Goodbye to Little Lemon: Remembering Luc, the original Sidewalk Dog

Sweet Luc.

Once upon a time there was a little red doggy who wasn’t very good at playing fetch, going for walks, or roughhousing with other doggies. He was very, very good at cuddling, though, and he gave his mom joy every time she looked at him.

She didn’t care that his chronic illnesses slowed him down or that she had to give him medication throughout the day, or that when he wanted attention, he danced like Elaine from Seinfeld: limbs akimbo, enthusiasm unfettered. She loved him very much.

His name was Luc (a.k.a. “Lemon”), he was the original Sidewalk Dog, and he had to move on to the big dog park in the sky last weekend—a place where he can always catch a tennis ball, where he has super-smooth dance skills, and where—just as on Earth—all the girly dogs have big crushes on him.

Ali Jarvis, Luc’s mom and Sidewalk Dog’s founder and owner, was used to Luc’s health problems. He came from a puppy mill posing as a reputable breeder, and since puppydom, his list of ailments grew to such unpleasant things as genetic neuromuscular disease, advanced dental disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But through medication, he was able to stay comfortable and happy for most of his 5-year life. Unfortunately, his little lungs were ravaged by disease, and he had to be euthanized last Friday. Immediately, members of the dog community, both local and national, expressed their sympathies. Local artist WACSO even immortalized Luc in one of his signature line drawings.

Luc was the inspiration for Sidewalk Dog. Because he needed medication every few hours, Ali had to bring him with her wherever she went. The warm welcome that stores, shops, businesses, offices and restaurant patios gave Luc opened Ali’s eyes to the wealth of dog-friendliness that Sidewalk Dog was founded upon.

“The night before [an ultrasound that determined Luc’s condition couldn’t be treated], I had a couple little talks with him, like I’ve often had, asking him to let me know if he wanted to be done and that it was okay,” Ali said. The next afternoon, after they got the bad news, Luc’s breathing went downhill rapidly. “That felt more than coincidental, like he’d heard the news about his lungs and decided he needed to be done. It might sound weird, but I hear stories like this all the time—of animals giving clear signs when you ask for it—and it seems like that’s what Luc did.”

Pet Crossing Animal Hospital & Dental Clinic’s Dr. Cheryl Roth, who took care of Luc toward the end, took a personal interest in his case, going so far as to try to arrange to put him on a doggie transplant list, but to no avail.

“Some patients flicker through a hospital without making much impact, but Luc has touched Pet Crossing and its staff in ways not explained with words,” Dr. Roth said.

Even though our Lovely Luc is gone, we at Sidewalk Dog know that his legacy lives on with the company, with each happy dog that gets to hang out with its owner at a restaurant patio, a dog park, or a shop.

“He was such a sweet little companion for me for these past five years,” Ali said. “I never minded all that I had to do for him—I got so much more in return.”

—Meredeth Barzen

23 thoughts on “Goodbye to Little Lemon: Remembering Luc, the original Sidewalk Dog

  1. Elaine Garley

    Dear Ali,
    Luc touched everyone’s heart and soul that he met. His sweet, quiet nature told the world to notice me as I pass through your life. I am honored to have known Luc. I thank him for his inspiration to you of Sidewalk Dog. He brought a community of dog lovers together. How many dogs can claim that honor?
    Take care, Elaine Garley

  2. Megan

    Oh little luc 🙁 I was so lucky to cuddle with him while his mom and I had coffee last year. So sorry for your loss Ali.


  3. Jill

    Much love to Ali. This article made me weep thinking of the dogs I’ve had to say goodbye to. So glad Luc is at peace, and sending much healing Ali’s way.

  4. Laurie D

    Ali – My heart breaks for you. Having a good “dog support” system in place is so important as letting a dog go is one of the hardest things one has to do in life.

  5. Andrew

    Sorry for your lose. When one parts ways with someone they love; its tough. Losing pets is just as hard. I lost a few pets in my life. Its hard. I hope Ali is doing okay.


  6. david

    This breaks my heart. I can’t even imagine only having my little guy for 5 years. 10-15 years is too short as it is.

    So sorry for you.

  7. Perry Trautner

    Ali – Meredeth wrote such a touching tribute to little Luc. He certainly deserves to be remembered for the special animal that he was, and you did so much to make his life as normal and happy as anyone could hope for. I hold in my memory a day some years ago when I got to play with him in the tall summer grass at Hilltop Drive. Later that evening, he slept for awhile in my lap, his furry paws sprawled across me. I’ll really miss him.

  8. Trish P

    Ali – What a wonderful tribute! Words can’t express the sadness I feel for you, having helped my dentally-challenged Gomer across the bridge a few short months ago. I expect that your “big dog” and my “little dog” are sharing medical stories, running free and breathing easy. Know that he will never be forgotten… by any of us who had the pleasure and honor of knowing him.

  9. Brent Erlandson


    it was such a pleasure seeing you a couple of weeks ago at Bone Adventure with Luc. You noticed that I fell in love with him immediately, right? It’s too bad I didn’t have Wally with me. They would have bonded immediately! I am thankful to have met Luc. He touched my heart in just that brief 15 minutes you and I spent talking. I will remember him fondly!


  10. Dorothie Hellman

    Dear Ali,
    I’m so sorry that Luc had to leave so early. I feel that I know him personally even though I never met him. He has helped so many people with his videotape and you have reached out to people with dogs in need as well. Together we made a real impact on the Cavalier community in such an important way. He will be remembered. Hugs to you too.

  11. Belinda

    Dear Ali & Meredeth,
    My heart broke just reading this post. To Ali, my deepest condolences for the loss of your beloved little Lemon. It sounds as though you & Luc managed to pack in a lot of life over those precious 5 years. To Meredeth, thank you for posting a beautiful tribute to a very special dog.
    Cold nose kisses xxx

  12. Pingback: Sidewalk Dog » Blog Archive » Does Your Doggie Need a Spring Tune-Up?

  13. Susan

    Dear Ali,
    I’m fighting the tears. So grateful for Luc & you. Your dedication to the cause of all canines large and small is a beautiful thing. Luc will be in our hearts and puppy prayers.
    Susan & Curious George.

  14. Dominique & Leo

    Dear Ali
    I’m so sorry that you lost dear little Luc. I started crying reading this post. I met Luc only a few times but it touched my heart. I’m sending you all my sympathy. He is now in peace and joined my Sasuke over the rainbow bridge…. Thinking of you and sending you all my strength. Tendrement. Dominique

  15. Heather

    Dear Ali,

    Words cannot express how sad I am about precious Luc. He really touched my heart even though I only met him a few times. He was a very lucky guy to have you as his mom – and for you to have him for 5 years, even though it is much too short. Thank you for your impact in the community for dogs and for highlighting the love of a Cavalier. Luc is running free and at peace.

    Heather and Jack Henry

  16. Pingback: Sidewalk Dog » Blog Archive » Shop Dog: Higgins of Totally Kids and The Bean Bag Store

  17. Pingback: Sidewalk Dog » Blog Archive » Presenting Maggie: The newest Sidewalk Dog!

  18. Pingback: Sidewalk Dog » Blog Archive » Oldies But Goodies: Five reasons to adopt a senior dog

  19. Pingback: Launches Special Campaign to Help Local Rescue Dogs | Save-a-Bull Rescue

  20. Pingback: Special Dog Seeks Special Home: Duke the Shepherd mix | taylorhappy

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.