Lord Percival and his court

Published 1:31 pm Friday, March 25, 2011

It was sometime in 1996 when he came into being.

Percy (photo submitted)

He was the cutest little fur ball with striking colors that seemed to be painted on.

He sported a creamy white coat with variations of browns and gold that ranged from mahogany to an orange tint. The effect was darling, which by the way was his first name.

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His breed was never fully determined but I’ll tell you this, if anyone could duplicate it, they’d have a grand champion.

Somewhere between the ages of 2 and 3, he wound up at the shelter. For ignorant reasons that I’m aware of but won’t go into, he bounced from home to home. Pat Viera, who was on the board at the time, was asked to foster him, but she’d have none of it, he was adopted and brought into his sixth and final home.

Now Harry, Pat’s husband, was more into manly dogs so he promptly named him Percival, denoting the dandy from The Scarlet Pimpernel. There are literally hundreds of photographs of Percy in various poses and outfits, some of which have been in magazines.

Pat says laughing, “If Percy saw a camera, he would strike a pose.”

Sir Percy was already an old man when I met him a few years ago after my tale, “When Harry met Mandy.”

Mandy is a Shepherd Husky mix and when Harry saw her he said, “Now that’s a dog.” But Harry was all bluster and I’m certain he loved Percy just as much as Pat did.

We lost this larger than life man two years ago and to the end Mandy never left his side.

A few months after Harry’s passing, Lexi joined the team. Lexi is the sweetest little girl with a silky black coat. She quickly became the mother hen of the group. Again Pat adopted her after my tale of her being bounced around. Six months ago, Isabelle came in as a puppy. Pat says I had a hand in that also. Isabelle is like a tall fiest or mountain cur, all tan and full of herself.

Pat laughs and says, “I intended to call her Belle for beautiful but now she’s just Izzy.”

I’ve often visited Percy and the girls and witnessed first hand Mandy washing his ears or Lexi and Izzy laying down with him. The girls would rush to greet me first and then would part as Percy trotted over, wagging his little nubbed tail.

Percy has been failing these past few months. He’s 15 after all. I have been visiting as often as I could, knowing that each visit might be my last.

No matter what, Percy would rise up and come over for his moment of loving, which I was honored to give. Always before leaving I’d spend some time lying on the floor with him asking him to hang on but silently saying goodbye.

No expense was spared to keep Sir Percy as comfortable as possible.

Two weeks ago Percy went out with the girls and just laid down in the yard. When the girls came back without him, Pat went out to check on him.

Percy looked up at Pat with those eyes that carried more expression than I’ve ever seen in any other dog and said, “Thanks Mom for everything but I think it’s time for my final home.” Pat’s sister, Jeanette and Dr. Maiola were called and when I received the news I literally wept.

I wish I could give you a better tribute old friend, but I’ll tell you this, “You certainly left your paw print on a great many hearts.” So goodbye, Sir Percy and thank you for the time we’ve shared. I promise I will keep an eye on your court for you.

Thanks for listening.