There Comes A Time

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.

IMG_3829 2I 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.

img_0034Rest 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.

133 thoughts on “There Comes A Time

  1. That is the truth they don’t live long enough. You gained a winged angel to watch over you now. What a great memory she left behind in your mind and in your heart. Ann, you are so right- imagine all the slow running squirrels Lucy is catching now and finally!

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  2. So sorry for your loss, Ann. It is always too soon.
    Your Lucy sounds like she was a wonderful companion. As I think you know, we said goodbye to our Lucy the cat a few weeks ago. Its a raw place.

    Best healing wishes to you!

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  3. Sorry for your loss Ann. 2 of my granddogs are no longer with their families and several of my friends list their precious pets too this year. 😢

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  4. Ray has been with us for around 5-1/2 years now and, given the Humane Society’s estimate that he was 2 when they picked him up, he is now around 7-1/2. A mere youngster and yet, when I look at his face, I can see signs of aging. I guess in doggy time-frames he is a middle aged dog. Obviously we hope to get the pleasure of his company for many more years, but the writing is clearly on the wall … as it is for all of us. I was so pleased to be able to get “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” published so that he has a legacy that will hopefully live beyond both him and !.
    As for your Lucy? What a wonderful tribute, and what an impact she clearly made. She is around somewhere smiling and wagging her tail in smug pleasure, knowing that her life turned around as soon as she adopted you! 🙂

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  5. How sad. But you have made me realise that my old cat (17yrs) is behaving in a similar way – especially the wanting to be with me all the time. I sometimes find it irritating but realise I need to be more sympathetic and admit I will miss him when he is gone. Thank you for sharing

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  6. Ann, you’re right, many of us knew about Lucy. Having lost a couple of beloved dogs in my life, I know how much we love them and how hard it is to say goodbye. I’ve always thought that dogs are here to remind us how beautiful life is, and to remind us how short it is as well.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures and Lucy’s story. This was a lovely tribute to a beautiful dog.

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  7. Ann, thanks for sharing this. It’s a wonderful tribute to those 4-legged family members like Lucy. I, too, have one and know I will be devastated when he’s gone. This cat of mine taught me a lot about unconditional love. It seems God puts pets in our lives to help us be better humans.

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  8. I am so sorry for your loss. Anyone that has had fur babies, understand the pain of losing a beloved pet at one time or another. It’s been over a year since we had to have our sweet Lilly put to sleep, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her still. The unconditional love of our pets is something that is hard to beat!! May you remember all the good times, and smile.

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  9. She was so so lucky to have you Ann. What a great gal. Thank you for sharing her spirit and character with us.
    Our dogs are so special 💕May the hole in your heart be filled with lovino memories. Hugs to you in your loss.

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      • You’re welcome! 🙂 I have just started my blog and would appreciate any advice or tips if you have any to give. I understand if not. Sorry if this is inappropriate to ask in your comment section, just wasn’t sure if there’s a way to privately message. Thank you. Kate

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        • My main advice would be to write about what interests you, and to write about it as well as you possibly can. (Our readers deserve that.) Then find similar blogs to read, and let the writers know you were there by “liking” and, if you are so inclined, comment on them as well. Slowly but surely, you will build an audience. Sharing a link to your blog on social media is also a good way to let your friends and family know you are writing a blog, and to spread your audience to people who know your friends and family. Good luck to you!

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss. We have a 1 year old goldendoodle that drives us crazy with his antics yet I can’t imagine life without him. You are right about the big eyes, they seem a mirror to the soul. Dogs are so loving and require so little. Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

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  11. I’m sorry for your loss. We just lost out dog of 14 years at the beginning of August. It was so difficult because once you’re used to having them around, it seems like they’re always going to be there. Hang in there! It’ll be okay!

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    • Thanks, Neil! I know dogs aren’t supposed to be capable of abstract thought, but I truly believe Lucy was. She could, and did, plan ahead, especially when it involved being bad. It just made her that more loveable.

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  12. Oh Ann…. my heart is aching for you! I know how difficult the loss is…. how much you loved Lucy…. how much she loved you… how much you will miss her…. So very sorry for your loss… So happy for the joy she provided you and you provided her! HUGS!!

