Leigheaux Lee "Bigfoot" Lyons Luquet, renegade standard poodle, master counter surfer, bread bandit and human walker, crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Sunday, March 29, 2020. He was about 12 years old, but no one knows for sure as his early life was a mystery. We just know he wandered out of a swamp near Denham Springs, Louisiana, one day, grumpy, suspicious of humans and in need of food and a grooming. He was promptly named "Bigfoot." After his photo appeared on the Creole Poodle Rescue site, he was snapped up by the Luquets of Norco and re-christened, Leigheaux the Cajun Poodle.
And if he had been a teenage boy, he would have been perpetually grounded. Leigheaux spent the rest of his days stealing food left within his reach, digging in the garbage, begging for food, following Mom into the kitchen and the upstairs closet, staring out of windows and plotting the murder of the mailman, the UPS man and every utility company person who dared to walk in his yard. He was successful in scaring every one of them away, every day. He didn't particularly care for squirrels, either, and watched them out the window until he felt they were within striking distance. Of course, by the time he bolted out the doggie door and rounded the corner of the house, the squirrel was long gone. He never gave up in this effort, however, not even on his last days.
As a poodle, Leigheaux was supposed to enjoy water; he did not. In fact, Leigheaux wanted nothing to do with the big, beautiful swimming pool in his backyard and only jumped in once -- when a particularly loud firecracker went off nearby on the Fourth of July.
In between, Leigheaux enjoyed pilfering whatever food item he could reach on the counters, tables and buffets and from unsuspecting houseguests. He particularly enjoyed whole loaves of bread, not caring that it had become a very rare commodity in recent days because of the Corona Virus quarantine. In his last months, he became more brazen in his thievery, smashing not one but two jars of Milkbone treats in one week. He also became convinced that Mom was going to give him whatever she was eating and that, every time she got up off the sofa, she was indeed going to get something for him to eat. He knew Dad wasn't.
But more than anything, Leigheaux loved his morning walks with Mom to the park and back. When Mom was working at home and taking care of Grandma, it was a daily occurrence with his late sister, Lollee Sue. Sometimes, he would follow Mom upstairs and into the closet to see if she was, indeed, putting her sneakers on. If she slept too late, he would pounce on the bottom stairs until she woke up. If she did come downstairs in the proper attire, Leigheaux would do his amazing happy dance at the bottom of the stairs.
But age began to catch up to Leigheaux. It got more and more difficult for him to walk on the hardwood floors. Sometimes he couldn't get up after laying down. He no longer could manage the stairs at all. What began as a cyst on his shoulder grew to a very large, very angry tumor that could not be removed and would not get better. And last week, Mom finally had to go to the park without him. He did manage to chase a squirrel on his last happy day, however, but could not catch it.
Leigheaux leaves a family who loved him very much and neighbors who did not; Lola, the little one, who is happy she no longer has to share the treats but is too short to steal off the counters; and lots of puddles around the house that he never managed to get caught leaving.
I hope you and Lollee Sue are together again, my boy, chasing squirrels forever.