Monday, June 23, 2014

Sweet Lucy (June 4,1996 - June 20, 2014)

Today, I received some sad news from Jock, a good friend.  In his words: 
"We lost dear little Lucy on Friday night. She had another stroke Thursday evening, this one more severe. We kept her comfortable in the hope that she would either recover, as she has done a couple of times in recent weeks, or pass away peacefully. By Friday night it was clear neither would happen, so we called Richard (Dr. Richard Calland) who came over and gave her a blessedly peaceful end. We kept her with us Friday night and took her for a private cremation yesterday. We are both very sad. She had been doing so well ... she was running around like a fool on Wednesday, so we're grateful she did not linger and suffer.  You were always her best friend, and we cherish that memory."
Photo by Jock

I wasn't prepared for the depth of my sadness at Jock's news.  I hadn't seen Lucy for well over a year.  It seemed she would live forever and there would be time.  What was I thinking?  She died just a couple of weeks after her 18th birthday.  It was 2009 when Bill, Black Jack and I celebrated New Year's Eve with Jock, Kitty, Lucy and two other sweet-doggie-guests.  It says volumes about Lucy's progress and Bill's gentleness that she agreed to be held in his arms.  Jock set up the camera.  I can't believe we all looked more or less in its direction :)
In this post, I described a little of Lucy's background and I talked of her and her beautiful life with Jock and Kitty in this post as well.  In both posts, she was fit into a whole lot of other events in my life, but today, what is in my heart for the three of them has to be expressed on its own.  Lucy began life with some pretty serious strikes against her (disreputable breeder) but somehow, she found..
the two best people on the planet to take care of her, and they became family.  I am proud of the photo below.  It was taken with a poor little camera before I became photography obsessed and I've just taken a picture of that photo, so the quality would not impress anyone.  But, it shows that "family" attitude that anyone who knew them took for granted.
Lucy had the most gentle spirit of any dog I've known.  There were many fears - she bolted at noises, didn't really like the drapes to be opened in the mornings (she had been kept in a dark cage for the first couple of years of her life), and she shrank from most humans,
but she greeted dogs and critters of every size and temperament with the utmost respect and a quiet curiosity that put them at ease.  
Jock took this photo way back when I had my beautiful Scott (on the right) and Charlie (on the left) was a much-loved neighbour. It's another of those photographed photos, but my goodness, the wonderful memories that picture evokes.  Lucy was the baby then.  She is the last of the three to leave this earth.  I'd love to think they have met up again.
This was our last walk together; it makes me sad that it was so long ago.  Lucy spent a lot of time in Kitty's arms.  Kitty!  How can I express the gratitude I feel towards you?  Scott and I jumped happily into your car more times than I can count to join you and Lucy for those wonderful forest walks.  If I had any other doggie-guests staying with me, you welcomed them as well.  Sometimes, you carried Lucy more than she walked, but slowly, slowly, over the years, I saw her come out of her shell.  I felt so honoured when she would take a treat from me, or allow a little cuddle.
You were with me, Kitty, when Scott died; your big heart just about swallows you up, in your fierce desire to nurture those around you.  Today, my heart aches for you and rejoices at the same time.  You took a sweet, damaged soul, and brought her back to life.  We all thought the stresses Lucy had suffered in her youth would shorten her life but your love and care took her to the incredible age of 18, and as Jock noted, she ran "like a fool" only this past Wednesday.  
She will leave a terrible hole in that big heart of yours, one that I wish I could spare you, but you will rest easy knowing that you and Jock stood by her when others didn't. 
Jock and Kitty, I hope you will forgive me for posting the rest of these photos.  Do you remember this day?  Jock, you picked me up at the airport after the music festival while Kitty decorated my apartment with balloons and a "golden-girl" poster and prepared a meal too.  You brought Lucy and I could see how she was beginning to reach out.  She was healing, after years of patient love, agility training, and every advantage the two of you could think of to give her.
Kitty, on this day you picked me up at school because Scott was getting too old to walk on his own to Stanley Park.  We drove there so that he could enjoy his old haunts.  Lucy wasn't so keen; you carried her most of the way.  But, you smiled and Lucy chalked it up as another experience that hadn't resulted in certain disaster :)
How incredible it was when Lucy showed happiness in the forest!
And Jock, I remember this walk in Pacific Spirit Park like it was yesterday.  You took a beautiful photo of Scott that I still treasure.  I was playing with that little camera of mine and wanted you and Lucy to pose between the trees. 
The three of you did your best to humour my little "in-between-the-branches" obsession whenever I asked.  You are true friends;  I love you and I loved Lucy.
May you find comfort in having given one of the sweetest dogs I will ever have the honour of knowing the very best life you could imagine, and in the thought of her running free now.  Bill and I hold you in our hearts.


  1. wow. 18 yrs old. that is amazing for a dog of any breed. she had a rough start, but she had a wonderful, long life with people who loved her - and shared her. :)

  2. What a gorgeous little thing, so sorry to hear this sad news. The memories will live on forever

  3. What a beautiful post about your dear friend, Lucy. I am sorry for your loss and your friends' loss. Jock and Kitty did a very loving thing to bring Lucy back to health and give her a wonderful life. There is always a hole in your heart when you lose a beloved pet, but there are amazing and comforting memories there too. Take care!

  4. Thanks for sharing a wonderful tribute to your lost friend.

  5. Sorry to hear of this loss, Carol. Lucy’s story shows how a nurturing environment can make life better for both man and beast. Looks like lucky Lucy had a glorious existence with two very caring people.

  6. Carol, you did a wonderful tribute here. So much love and care shining through. Lucy had the best family possible and, obviously, some of the best friends.

  7. What an eloquent and moving tribute to Lucy and her loving family! My condolences to Kitty and Jock. Phyllis