Monday, November 14, 2011

Remembering Lucy

Two years ago last night our dog, Lucy, died.  We had just come home from my mom's house and I took a shower and was on the computer when my phone rang, multiple times, with an unknown number.  I didn't answer the phone calls and then thought, about 10 minutes later, that I should check the messages since it was 10 at night. 

The woman on the phone told me that our dog had been hit by a car.  I was confused because I thought I saw all of the dogs in the house (we had four at the time).  I frantically ran around and found the two rat terriers, Zipper and Zoe, and then went looking for the schnoodles.  I remember secretly hoping it was Linus who got hit because he was so stand-offish, so uninterested in humans.  But, I found him just sitting on our bed and knew who it was - Lucy.  Our chubby, loving, stupid, silly, dopey little girl - Linus' sister.

I told Ian and he rushed out to where they lady said she was - streets and streets away - how did she get so far so fast?  I called the emergency animal hospital and told them we'd be bringing a dog in that had been hit and gave them all of her details.

But then, Ian walked through the door with Lucy in a plastic bag.  She was already gone and I did not understand it.  I cried so hard I could barely breathe, I had never cried so hard in my life.  I was so upset, I didn't understand, I was confused and had no idea how we didn't see her slip out the door when we came home.  And how did she run so far?  Was she chasing something?  Why would she leave our front yard?  Why didn't I answer my phone sooner so she could have seen us there before she died?  Did the person who hit her stop?  Who was this woman who looked at a dog's collar, who had been hit, just to call the owners?  How amazing was that?

So many thoughts and emotions, it was one of the saddest nights of our lives.  We were so surprised and it was so sudden, it was incomprehensible.  And, she was so young, only almost 5 years old.  And her brother, having to live without her?  And him looking just like her, torturing us so that we didn't even want to look at him?!  It was horrible.

I know that many people have lost pets and some have lost them suddenly, like us, and some have gotten to say goodbye.  I wish I would have been there to hold her, I wish it was my face that she last saw, I wish she wouldn't have been scared and alone and I wish I would have just been more careful and known that she was gone.  I still blame myself for lots of things today, even though I know it was an accident.

Lucy has been gone two years but it seems like longer.  She brought our house together and made all the dogs actually get along.  Things changed after she died, the rat terriers started not liking each other and Linus got really bored.  No one plays anymore and the energy is just different - there seemed to be no fun amongst the dogs without her.  She was a childlike presence that would get scared when the TV was too loud (and her chubby butt would run into the other room) or would get too hot while laying on you and have to move.  She would put her head under your hand to make you pet her and put her face right in your face to make sure you saw her before any of the other dogs.  Things are different now.

We miss you Lucy.  I hope that there is a place where dogs and humans go together, after they die, just so I can see my Lucy again.  I still remember the night before she died, laying with her, her face in mine, petting her and telling her how much I loved her.  I still see shadows at home out of the corner of my eye and think it's her, or see Linus laying a certain way so that he looks like her - she was hard to forget.

She was hit by a car outside of a Denny's a couple of major streets from our house.  So, the first month we went to the spot, lit a candle, said some words and sat and remembered here.  A year after we did the same and ate at Denny's in commemoration.  This year, since the day fell on a Sunday and she died sometime around 9-9:30, we just went there, lit our candle, hung some solar lights in a tree by the spot (hoping they will go undetected for a bit), reflected on her passing and then left.  I cried, still, 2 years later.

These past two years have been hard for us.  I could have used her around to cheer me up so many times.  I hope she's watching over us, cheering us up from wherever she is.  I hope she knows how much we loved her, and still do.  I hope she forgives me for not being there or not realizing she was gone.  I hope she knows just how much we miss her. 

Losing a dog is different than losing a human.  Even in death we can remember the good and bad about someone but dogs aren't like this.  Dogs love you unconditionally and are there just to make you happy, it's harder when a dog dies, in some ways.  They are around ALL the time, they live with you and follow you everywhere, so you feel their loss so much more I think.  I know many of you can relate - if you are pet people.

Here's to you Lucy, 2 years later.  We love you.

(Ian's camera took grainy pics for some reason.)

(Never mind my Marth Washington hair!)

(Lucy loved skittles!)

(Last year.)

(I can't eat at Denny's anymore so we skipped it this year.)

(We leave a candle lit and then I assume someone picks it up because it disappears.)

(When she was a pup, wearing a moostache.)

(Brother and sister.)

(They would jump to catch water thrown from the pool, it was amazing!  See video below!)

(And, the last picture I took of her little face, in October of 2009.)

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