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  13. Ann – so sorry for your loss. I know I have been in the shadows the past few months but never far away from your weekly posts. 16 years is a long time for a dog of most breeds and you are both lucky to have had each other for much of that time. Just like with our kids we want them to follow the rules but not necessarily be a rule follower. Sounds like Lucy fit that bill to the tee. I hope you are doing ok – I’m not as I sit her chalking back some tears as I always do when I read or hear about a pup crossing the rainbow bridge. If only we could go across that bridge and visit once in a while…. I can’t bare the thought of losing my Kali although I know the day will come. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    -Michael

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    • Thank you, Michael! I know what a dog lover you are, and that you truly understand. And yes, Lucy knew exactly when she could get away with bending the rules, which is one of the things that made her so fun. She will be missed……

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  14. Ann and Dave,
    So very sorry for your loss of Lucy. She was such a lovely dog and so glad that we were able to meet her. You have provided such a wonderful home to so many animals over the years and each was so lucky to have you as family. Hopefully, you can take some comfort in knowing that you gave her a spectacular life and all of the memories that you have of time with her.

    I am imagining Lucy and Frank cavorting around, chasing rabbits (or maybe Frank watching Lucy chasing rabbits) and enjoying delicious food and much love. Sending you all prayers and hugs…

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    • Thanks so much Louise! Sadly, a few of my friends have also had to say goodby to their beloved dogs in the past month, and it does help to think that they are all together now, saying to each other, “Did you know my mom was good friends with your mom?” And I bet Lucy and Frank are already partners in crime… Thanks for being so supportive and caring. Your friendship has meant so much over the years!

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  15. I know I may see you tomorrow but just know that I am now through my forth Kleenex and some wine…the amount will not be disclosed.
    The scope and dimension animals add to our lives is undefinable. But thank goodness they are there to comfort and council us in their own way.
    I raise my glass to Lucy for the way she lived her life and the many things she gave to those who knew her.

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    • Thank you! And yes, if I could change one thing about Lucy, it would be to lengthen her life span. But still, I know I was blessed to have her in my life for as long as I did.

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  16. Was it John Lennon that said “Pets are what happens while we’re busy making other plans”? Or maybe it was Allen Saunders?
    What a blessing to have had Lucy keeping you in the present. May her legacy continue to grace your lives!

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  17. I am very sorry for your loss, Ann. I appreciate the stories you have shared with me about your Lucy. You knew that her age would someday catch up with her, but saying goodbye is still so sad. I am feeling some of your pain today, but celebrating the life of your great friend.

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    • Thanks for understanding, Joe, and for the great comment. I enjoyed writing about life with Lucy, and I already miss her more than I can say. But it was her time, and we had no choice but to let her go. The kind comments and support from blog sphere have helped a lot!

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  18. Hi Ann. I think this is one of your best posts ever. It made me laugh, cry, and remember my own pets who have passed on. This thought was brilliant: “Inevitably, the time came when her body could no longer keep up with her spirit.” So simple and true for Lucy and all living creatures. So beautifully phrased. Maybe Lucy rest in peace.

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    • Thank you so much! It helps to know that others who have lost pets may benefit from this post, too. We all know the grief that comes when we have to let go. And yes, I really believe that what happened with Lucy was no more than a failure of her body. Her spirit was as strong as ever, but her body wore out, and so her spirit moved on without it.
      PS: No worries about the typo, I knew what you meant!

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    • Thank you so much! She died, very peacefully (while being hand-fed turkey) yesterday morning. So our grief is still fresh, but I also know that we did the right thing. Sometimes the right thing is just hard!

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  19. I know our beloved pets who have gone on before us are waiting for us in heaven. God knows our hearts and how much we love our pets. I am so sorry for your loss. I have a dog that is ten years old and she is slowing down…the puppy days are long behind her. We had a spaniel that lived for sixteen years and it was so very hard to lose her. Wishing you healing and the joy of remembering your wonderful dog.

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    • Thank you! Losing a pet is so very hard, but I also believe I will see her again, and that helps. I’m sorry for the loss of your spaniel, and hope you are able to enjoy every minute with the ten-year old who is still with you! Thanks again….

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  20. I’m so very sorry, Ann. You’ve written about her enough times that I felt as if I knew her. That last paragraph really got to me and can only be written with a heart full of love. God bless her.

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    • Thanks, George! I cried when I wrote it, so it was from the heart. And it is truly how I like to think of her spending her time, until I get to see her again. Trust me, heaven is still trying to figure out just what to make of her…..

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  21. That was so beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. My sweet Holly was with me for 11 years. But what a wonderful 11 years they were. I have always said, we may have rescued her from the shelter as a puppy, but she rescued us many times over. I know your sweet Lucy is chasing squirrels and rabbits across the Rainbow Bridge. Hugs to you because I know how hard this was for you.

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