I was originally going to post this yesterday because yesterday was The Big Day but I decided to wait until today to make sure.
What Big Day, you ask? I'll tell you. Yesterday, December 8, 2009 was My Lucy's 11th birthday. And I wanted to make sure she survived before writing anything. She did, so I am.
When we got Lucy, our old dog, Jamie had decided she did not want to live in a house with children. Every time I would visit my sister and BIL, when it was time to leave, Jamie would "look for ants" as we called it. She would pretend she didn't hear me telling her to get in the car because she was busy looking at the ground. She wanted to stay there. Where there weren't any noisy kids and she would be spoiled. More spoiled than she was at home. And BIL would BEG me to let Jamie stay with him. So little by little, Old Jamie spent more and more time over there and eventually, the move became permanent because Jamie was much happier in their childless house. BIL not only renamed her, he changed her breed and her gender and Jamie, the female black retriever somehow evolved, in BIL's mind, into Rusty the male Golden Retriever. We played along and Jamie/Rusty would respond to both names because that dog was the smartest dog in the world.
So, my house was feeling pretty empty without my doggie and TheManTheMyth was missing having a dog in the house even though we were NOT missing Jamie's stinky smell. It's like when she turned 8, her skin just got really, REALLY stinky and nothing would get rid of that stinky dog smell. Almost every Lab I know gets stinky when they hit 8 years old.
Anyway, we needed a new dog and after searching around, I found My Lucy. She was one of 10 puppies born to a Golden Retriever and a Black Lab. Perfect!
Because I wasn't working, I got to spend all my time with Lucy, training, housebreaking, keeping her occupied so that she wouldn't become destructive, etc. Lucy became my constant companion and I would take her everywhere. When I took the kids to school, she'd go along for the ride. She didn't care where we were going as long as she got to go. She also slept with us. On the bed.
Thank goodness we have a Kingsize bed. She took up A LOT of room. She also was a sofa hog:
Yeah, we were REAL strict about keeping the dog off the furniture...NOT. Lucy was considered one of our children and had all the rights and privileges of our biped kids. Sometimes more.
3 years ago, though, we thought it was over. Over the Christmas holidays, we knew something was wrong. She would pant, moan, groan, whimper and she had an accident in bed one night. I took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with diabetes, which I didn't know animals could get.
We started her on insulin and the vet told me that because of her age, we'd be lucky if she survived 2 years. Fast forward 3 years. She's mostly blind now but it doesn't stop her at all and going to the park is her favorite thing in the whole wide world and don't even think of telling her that we can't go to the park today because it's storming because she doesn't CARE, that's MY problem and don't try to go to a different section of the park than usual because it's not The Park and she won't fall for it and will refuse to budge until we go back to The Park, HER Park and then she's happyhappyhappy:
Several months ago, we thought we'd lose Lucy again. She had recently lost most of her sight and even though she got around just fine by memory and scent, every so often she'd get lost if things had been moved. One day we were over at my sister's house, which was like a 2nd home to Lucy, and while we were out at dinner, Lucy fell into the pool. We still don't know how she managed to find her way to the steps, being blind and confused and all, but she did and was able to drag herself to the front door before collapsing in exhaustion.
She survived but picked up a new quirk (she develops new quirks almost weekly): she wouldn't go into the backyard any more. She'd go right out the front door and hang out on the front porch but our backyard had become a place to be avoided. After about a week or so of this, I finally took her out front and around the corner (we live on a corner) to the back gate and through the back gate and back in the house. From then she was fine with the backyard.
One of her latest quirks is how she eats her breakfast. Because of her insulin injections, she has to eat at specific times and in the mornings, she's not really ready to eat at the appointed time. So I started spoonfeeding her the first few bites and then she'd go ahead and eat the rest. Unfortunately, now she won't even acknowledge her breakfast until I sit down and start hand-feeding her. At least she's not demanding airplane or choo-choo sound effects. Yet.
Every day that Lucy is still with us I consider a victory and I don't mind (much) all her demands and funny little habits that I had a hand in creating. She's my baby, my constant companion.
Happy Birthday, Lucy! Mamma Loves You Best!