Lucy... It Is Time. You Are an Angel in a Dog's Body

by Robyn Killian
(Los Angeles, CA)

I knew that when the day came to let you go I would literally fall to pieces. I've known it was coming for some time.

My angel, you have had a life full of suffering. The day I picked you up at the pound I cried that entire evening and many evenings after that. You pulled at my heartstrings.

They told me at the pound that you were found wandering the streets in Glendale, CA. How could someone dump you in the street? You came to me already an old lady, dirty and smelly. They thought you were 14!

I reached down to pet you and you literally crawled up my arm and looked into my eyes and said, "I need you, please take care of me." I heard you loudly and clearly and broke you out of the joint. You were grateful and never failed to show me how happy you were.

You had no hair on your back from scratching due to severe allergies and a yeast infection and worms. One of your eyes was bulging out of your head and had to be removed. You also had 3 hernia operations and had a mammary cancer tumor, which was removed.

You had had a recent litter of puppies when I got you. I'm sure you were a good mommy. I wonder what happened to your babies.

You endured months of testing to find out that you were allergic to basically EVERYTHING so you had to have an allergy shot every other week. Then you got a form of protein-losing enteropathy and had to take steroids and all kinds of other meds and eat special food.

I wasn't even supposed to keep you. I was merely supposed to foster you for a rescue. But you needed me and I needed you. And no one else would want an old sickly dog. But I wanted YOU and you became my baby.

It wasn't long before you grew in the most beautiful coat I have ever seen. And you CONSTANTLY wagged your tail. I have three other dogs but I have never met a dog as sweet as you.

You nearly lost your only remaining eye once before. You banged it on something and it had to be sewn shut for 3 weeks. It miraculously healed but you could barely see out of it. I guess that is why you hurt it this time. I woke up one morning and you could not see again. The eye was damaged again. It was not healing this time. It was only getting worse and worse.

Your only eye was infected and swollen so badly, and you were in so much pain. I knew yesterday that you would lose this eye but I also knew in my heart that it was time to let you go. Between the loss of sight, your age and the other illnesses, your quality of life had been reduced down to nil.

So last night I made the decision that was one of the most difficult that I have ever had to make.

This morning I took the cone (e-collar) off of your head and put you in bed with me. We snuggled together as you slept. I listened to you breathe. Our breaths were in rhythm together. I rolled you over on your back and gave you a belly rub. You love those. You were sleeping and every time you woke up I felt your little tail wagging furiously under the covers. As bad as you felt, you needed to tell me how much you appreciated the love.

I sat you on the lawn in the sunshine so you could enjoy the warm rays on your fur. I took some photos of you and a video of you. Your listlessness was apparent. I sat on the porch swing and just watched you for a while.

I loaded you in the car seat and off to the vet we went. Of course I cried the whole way. I told you how much I love you and how much I enjoyed the time we shared together. I also told you soon you would be running in fields, happy and healthy and you would once again have perfect vision.

As I reached back to pick you up from the car seat your little tail did its usual dance. I held you in my arms and told you again how much I love you.

I put you on the ground and you actually followed me, listening to my voice as we walked to the door. I shot one last video of you walking. I’m sure I will watch it over and over and cry like a baby.

The vet was surprised how bad your eye had gotten. He too knew it could not be saved. I told him you had been sick for so long I was ready to let you go to a better place. He assured me I was making the right decision and went to put a catheter in you leg. I waited, sobbing loudly.

He came back and handed me a little paw print impression he made for me to take home. I held you in my arms and he knelt down to inject the medicine. I said, "I love you, I love you, I love you my little girl," as I watched the pink liquid disappear into your little arm that was wrapped in yellow vet wrap with little blue paws on it. He said, "Good night Lucy." When the last of the medicine was gone he put a stethoscope to your heart and looked up at me and said, "She is gone."

I played this moment out in my head countless times. How would it be? How would I react? Would I be able to handle it? Is it different than I imagined it? I think it is the same as I imagined it. It is terrible for me but I know it is better for you so I will survive.

