Sunday, May 3, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Sometimes it is hard to say goodbye. Sunday a week ago, we had to say goodbye to our dog Lucy. She was 15 years old. Last November she got very sick and we kind of expected that she might not make it then. The vet was a little concerned and said with her age that she might not make it much longer. Well, she surprised us all. I have said that Lucy was the dog with 9 lives. Our vet was surprised that she had such a miraculous surge after that last setback. We had decided then, that the next time Lucy crashed we would not take extrordinary measures to bring her back. She had an inoperable tumor on her foot and it was bound to get infected again and then it might be time to say goodbye.

Sunday morning TJ got up and said Lucy would not get up from her bed. She did not eat, which is her reason for being most of the time, and could not go out to the bathroom. TJ brought her out and she walked around a bit and then just went and layed down in the flower bed. She could not lift her head. So see the life just leave her. We brought her inside and gave her some of the pain medicine we had from the last time she was sick, just to ease her pain a bit. We went to church and I'm sure both of us were praying for the same thing. Help us to decide the right thing to do. It is so hard to make that decision. I always said I just wanted "to know" when the time comes. I think it was today.

We brought Lucy to the emergency vet clinic and filled out the required paperwork and then went into a lovely room to say goodbye. The room was actually very nice, a sofa, an aquarium, a couple of chairs, low lights and nice music. Lucy just laid on the floor on a blanket. I swear I saw tears come from her eyes. She was just so sad and pathetic. TJ and I cried and pet her and said our goodbyes. The vet came in and after looking at her for a while reassured us that we were doing the right thing by putting a good friend out of her misery.

Lucy was as good a dog as they come. She had such a wonderful disposition. She was loyal, well behaved, gentle and always happy for anything she was given. I think of her 15 years ago as a puppy coming into our family and how TJ worked so diligently to train her and how happy the kids were to have a dog! She just loved to hunt and loved running on the sandbars in Nova Scotia, in her day. She had her share of adventures too. She swallowed a prism from a toy and almost died very young. She got lost regularly in the country in Georgia. She was lost in Houston for a day and a half and almost died then too. Lucy did have a way of wandering away and just following her nose. Lately, she took a lot of naps and it was hard for her to breathe and hard for her to go up or down stairs. She was always up for a walk though, even as old and slow as she was, she was like a pup when we walked her, just happy to be outside.

Ironically, Saturday night at dinner with friends we were talking about the movie Marley and Me. I said it was so true and a very accurate picture of how it is at the end. I told everyone that when Lucy's time comes I hope it is very obvious. Well, be careful what you wish for....I had no idea that the next morning that sign would be there for us to see. And it was obvious.

Goodbye Lucy, good dog.

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