to play with joy and gusto. He started to squeak his toys, toss them skyward, then nuzzle them like puppies. He romped and chest-bumped with the neighborhood big-dogs, waded deep into Lake Michigan on hot summer evenings, and raced me to the bed each night after I brushed my teeth. He became a breed ambassador whenever he strolled through the neighborhood or charmed a hotel's staff. He walked me home the day my mother died, inspired me to get a better car for road trips, and leaned happily and hard when I got home from work each day. After the bone lesion was diagnosed, Louie rested more often on our walks and allowed car rides to serve as his zoomies. Most importantly, Louie taught me the value of taking time NOW to savor the gifts that might not be there tomorrow.

Louie crossed the bridge on January 15, 2016 -- at home in his bed by the hearth, his head in my lap, assisted by a veterinarian neighbor whom Louie welcomed with a wagging tail. In a life filled with so many blessings, Louie has been the most life-affirming of all. Thank you so much for our five and a half wonderful years together.

Happy 4th Anniversary to Louie!! (August 17, 2014)

Hello, Carol and Dee,

Just wanted to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU (that's four thank-you's, one for each year) as Louie and I celebrate our fourth anniversary together.

It was August 17, 2010 that I first welcomed him -- soaking wet in the rain at a gas station south of Nashville -- and life for both of us became so much better than we could ever have imagined. =)

As Louie ages -- he might be as old as 12 now -- his pace has slowed a bit, but his health is good and his enjoyment of life is still whole-hearted. Trips to the beach, to an SCCA ProSolo event, and to a fundraiser dogwalk in Milwaukee have all been part of his summer adventures, along with backyard camping and a whole lot of sitting in the flowers and looking very, very happy.

Louie still likes to walk several hours a day, although maybe two-thirds of that now is walking and the other third involves stretching out on a cool lawn and either watching the goings-on or asking for (and getting!) pats and rubs until he says to continue the walk. When we walk through one recreational area in particular, Louie attracts a flotilla of Corgis, Pugs, and other small friendly dogs. Louie is the smaller dogs' "chaperone" through the coyote zone! Closer to home, he plays with his two big pals, Juneau the giant Alaskan malamute and Hunter the husky
At any rate, Louie remains the love of my life, and he's with me thanks to each of you -- Carol, Dee and Greg, Chiaki, and Greyhound Amy -- and your extraordinary efforts. I love this boy with all my heart, and I am so deeply grateful for the chance to share life with my wonderful Louie.

I'm sending a couple of pictures that could maybe go on the "Ivan" page on the "Adoption Success Stories" webpage, if possible!

Love and gratitude,

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