A Good Friend Passes
Posted by Genevieve Rodgers-Llerena on August 29, 2007
It is with great sadness that I sit down to write today. In reality, I’ve been putting it off for a few weeks. I was kinda hopin’ that someone would do it for me…which is hard when your company is composed of exactly 2 people. So it falls to me to share the bad news: Felice has passed away. There, I’ve said it. It’s ok to tear-up, I am.
For those of you who did not know her, Felice was our Black Lab – well actually a Labrador/Weimaraner mix (3/4 Lab – 1/4 Weimer to be exact). She was an exceptional dog with a great disposition, a love of balls, sticks (really anything that could be thrown by a human), a great swimmer (as long as the water was not clean), and a cookie fiend.
I got Felice when I first moved to Healdsburg in 1997 and was living on my parents property that would become Chateau Felice Winery. I like to think that the the winery was named for her, but it was, in fact, coincidental. Even after she and I moved to town she came with me to work every day. If you’ve ever been to Chateau Felice you’ve probably met Felice; she came to most of the events. The Harvest was Felice’s favorite time of year. She waited anxiously for the grapes to come in so she could eat the berries that fell on the ground, then sleep the rest of the day away in a sugar-induced coma. After an afternoon dip in a smelly, algae filled lake, her day would be complete.
Felice lost her battle to cancer on August 9th. Last December, she had surgery to remove a tumor that was interfering with her digestion, basically not allowing her to eat. The surgery went well. We hoped the worse was over. Maybe she would be cancer free. Maybe she would live for many more years. But, it was not to be. Last month she got dramatically worse and we knew the tumor was back. It was a tearful and difficult goodbye.
We’re still getting used to her not being here. It’s odd to come home and not have a happy dog waiting for me. Or to get in the car and not have to open the hatch for her to jump in. Our 4 year-old keeps trying to buy her cookies at our local coffee spot. (The Flying Goat makes their own dog cookies.) And I have to remind her that Felice has died. It sorta freaks out the person behind the counter. Patrick is plotting the next dog, Malia wants a rabbit. But, I think it’s going to be a little while. For now I think we’ll just remember her fondly.
A special thank you to the folks at Winery Dogs for giving us the photos from their book of our use. You can find Felice on pages 29 & 29 in Winery Dogs of Sonoma.