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painting by Francy Judge

Keyra Judge passed away on February 7, 2022, in her home in Long Beach, New York. Born on September 9, 2009, she was over 12 in dog years and lovingly nicknamed, Pain-in-the-butt. She was the beloved daughter to her human parents, Gene and Francy; the adored sister of human siblings: Jordan, Aaron, Elijah and Stephen. She was tolerated by her human brother, Andrew who never truly forgave her for stealing his sandwich. She will also be missed by her doggy friends, Toby and Rosie. 

Keyra was a Yorkie, large for her breed, but still small. And as some intelligent dog owner once said, “small dog, big personality.” Keyra attended the Academy of Barking, but she quit to pursue her dream of becoming a guard dog. Because of her Napoleon complex, she often tried to prove her toughness, barking in circles around a neighbor pit bull. 

Her secret weakness was car rides. She got car sick. Every time. She looked embarrassed throwing up into a bag, and her mom didn’t enjoy the experience either, so Keyra mostly traveled by paws. 

Keyra was an escape artist. She discovered an opening in the fence large enough for her to squeeze through. When she got out, she ran. Her siblings spent many hours chasing her around the block and praying she wouldn’t get hit by a car. Keyra’s favorite chase was after a snowstorm, hiding behind snowdrifts. Of course, she had to run on the plowed street instead of sinking in the snow up to her tiny tail. She also knew the easiest times to escape. When her sister rushed to catch the bus and opened the door, Keyra was waiting to make her move. She loved the drama as Jordan missed her bus and played tag instead. 

Eating was the highlight of Keyra’s day. Her favorite foods didn’t come in a bag or can. She loved cucumber peels, carrots, rice, and chicken. She dreamed of chicken. As soon as someone peeled a cucumber or cut a piece of meat, she would beeline over to beg for a portion. Every night her family cleared the dinner table at record speed, because as soon as they turned their backs, she would be on the table searching for crumbs.

Aside from chicken, she dreamed of running in the doggie marathon, attacking the mailman, and a day of non-stop belly rubs. Keyra named some people her official petters. When her human uncle watched a movie, she sat next to him so he would pet her for two hours. If Uncle Greg stopped, she would bark. She was a bit spoiled. Keyra wasn’t the best at listening to commands, but if someone offered her a treat, she would do all her tricks at once. She would sit, turn around, rollover, whatever it took the one dangling a bacon biscuit to drop it. 

Keyra had a talent for knowing when a certain friend John was anywhere near the house. She saved a special bark to use when warning he was near. And she showed off her vocal capacity by continuing her bark, not only until John left the house, but at least another hour to make sure he didn’t return. John probably doesn’t miss her. 

God picked this special Yorkie to join the Judge family. She gave joy, affection, and unconditional love. Her greetings at the door brought smiles and changed moods. Keyra took a piece of her family’s hearts with her. Now her suffering is over, and she rests in peace, but she will be missed forever.


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