Crouton 7/6/91-1/04/99

Crouton in his first Michigan Pride Parade haircut

Crouton was killed by a pitbull on Monday January 4, 1999.  The horror and pain my ex-husband and I both felt can never be fully expressed in words. I can only hope that we never have to deal with this again. The neighbor's pit bull (usually on a chain) tore through my chain link fence and killed him in my own backyard.  Puck survived by escaping through the hole and running forhis life.  The pit was destroyed by Animal Control and my neighbor cited on two counts. Nothing will ever bring my beloved baby back to me.  I spent days in a fog... literally just simply existing.  I knew I hadto have a new baby.  Many people worked much magic for me.  I found a breeder who had puppies (born 11/10/98) who would take payments.  She shipped Cass to me on 1/15/99.  Puck was much happier with a playmate again.  He shivered and shook and sat with my husband or I for the first few nights. He didn't want to play.  I am sure he was in shock himself. And yes, I am anthromorphizing. Crouton will always be loved and I know that he will meet me in the Summerland when my turn to cross the Veil comes.

The photo at the top of the page was Crouton's first appearance in a fantasy groom. My partner Terrie and I were so proud!  He was the perfect photo opportunity. He has since done another Gay parade there in Michigan and he participated in the Krewe of Barkus in New Orleans during Mardi Gras! Fun!  He was so happyto be the center of attention!  The design on the body is done with artist pastel chalks and the Topknot and puffs are dyed with Jazzing dye which is safe on humans as well. The next year's T-shirt was a great design of people and animals in a pink triangle around the logo.  If you looked closely at the top, there was a pink poodle!! I asked the artist,Chris, why she did that and she said that she had been inspired by a big pink poodle the year before! Crouton is famous!

Crouton was my Standard Poodle and my own heart's delight.  He was four months old when I brought him home.  Because of my years spent as a dog groomer,when my Basenji, Tammie Jean, died, I knew I would get an SP.  They are highly intelligent animals who require high amounts of love and attention not to mention regular grooming.  Crouton had been done up in fantasy grooms twice. The uneducated tend to make fun of poodles in traditional clips. I suggest if you are one of them that you try educating yourself on the history of the poodle clip.

My ex-husband was devastated by Crouton's death.  He discovered the hard way that he is, in fact,a dog person. Here is what he wrote that evening to a list we run.

My Last Memory Of Crouton anda Fond Farewell

1/5/99
It was last night and I had gone to brush my teeth as Arwen crawled into bed, when right in the middle I heard Arwen laugh out loud. When I went to investigate, there was Crouton curled up in my spot in the bed. He usually never does that and usually sleeps on the floor we made up for him at the foot of the bed. But he gave me this look, that please can I stay so
innocent look he has, so as I crawled into bed next to him (shoving him over so I could fit in) I said to myself that this wouldn't work. The bed is barely big enough for the two of us and when you throw in four cats and a dog that usually sleep with us, then add a big standard puddle. Well, you get the picture. When Arwen ask Crouton to get off the bed (as he never listened to me), the biggest,loudest, snore came out of his mouth. Well, we both cracked up and just had to let sleep with us.  So there we were, she on one side and me on the other with this poodle on his back between us. The problem came later as I layed there unable to sleep. You see, we had rented Titanic that day and all I could think about was the death of the people and with Crouton pressed up against me with his weeze in my ear, I knew I would never fall asleep. So in the end, he ended up sleeping in his spot on the floor. My last regret and one I would like to take back.

I will always remember that look he gave me.
It is etched forever in mymind.
I will always remember the way he played with flipper.
A toy fish we got him, thathe would twist and twirl and bind.
I will always remember his feel, as he curled up against me.
And I will always remember the love I had for him, now and all eternity.

You will be loved and missed.

Twists.

And another friend wrote this haiku for him and for me. She wrote it after reading what Twists wrote.

Crouton, treasur'd friend,
You brought us joy and laughter--
Always in our thoughts.
~~dryad
This is something I wrote in responseto a questionnaire. They asked me to define a word from a list. Loss was one of those words.

Loss is an aching hole that nothing will ever
fill. It is picking up thephone at 1:50pm on
January 4, 1999 to hear a voice screaming "He's
dead." Loss is never being able to hold or to love
or to brush or to pet or to feed or to even scold
for stealing half a plate of oatmeal cookies. Loss
is a neverending tear.
~Arwen Nightstar

I just want to take a moment to once again thank everyone of you who reached out to me in my grief. Almost everyone of you lent me support and gave me strength to get through my nightmare.  I have finally stopped asking to be allowed to wake up from this nightmare.  I understand that he is really truly never coming in the back door.  It hurts still, but with Twists, Puck, Cassanova and the cats I will make it.  My love and thanks to those of you whoso richly deserve it.

I do have some more pics of Crouton up now. These links will just take you to the picture. Use your Back button in your Browser to return here.

1. SproingHead!(24K) Crouton is anticipating what fun it will be when everyone arrives for the annual New Year's Day Red Beans and Rice party!
2. WaterDog!(14K) Crouton had to learn how to play in water. I waded in first and he was so concerned about me that he followed me in. Then he discovered what fun water is!
3. PillowPuppy!(55K) Crouton tended to end up as the pillow for whatever dog was around. This time it was a dog and a cat! The handsome Weimeraner is owned by my ex, Kemanorel. His nickname is JackPoodle!
4.Poor Puppy!(21K) This expression is so typical of Crou! I was brushing him out so I could groom him the next day. Poodles need to be regularly groomed and twice a week brushings go with that!

I hope you enjoy these pictures. Keman sent them to me as well as a disk with scanned ones.  It was very hard to open that package. I cried almost as hard as I did when I first began to realize Crouton was never ever coming back in the door. But, it is a good thing to see them. And my poodle angel rides in my car.

by my hand,
Arwen Nightstar
January 19, 1999
 

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1/19/1999, by Arwen Nightstar