Our Lucy Is Gone

Our Lucy is gone.

After a severe weekend we said goodbye to her yesterday morning at around 7:30. She’d had either a stroke or a tumor on the brain. It all happened pretty quickly. She stopped eating on Saturday. I hand fed her some baby food that she sort of seemed to like. It might’ve kept her sugar up a little, but it wasn’t enough to sustain her. Her tail had stopped wagging. She couldn’t stop pacing around and running into the walls and corners and things. She was losing control of her bladder. Her legs trembled. By pre-dawn yesterday morning I knew it was time.

Michael was with her when they administered the drug. I couldn’t stay in the room. I owed it to her, but I just couldn’t.

I waited and cried from my soul in the car outside. It was crying that came from the deepest part of me. A place I don’t even think I’ve ever accessed before. Deeper than my heart. Deeper than my core. It was like a piece of my true essence shattered and crumbled.

There was a painting of some poppies hanging on the wall of the grieving room. Before I left her with Michael, I told her she’d be able to rest among the poppies in Michael’s garden without any more pain.

We drove home and I listened to a song that, for some reason, became the soundtrack for this devastating experience for me. It’s called Sleep Baby Jane. It’s by Over the Rhine. There’s a moment in the song where the singer wails what could be a cry of sorrow or of despair or of desperation and bargain. There’s confusion in it, too, and a longing for comfort to alleviate someone or something’s suffering. Underneath the counter vocal sings repeatedly, “My baby. My baby. My baby.” The last line of the song is “Let me call you an angel.”

When we got home without her, I took this photo, and others like it, of some of Michael’s garden poppies. I took photos and I waited to go inside where our beautiful cats would be saying hello and asking for treats. Inside where the most joyous, happy, sweet dog would run to greet me any time I’d return from anywhere, showering me with unconditional love and affection for just being me.

She made bad days better. She was a very good, good dog.

She was my special girl.

My baby.

My angel.