The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and nature, is a day Christians traditionally bring their pets to church to get a sprinkle of holy water, to receive a blessing and to sniff around. It is on this day that we remember Boulet,
who died on Good Friday, 2011. Boulet, pronounced “boo-LAY” and translating roughly to “gringo” in Indonesian, defied the conventional wisdom that “white dogs can’t jump.” She earned the nickname “Bullet” for her dashing speed in her younger years.
She loved chasing tennis balls, and if no thrower readily presented himself, she would roll the ball under a low piece of furniture and entertain herself retrieving it, often stamping her feet and pointing for assistance. She also loved stuffed toys and gave squeak-ectomies with record breaking speed. She didn’t stop there, though. She would painstakingly extract every poof of stuffing. When done, she would drop the carcass at someone’s feet and wait patiently for the stuffing to be reinserted so she could have another go at it. Strangely, she favored old running shoes as pillows, and when no one was home, she would drag one from the closet onto the back of a sofa she wasn’t allowed on and curl up with it there. She would bat her eyes at us all-innocent-like from her dog bed when we got home, but the shoe on the couch was always a dead giveaway.
When my daughter was born, Boulet took a profound and respectful interest in the infant. We have nary a baby photo without a little black nose and white fur looking on intently from a corner of the frame. When we came home to a toddler shoe on the back of the couch, we knew Boulet had taken the newest family member into her heart.
In her later years, Boulet retired from more active pursuits and assisted me in the office. She tried to stay on top of the mail, but she often slept on the job. She was loved to the bitter end. We love her still and miss her dearly as we remember her on this Feast Day of St. Francis.