By Barbara Baird, Women’s Outdoor News
I remember like it was yesterday, our youngest son (whom I call “Baby Boy” in this blog) and his intense look as he told his friends about his new puppy. He said, “We just had to get her because she was going to get ‘gassed’ at the pound.” To this day, I do not know where Baby Boy heard that animals were exterminated in this manner at the local pet society. Gassed or euthanized by injection – it didn’t really matter. Her time was limited, and so we brought her home. Because we fell in love with her on the spot. She came to us while in the pen and her siblings ran around like crazy puppies. But, she wanted us.
We were told she was a Dalmatian and Blue heeler mix. I always thought she looked like an English setter with something else, and once, I think I saw her on point.
She lived with us for more than 15 years. Baby Boy left home five years ago, and of course, as children do, or don’t, he didn’t take her with him. So, let’s just say, we’ve taken a lot of walks together.
Lucy – the only dog I ever knew that picked – or maybe I should say, licked – blackberries right off the bush. Now, that’s talent. We’d go blackberry picking along country roads where the berries grew in the ditches wild, and she’d work the bottom parts, while I collected berries in a bucket. She never shared.
But, we still loved her, because she was a good dog. She never bit anyone. She always wagged her tail, and even at the end, when her joints started creaking and she started leaking and a bit of dementia set in and she could not hear any more, she still wagged her tail. On her last day, last Monday, she was wagging her tail as she took her final walk into the woods with my husband. And we didn’t gas her, but we didn’t take her to the vet either. She would shake so terribly on annual trips to the vet that we could not do that to her one more time.
Let’s just say she had a good afternoon, with wieners and good drugs and sunshine and her human caretakers spending time with her.
And now, she lies in the little pet cemetery in Possum Holler, along with P.J. and Prissy – our other kid pets. I don’t know if it’s the fact that we’ll miss her terribly, or that whole empty nest syndrome thing that I thought I’d beat is now hitting me again. She was the last “kid pet.”
Will we get another? Not so soon. You can never replace people or pets. Maybe another dog will find us someday.
How about you? Do you have a memory of a dog you’d care to share?
Editor’s Note: When my dog was dying a few months ago Barb Baird of Women’s Outdoor News was one of the only people I told. Barb and I were messaging online recently when she told me Lucy was lost. My heart sank. Lucy was found but she was very sick and on her last moments. So this post is for anyone that has lost their best friend. ~Mike Piccione, Editor Guns & Gear