Lucy is gone.
So I am sad today. A dog that I grew up with died to day. We found out Friday that she was going through renal failure. Her levels were off of the chart and yet she was not showing any pain the only way you knew that anything was wrong was that she was lethargic and wouldn’t eat regularly. After getting her test results back the vet said that he was surprise at how well she was doing.
Lucy was a cocker spaniel mix that we got when I was seven years old. She was a light tan color and had brown eyes. She was a neurotic licker that if given the chance would lick you until you couldn’t take it anymore. One of my favorite memories of Lucy was when I was eight or nine. I had been training Lucy in obedience through 4-H. I had just reached the level were she was supposed to be walked off leash. I was at the fair showing Lucy and my dad had just gotten there to watch when suddenly Lucy spots him or smells him and bolts. She runs to him, jumps in his arms and is just as happy as a clam.
When I got to the house this morning Lucy was asleep between the couch and one of the armchairs in the living room. I reached down to pet her and she didn’t move. After a brief moment of panic I noticed that her chest is moving, so I sit beside her and read Readers Digest. After a while she struggles to her feet and wobbles to the laundry room. I follow her, hoping to get a chance to pet her; when we arrive in the laundry room she walks to her water bowl (which happened to be empty) and then gives me a dirty look. I refill her bowl and then stand back as she takes a few tentative drinks. She soon decides that it is water and starts lapping it up as if it is the best drink ever. After a few minutes she loses interest in the water and wonders outside. I watch as she wonders listlessly around the yard. Her back legs shake as she walks around the yard from tree to tree.
When Lucy was a puppy she was as cute as any puppy could be. The funny thing about Lucy was that she was deathly afraid of Harper and I’s babysitter Amy. The thing with Amy is that she hates dogs. (Or so she says). Anytime she would say Lucy’s name Lucy would roll over on her back and submit.
Around 10:45am my dad came home to take Lucy to the vet. There are three images today that will stick with me forever. One of them was when my dad was holding Lucy on his lap, sitting on the couch, and removing Lucy’s collar for the last time. Then we got into the car and drove to the vet. During the ride Lucy sat on my lap and tears appeared in my eyes. I knew that that could be the last time that I got to hold her. We arrived at the vet and they let us right in.
As we entered the room I saw, in the middle of the floor, a pink fuzzy blanket on the blue-grey linoleum floor. My dad walked over to the only chair and sat down hold Lucy in his lap. A technician came in and gave Lucy a sedative to clam her down. During this time I got image number two. It is of Lucy looking up at my dad and licking his chin. This image still makes me sad. I knew that my dad loved Lucy so much and Lucy loved my dad so much.
Fifteen minutes later, the Vet entered the room. He was surprised at how alert Lucy still was. He brought in a syringe full of a clear-pink liquid. That was the stuff. He told us that after he injected Lucy she would be brain dead in less then 3 seconds. He also said that though brain dead she might have some residual nerve movements such as breathing and a heart-beat.
The Vet folded out the table and placed the pink blanket the cold stainless steel surface. My dad placed Lucy on the blanket; once again tears welled up in my eyes. The Vet took Lucy’s left front leg and started injecting the syringe. Lucy just drifted away. It was as if you could feel her spirit leave the room.
The last image is right before we left the Vet’s office. It is of my dad bending over and kissing Lucy one last time. I don?t think I realized that Lucy was dead until that moment. I know now that Lucy is in a better place, and though I tend to have no opinion on heaven-hell-god-Jesus, it helps me to think about Lucy chasing the perfect tennis ball. I wish that she wouldn?t have gotten sick, but as I think back on her life she had a full life and she did live to be 112 doggy years.
Lucy, you will not be forgotten, I miss you and I love you still.