Monday, October 24, 2011

Burying a friend, Lucy the Cocker Spaniel

    Last week my little black Cocker Spaniel, Lucy turned 15. On Saturday morning she died in her bed.
    I kept a bed for her on the floor next to the side of the bed where my wife and I sleep. For as long as we have lived in Trexlertown, she has followed me in to bed at night and slept in her place. Whenever I rose frome bed, the vibration of me walking by her would wake her, and she would follow me throughout the house.
    We called her my little black shadow for that reason. She would  follow me to the garage whenever I left, and be there waiting at the kitchen door when I returned.
     On Thursday I was working in the yard, and she was in high spirits, even running along the sidewalk when I threw a tennis ball for or other dog, Sally. I was trying to weed the flower beds, and she kept nudging me with her nose, begging me to pet her. I could never resist her happy eyes, and her tail wagged like the perpetual motion machine it always was.
      I knew the day would come eventually but I still was not ready for it. When I looked down and realized she was not breathing or getting up to go outside, I went numb. I still had to go to work, so I picked her up in her bed and carried her to the garage. I wrapped her up to secure her body until I came home from work. Then I would have time to dig a grave out back next to where we buried Ethel less than two years ago.
     All day Saturday my thoughts went back to all the happy moments Lucy had brought me in her years with our family. Lucy had a habit of creating circular formations on the sidewalk with her crap. Creations that we referred to as "Poophenge," because of the similarity to the British landmark Stonehenge.

     She was an accomplished beggar for treats, having mastered the pitiful face that would have you believe that she was starving to death. A few years back, in response to her chubbiness, our vet had tested her for metabolism issues. The phone call to my wife with the diagnosis still makes us laugh today. "No Mrs. Casey. Lucy does not have a thyroid problem, she's just fat."    

     What I miss the most is her company. Whenever I sat down at the computer, she would lay in the bed beside my chair, and wait for my hand to drop and stroke her head and belly. She would wait patiently for those few affectionate touches, and I would be rewarded with a thankful lick or two.

      Putting her down in her grave was hard, and I cried throughout the entire process, from digging to  filling it in. I comfort myself thinking that she is running around heaven frolicking with her old friends Fred and Ethel. Her age had taken away much of her mobility, I want to believe that in God's heaven it has been restored as her reward for being such a loving and faithful creature. That's what I want to believe, and that is what gives me comfort.