Monday, December 5, 2011

My Sweet Lucy…

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November 7th was a very difficult day for me.  Actually, “difficult” is an understatement.  It was the hardest day of my life.  Not only did I say goodbye to my childhood dog, Toby, but I also made the decision to put my own dog, Lucy, to sleep.  This decision was definitely not made lightly, and is by far the most painful thing I’ve ever done.  Being 39 weeks pregnant certainly didn’t make it any easier – but doing this wouldn’t have ever been easy anyway. 

I spent months trying to figure out a way around this, but ultimately I felt I had no other options.  Due to her inability to share anything with other animals, I just didn’t trust that she wouldn’t attack our child when he started crawling and getting near her things.  She never gave any real warning before attacking other animals, and I just couldn’t risk her hurting my child, or anyone else’s for that  matter.  A friend of mine put it best when she said that the guilt I would feel if Lucy ever hurt a child would far outweigh the guilt I feel for not being able to keep her. 

I tried to find her a new home, but even if someone had been willing to adopt a 9 year old dog with separation anxiety, incontinence, hypothyroidism, and dog aggression issues, I don’t think Lucy would have ever settled in somewhere else, and I doubt that new owners would have been as patient with her as I was.  It would have been unfair to put Lucy in a situation where people may have abused her when she misbehaved, and I hated the thought of those new owners giving up on her and sending her to a shelter where she’d live in a cage until she was put to sleep - alone.  She deserved better than that.   

So for months I cried and cried about the decision I knew I was going to have to make.  It just didn’t (and still doesn’t) seem fair that I spent 9 years pouring literally everything I had into my sweet girl for it to end up this way.  Our vet agreed that due to her age and aggression issues she wasn’t really adoptable and that our only other option was to put her to sleep – but I still have such a hard time with that since she didn’t act sick.  Yes, she had medical issues and needed 6 pills a day, but she felt good, and was happy.  Logan reminds me that I did pour everything I had into working with Lucy and her quirks for 9 years, and because she had me for an owner she was able to live a really great 9 years that she probably wouldn’t have had otherwise. 

As I said before, this was the most painful thing I’ve ever had to do, but I did it out of love for her, and for Knox.  Our vet was absolutely amazing, and even though I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle being in the room while they put her to sleep, I knew I’d never forgive myself if I wasn’t, and I felt I owed it to Lucy to be there and be as strong as I could be for her.  Fortunately, it was very peaceful and humane, and she just fell asleep into my shoulder. 

I went through all of my pictures – including old school film ones – and wanted to take a walk down memory lane.  I know there’s a lot of pictures here, but I want to have them all in one place, and they’re what I have left to remember her with.  She may have been a crazy, quirky dog, but she was my dog and I love her. 

