Late last night, our beautiful french bulldog, Serena, passed away. Last night, she was restless and could not settle and then she hid under the bed in the early morning. The Mr. and I helped get her out so I could cradle her. She was not in any pain and I held her right until she took her very last breath. She slipped out of our life as peacefully as she slipped into it.
I've not shared her story widely. We got her at a time when our then family of three was very much in need of mending. She was truly an angel for us. She came into our lives after I had survived an act of brutality and was afraid to leave the house. With her at my side, I started to develop the confidence to go out. For a while, she came with me absolutely everywhere. I never drove anywhere without here. She slept in my bed and was forever at my side. I wrote my entire book with her sitting on my lap.
She offered my children tremendous comfort when I was not able to fully be their mom. And then, when things were better, she provided levity in our often too serious household. She was a natural clown and absolute diva. She liked her bed shifted from sun patch to sun patch. And in the new house, she'd knock on the fireplace in the winter, demanding we turn it on.
She did not initially take to suburban life. A former show dog (she was top frenchie in Canada back in the day), she seemed irritated that she was no longer on the jet hanging with her glam squad (Serena and I had that in common.) When I met my husband and we blended families, she got a Portie as a step brother. I tell you, she wanted none of it until she discovered that Sailor was a beta and she could boss him around like a personal assistant. But the two became best friends. They followed each other around the house all day. They were Frick and Frack. He will miss her terribly too.
Serena also provided comfort to the patients at the seniors' day program. Most of the participants had Alzheimers and were forever delighted to meet her for what seemed like the first time. She patiently sat on lap after lap and did not flinch when the pats were too rough. She did not react when someone would be sick on her. She was a generally grumpy little dog, but displayed infinite patience for those who needed her. I truly believe she was a healer. I know she healed our family.
Serena van der Woofsen was so much more than a dog to us and we will miss her so very, very much. I know she's up in heaven with my grandmothers, and cousins, and formidable aunts who will be thrilled that another feisty blonde has joined their ranks.
Rest in peace, Serena.
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