The only thing wrong with dogs is that they don’t live long enough. Lucy would have been seventeen next month, but she still didn’t live long enough. Because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the wonderful dog who had shared my life and my home for over sixteen years, even though the time finally came when I no longer had a choice.
I have written many times about Lucy, so my regular readers know something about her history. They know that when we adopted her from the humane society, we thought we were getting a calm, easy-going dog. Which she was, until the sedative they had given her when she’d been spayed wore off. And then we realized that we had actually adopted a very energetic and almost scary-smart dog who liked her own way best. Lucy was very loving and had huge brown eyes that could melt just about any heart, and those traits served her well. Especially since she was a firm believer that most household rules were nothing more than suggestions, and tended to live life very much on her own terms.
She loved being outside and took her self-appointed job of keeping our yard free of vermin very seriously. The squirrels quickly learned the only safe way they could cross our yard was via the power lines strung above our back fence, and even then, Lucy would be directly underneath them, hopping sideways along the fence on her back legs as she barked madly at the squirrel above her. Rabbits, voles, and chipmunks didn’t dare set paw in our yard when Lucy was around.
Inside, Lucy spent most of her time playing with her toys, and the squeaky ones were her favorite. She also kept a constant watch out for unattended food, which she clearly believed she was entitled to, even if she had to climb up on the dining room table to get it. To her credit, she left the table alone while we were eating, but once we finished and walked away, anything we were foolish enough to leave behind us was fair game. Once she even helped herself to the gingerbread house we were using as a Christmas table centerpiece.
Still, age catches up with all of us sooner or later, and Lucy was no exception. The dog who had always been so independent began to follow me around the house so that she could always be in the same room. There were times when she didn’t seem to notice that rabbits had taken up residence in our back yard, and even if she did happen to spot one, she just trotted briskly after it while the rabbit hopped casually away. The toys in her toy box were usually left untouched and she spent most of her time sleeping.
Inevitably, the time came when her body could no longer keep up with her spirit. Her hearing and eyesight faded, her sense of balance began to desert her, and medicines could no longer ease the pain of her arthritis or help her keep control of her back legs. And so we made the heart-breaking decision to say goodbye to our beloved, sweet and sassy little Lucy.
Rest in peace, baby girl. May you spend your days in a heaven filled with all your doggie friends, slow-moving squirrels and low tables loaded with all your favorite foods. And never forget just how very much you were loved.