This was the day I brought Lucy home.  I adopted her through the Giant Schnauzer Rescue Network when she was 7 months old.  She and her mother and brother kept escaping from their owner’s yard, and they were tired of paying the fees to bail them out of the animal shelter.  Their loss was my gain! 
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Sweet puppy!
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Lucy wasn’t really much of a snuggler, but occasionally she’d tolerate it for me.  :)
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I remember having the hardest time getting both Lucy and Toby to “sit” at the same time for me to take their picture, so I eventually gave up and settled for Toby facing the other way.  scan0020
Lucy and I participated in the Rescue Parade a few months after I brought her home.  It took place at the dog show in order to bring awareness to purebred rescue groups.  Lucy stole the show when after making her way around the ring, she stopped and begged for a dog treat from the lady handing out the certificates.  :) 
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Showing off our participation certificate!scan0038scan0011
Oh how Lucy hated her crate!  I tried crate training her, but apparently when left in her crate, she would throw her body against the door until one latch opened, and she’d squeeze out and destroy everything in my apartment.  I tried to outsmart her and pad lock the door shut, but she resorted to chewing the metal wires of the crate and started breaking her teeth.  She won, and we gave up on the crate. 
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She always looked forward to medicine time, which she took in a big spoonful of peanut butter. scan0024scan0023scan0022
Happy puppy!
scan0026At one point, I read about how great “real” bones from the butcher are for dogs teeth.  So, I headed to the grocery store and asked them for some of their scrap bones.  Lucy LOVED it, and I’ll admit her teeth were super clean after eating this.  The only problem was that when she was finished, her beard smelled like a dead animal.  We didn’t do many real bones after that.  :)   scan0028 She was not happy when I made her pose like this.  scan0032
Sleepy girl.
scan0030 I think I’d hidden a treat up on the shelf to see if she could actually smell it.  Turns out she could!scan0031scan0041 Nothing like tearing up a new toy.  scan0042scan0005
I looked over one day and saw she’d done this herself.  scan0001 (2) scan0004scan0009scan0007Merry Christmas Bow 12-23-04
I remember when I lived downtown taking Lucy for a walk to the Farmer’s Market in order to take pictures of her in front of all their pretty flowers.  Someone did not want to cooperate, and kept giving me the evil eye instead of posing pretty.  :)scan0001  scan0053         scan0012
Love this one.scan000310 Lucy Loving on my mom.3 Lucy and Mom Being nosey and helping my dad open his present.  She always loved opening her Christmas presents, and she was actually really good at it!7 Lucy helping dad One afternoon Logan and I looked over and saw that Lucy had somehow literally put my swimsuit bottoms on.  No idea how that happened. 
Lucy wearing swimsuit 5-25-08
The one and only time this ever happened…Lap Dog Love those schnauzer noses.Lucy big nose 7-26-08Lucy 7-31-08 She kept hiding under my chair when we went to the vet’s office this day. 
DSC00330 I guess she eventually decided the vet was alright because she came out all smiles!
DSC00331 Begging for goldfish crackers.Begging for Goldfish2
I never understood why she always laid on her bed this way…iphone 6
What dog doesn’t love sticking their nose out of the car window?iphone 8
Christmas collar!
1 Christmas Lucy Howling.  As usual.  :)DSC00412 Excited to open her presents!40. Lucy opening gifts 41. Lucy opening gifts Getting some loving from Ross. iphone 10
Loved that peanut butter! iphone 11
She wasn’t quite sure what to think about all that snow… 7. Lucy looking outside
But once she got out there in it, she had a blast.3.  Lucy playing One of my favorite pictures of her.  23.  Lucy happy in snow While I was browning beef, I looked over and saw somebody being very, very nosey.iphone 13
Relaxing with me on a lazy Saturday. iphone 19
On the way to get a bath. iphone 17
Running around, excited to be all clean and pretty!iphone 16
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One night, Logan and I had an extra taco from Taco Bell.  We put it in Lucy’s bowl and watched as she ate the whole thing with her butt sticking up in the air.  :)   Silly girl.  Lucy eating Taco 4 New soccer ball toy.
Lucy playing with ball Getting some Logan love.iphone 18  
Lucy LOVED riding in the car with her head hanging out of my sunroof.  Not the safest thing, so I’d only let her do it when we were driving slowly in the neighborhood.DSC01801
I decided to stick my camera out and start snapping pictures just to see what I got.  I still crack up when I see these.  :)Lucy in wind DSC01798A couple of winters ago, our heater went out and Lucy actually let us tuck her in.Lucy snuggling Enjoying her new toy. Lucy's new toy Time to open another Christmas present!  These will show just how good she was at it!
Lucy opening presentLucy and present2 Lucy playing with monkey I think she likes it!Lucy rolling around with monkey Such a happy girl!Lucy!
Being patriotic.Lucy 2-09
Showing off her Halloween costume to Summer. Lucy and Summer kiss  Thanksgiving 2010 at the Lowry Lakehouse.  22.  Lorin Lucy and Logan2.  My other babyChecking out the view. Lucy resting head in cariphone 233.  LucySitting in her favorite spot at our new house – from here she could see down into the kitchen, into the living room, and out into the front yard.  1.  Lucy relaxing on stairsOne of my last pictures of Lucy, and it has quickly become one of my favorites. 
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I know I’ve posted these before, but I love looking at them and remembering this day.  During the big snowfall this past February, Logan and I took Lucy outside to play – and she loved it. 

In this second video, you get to hear that famous Lucy Chewbacca-style howl.  :)



I’m still adjusting to life without Lucy. I still haven’t been able to clean out her room of toys and her bed yet, and I have to stop myself from calling her over to finish off my pizza crust, or eat the food I dropped in the floor. But God’s timing is perfect, and 4 days after I said goodbye to Lucy, I got to meet my sweet and perfect little boy.

My Sweet Lucy
October 8, 2002 – November 7, 2011

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