Goodbye Sweet Derby. The Best Sous Chef.

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I try to keep this blog all about food, cooking and eating, but as it happens, my life trickles in now and again. This is both the fun and weird parts of blogging. I am sure many of you have seen our sweet dog, Derby’s adorable face pop up on here now and again. We lost our sweet baby girl unexpectedly on July 25, which is part of the reason for my lack of posts on here. She was just 6 years old.

She loved spending time with me in the kitchen and every single meal I ever cooked at home, was made with Derby at my feet. I always joked that she was my sous-chef. Derby loved the sound of the cutting board and the oven door opening, especially since I started baking her treats. I even made her a birthday cake this year for her birthday.

As much as I thought I shouldn’t post this on here, I felt like I owed it to Derby, since she was such a part of me cooking and the joy I felt in the kitchen. It has definitely been hard being in the kitchen since she is gone, but food is and always will be a comfort in life. Although it took me a bit to get back in the kitchen, the first few meals were made with tears in my eyes, and the food that falls off my cutting board lies there uneaten, I will never cook a meal in my kitchen and not think of Derby.

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Here is something we posted on our studio blog about our Derby that I wanted to share with all of you:

I’ll be honest, I have been absolutely dreading writing this blog post. My heart is pounding and my hands are shaking. Somehow this blog post  just makes this all so much more real.

On July 25, we lost our beloved dog, Derby Lou, very unexpectedly. She was just 6 years old. We are just still in total shock and disbelief. For anyone that knows Mark and I, you know just how big a part of our lives Derby was, she was our baby (a very, very spoiled baby, at that). She came to the studio with us every single day, was always here with us when we were working late, hung by our sides with every poster we printed, was at every party we had at the store, she was a part of everything we did. Her dog bed sat next to my desk and this studio was built with her in mind. Derby was the sweetest little thing and it was hard for people who met her at Hero (or anywhere for that matter) not to fall in love with her on their first meeting. She loved people who loved her and there were so many. We had people who would come by the store, just to see Derby, to bring her toys and treats or to just play with her. It’s quite possible that some of our customers liked her more than us.

Derby loved her super long walks off leash in the woods as much as she loved her city walks through Allentown during the workday. She loved coming home at the end of the work day and laying at my feet while I cooked dinner, she would come running at the sound of my knife hitting the cutting board.  Derby had so many nicknames and equally as many songs that we made up for her. She was a super funny dog with a heart of gold and personality that couldn’t be matched. We will miss so many things about Derby, like her “baby dinosaur” groans, which was her subtle way of reminding us she was still here, or the funny spastic freak-out roll that she did all over the floor when she was bored.

There is an emptiness at the studio and our house now and an even bigger emptiness in our hearts. That unmistakable sound of Derby prancing across the hardwood floors, the jingle of her collar and those little bully grunts, are all missing and we both notice it so many times through the day. It’s so quiet. The ride home from work, where she used to bounce around, with an excitement level that could never be matched on the ride into work, is now a quiet, somber drive home to the place where she really got to be herself. At home, Derby could really only ever be found on the couch next to one of us or under the bed upstairs chewing on a roll of toilet paper, if god forbid we were too busy to cuddle.

I can’t bring myself to move her food bowl, or her dog bed in our bedroom. I keep waiting to see her smiling face come around a corner, with her “question mark face”, asking us for a walk or to play.  I have slept with her favorite toy every night, just to be able to smell her, and a couple of times a day, every single day since she passed, Mark and I have been remembering all the special moments we had with our little girl, we laugh and we cry together. We are so grateful that in the 6 short years we had together, we got to live and spend more time with Derby, than most people are able to in a lifetime with their pets. The night before Derby got sick we had planned on working late since we had so much going on and were leaving in a few days on a trip, instead we locked up the store, grabbed the leash and we went for a long walk together as a family, it was our last walk. I would give anything to go back on that walk, keep walking and never stop.

Do yourself a favor, enjoy every single day with your pet, take that walk even if you are tired, throw the ball even if you are agitated. Derby made every single day better and she made both of us better people.

Goodbye Derby, we will love you forever.

Did you make this recipe - or any others from the TY archives? I get crazy excited when you guys make my recipes & I always love to see how they turn out!

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6 Responses

  1. lou says:

    what a beautifully written post. thank you for sharing.

    x

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