Today, unfortunately, I had to put my dog Lucy to sleep.
Lucy was a Yorkshire Terrier, aged 18 at her passing – yes, 18. She was running down having lived so long, and when I saw her fading physically and mentally, I made the difficult call.
I had lucy for 14 years, most shared with my wife of the time. 14 years is amazing to have a dog, and a life of 18 years is incredible. She was a scrappy, tough dog that I loved a lot.
And I could mourn or cry, but really I wanted to mention what a great dog she was.
Lucy was a big Yorkie, about 10-7 pounds depending on age in her time of life. A bit of a throwback I think. We kept her hair short (leading to people to compare her to Toto) since it got so curly, and with her tendency to get into everything keeping it short was a good idea. She wasn’t fond of the groomer, truth be told.
We got her when a family friend found his child was developing bad dog allergies, so we adopted her. I still remember her perky little radar ears – that earned her the nickname “Happy Ears.” She would gain many others including “Wumpf” (for how she’d suddenly plunk down), “Puppy Person,” and “Boundy Hound” for her tendency to jump.
She adapted to us quickly and we fell for her right away. She was a very smart, clever, playful dog. Her favorite toys were a simple human stuffed figure we called “generic man” and “hand monster” – she loved wrestling people’s hands.
She was a leaper and a runner and loved to climb on things – and hurt herself a few times. She suffered from a bum back leg, common in yorkies, but no doubt exacerbated by her excesses. In her youth she was one furry little projectile – and if you had food, one shouldn’t easily assume it was out of range. Her vertical leap was unreal.
One, she strategically snatched the toppings off of a piece of pizza someone was lifting to their mouth – with her tongue. She was just sitting there, her tongue snaked out, and the toppings were gone.
Lucy’s favorite food was french fries, and to her, McDonalds were the best. She would go crazy for them, and we’d always give her some. At times we went out of our way just to buy her fries – the pleasure she got from them made it fun just to watch her eat. As she aged, I eventually adopted Friday as “Fryday” so she’d get some (about 1/2 to 1/3 a small bag) as a treat, weekly.
She was very smart, had a good memory, and was very organized. We called her a little furry Franklin Planner.
I recall once when I had taken up playing video games before bed, often the same hour each night. She loved sitting next to me, and eventually would bug me if I wasn’t playing games on time. We called it “Time of Game” after an X-Play parody of Japanese television shows.
She was very loyal and very aware. If someone was sick, she would sit by them and watch over them. If someone felt bad she’d try and play, lick them, nuzzle them, or cuddle them to cheer them up.
She also hated garbage bags. We never figured that out, but she’d bark at them.
Lucy embodied everything good we think of in dogs. I could go on and on, but the simple thing is that she can be summed up in one sentence.
That was Lucy. And I was fortunate to have her as part of my life.