Where to start??…..I guess at the beginning. About four years ago, my wife, Cindy, brought home a tiny black & tan miniature Doxie. Cute as she was, I immediately did not want anything to do with her. We already have a red mini-dox and a full-grown golden lab. What in the world would we do with another inside dog and the better question was WHY?
I was angry and wanted nothing to do with her. We normally sit down and make those types of decisions together. But this time Cindy went out, on her own, and made this life decision without my input or consent. MAD was not the word. Furious would probably be accurate for the Grinch that I was. It was nearing Christmas Day that year, so I would have to say that I was truly Mr. Grinch himself, green as all get-out. I did not want this dog and wanted Cindy to take her back where she got her. Also, our red mini-dox, Trixie, did not like her either. She growled and barked at her, and even a snip if she got too close. How dare this new little rat-looking dog come in and hone in on our turf. Who does she think she is?
My Wife has always been a very smart woman. She was no different when she made this decision. When she told me her name was Lucy, it was like a dagger in my heart. What could I do? I couldn't refuse this little rat-looking dog now. You see, my mother’s name was Lucille and Lucy was named after her. My mother passed away in 1998 and I loved her dearly. It’s been hard. Truth be known, I probably should have gone to grief counseling when she passed away, but I did not go. I bottled that up, only to share it with Cindy from time to time. It has been the hardest thing in the world to deal for me- Ever!
Anyway, here is Lucy, a happy go-lucky, energetic puppy that I had to accept, but wanted nothing to do with. She would try to play with Trixie and fall back with a growl or a snip. With time, Trixie warmed up to Lucy a little at a time. Lucy would always try to get Trixie to play, biting her leg or the skin around her neck. Not real biting, but play biting. Eventually, Trixie became a mother figure to Lucy. Trixie loved her dearly and enjoyed daily playtime with Lucy.
Lucy tried her magic on me. Trying to warm up to me but huh, who does she think she is? I'm not Trixie. She would not be able to manipulate me into caring for her. But she was persistent. She would come up to my leg and put her little paws on my feet at first as if she was treeing a squirrel. If I was on the floor doing anything she would ALWAYS come over and lick me dead square on the lips! Ugggggggg dog kisses. This little rat-looking dog was becoming cute. What am I turning soft? Get a grip Gary!
What can I say? Lucy got into my heart deeper than anybody other than my immediate family. You see, if you know me, then you know that is not an easy task. I am not an easy person to get to know, or befriend but if you are one of the chosen few, you are there for LIFE! And I do mean LIFE! I have a lot of people that I know and like but I have very few “life friends”. I value and cherish friendship. It's not a word I take lightly and it's not something I do willy-nilly. So, if you’re in, it's till death and I would literally take a bullet for you.
Anyway, as I was saying, Lucy got into my heart and was truly THIS man’s best friend. She grew from a hand-sized rat to a cute little loving dog. She was My Best Friend!
Second to being in my lap, Lucy loved the outdoors. She was just like her best friend or Daddy as I became known to her. She couldn't wait to go outside in the mornings to sniff out and chase the squirrels that taunted her on a daily basis. She must have tree'd thousands of squirrels. She loved it and the squirrels did too.! They were really just playing with each other to have fun. They were equal in abilities as they would run about the same speeds.
Cindy would let her outside every evening before I came home so she could greet me with Lucy loving. We live in a rural area where trees are throughout the yard. Our drive is concreted about 3/4 of the way to the road and limestone after that to the road. As I pull into the driveway everyday, Lucy would bark and run to the end of the concrete jumping up and down. I taught her not to come past the concrete as I did not want her to get close to the road. She always ran and waited for me at that spot.
Once I got the Lucy love inside, of course, I had to share with her dog-mates, Trixie and Gus. But Lucy made sure she got the most loving as she would literally nudge my hand away from the other dogs to her. She loved to settle into my lap in my "nest", aka: my recliner. That was the spot she enjoyed the most and I would have to say- in my nest, on my lap, in my Heart!
Trixie has always been a jumper, she actually used to be like super dog. She used to jump, flatfooted over three feet high before back surgery. And know she can still jump two feet. Anyway Lucy would watch and try but it was known around Shotwell Manor that black dogs can't jump. Lol Recently, instead of picking her up to put her in the nest, I thought I would teach her to jump. I would put my hands down beside her as guard rails and cup my hands to where she could jump into my hands. She began jumping very short distances at first then higher and higher until one evening Cindy and I were watching our evening episode of Seinfeld and she did it! She jumped all the way to the chair by herself! Cindy and I both saw this at the same time. It was like a baby taking their first steps.
We were so proud of her major accomplishment and you could tell that she was as well. She would continue to jump into the chair and even to the sofa. It's like our Grandsons say when they accomplish a major feat- I DID IT! And she did.
I was at work Tuesday morning on November 20th and my neighbor, Jim, called me on my cell phone. Jim never calls unless it’s something important so I answer the phone. A conversation I wish on no one. Jim hated to tell me but Lucy had gotten hit by car out by the road and had passed away. I was shocked, stunned, and in disbelief. I immediately left work on the way home. I even called Jim back to make sure he was sure. Unfortunately, it was so. How would I tell Cindy that Lucy had passed away? It was not easy at all but all I could do was to tell her straight up.
Neither of us took this well at all. Our little baby was too young to be gone. We both cried and cried. This was not in the plan for Lucy to be out of our lives so soon. We had the daunting task of selecting a resting spot for our sweet little Lucy. We picked out a spot in the back yard under a tree, near the pond where she would always chase squirrels. This was not an easy task but I would have no one else prepare and put Lucy in her final resting spot. She was special to us and she deserved the very best and that is what she got. We can see Lucy’s resting spot from the kitchen window where I drink coffee in the mornings and read the paper overlooking the pond where she would tree squirrels every day.
This Thanksgiving Day, I thank God for all the blessings in my life & there are many! My wife, kids, and grandkids, but I want to thank God for sending Lucy to my life for the four years we had her to soften up this ole Grinch heart. She showed me love and friendship that is immeasurable. I'm sure I'm still Grinch-worthy, but not nearly as much due to loving kindness of a dear sweet little dog named Lucy that my dear wife had the forethought and wisdom to bring home.
Lucy, as the tears flow like rivers you will be greatly missed and we will always love you for the unconditional love you shared with us only to remind us of our Father’s unconditional love.