I held your lifeless body and looked into the bulging infected red eye and sobbed. I knew you were free. But I still hurt so badly. I reached down and took a big long whiff of your head one last time. I wanted to remember your smell. I handed you to Jeff, my vet; he placed your body on the table, and gave me a hug. I looked over at your body one last time. The vision of you lying on the cold table will haunt me forever. I knew you were no longer there. I picked up your paw print and ran out of the door.

Now I will grieve. I have my 3 other dogs to love and snuggle with. I know they will help me through this day and all of the ones that will follow.

This was the first time I have ever had to put a dog down. Since I have three more I realize it will not be the last.

Lucy, thank you for the two plus years you gave to me. I will never forget you. You have forever changed me and there will always be a big huge place in my heart full of love for you.

You have seen me through some of the toughest times and certainly the roughest year I have ever endured in all of my lifetime. You helped me through times I thought I could not survive. People showed me what conditional love was just as people showed you the same when you were thrown away because you did not serve the needs of those who once loved you. I guess they thought you got too expensive and they no longer wanted to provide for you, care for you, protect you and give you a home. At the same time you probably lost your babies.

People are the cruelest species on the planet and the irony of the whole thing is that my life experience has paralleled yours. It’s no wonder I related to you so well. We had a lot in common, little one. But you showed me what unconditional love is and made it possible for me to get through each day one by one.

One day I will see you again, my little angel in a dog's body. Until then, run free and be happy. You deserve it!

Your mommy,

Robyn Killian

Comments for Lucy... It Is Time. You Are an Angel in a Dog's Body

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Lucy, It's Time
by: Kathy C fr ILLinois

This story made me weep so hard. People are cruel and animals are like helpless children. Thank you for sharing Lucy's life with us.

Dying Is Perfectly Natural
by: Uncle Don

Lovely Robyn,

I'll just quote my favorite poet:

Do not mourn the dead too much who bear no
knowledge, have no need or fear of pain,

And who never again must see death
come upon what does not wish to die.

I love you, Robyn.

For Lucy and Robyn
by: ROGERRrENDON

You wouldn't believe how much fun this place is!
There is always a chew toy.
There are always kids to play with.
There is always a fireplace waiting after a full day of play.

I hear your tears.

If only you knew where your heart has allowed me to go,

YOU WOULD NEVER CRY AGAIN.

Thank You Robyn
by: Liz

What a beautiful story of love and redemption. Lucy knew love in the last years of her life because of you. Thank you Robyn, you are a wonderful person to give such love and care to this precious dog who lived such a hard life until she met you.

Japanese Chin Care & Rescue Effort
by: Nancy Derrig

Robyn, Lovely tribute, wonderful memories, special little Chin. Even though we have never met, I am touched by the love and pure spirit that are you. God Speed to your little Lucy Lu.

Lucy
by: Wayne Madison, AL

Robyn,

I am so sorry to hear that you lost Lucy. The unconditional love our dogs give to us is truly a blessing.

Thanks for your comments about Sam. Across the miles, we share our losses together. As you said, I'm sure it will eventually get easier but it is very hard right now. May God bless you and comfort you with the memories of the good times you had with Lucy.

Wayne

The Lovely Lucy
by: David Sobel

Robyn, I am so honored to have known Lucy, even for a short while. Holding her close in my arms, kissing her soft head and telling her what a good girl she is the last time I saw her is a memory that will remain with me forever.

Lucy is an angel who will be around you and within you always. You gave her the most incredible gift when you rescued her. Your connection with her is for all eternity.

My heart is broken with yours at letting Lucy go, but I smile too, knowing she is now running wild, feeling re-born, and forever filled with your love.

Lucy the ANGEL
by: Justin Robertson

Robyn, Candace and I went to a gospel church here in Illinois Sunday to really feel the spirit and I remember the Pastor talking about "Lucy." I dont remember the context but I remember that cute name stuck in my head!

I feel your love for her and know that bond and wonderful feeling animals bring us. I cried reading this and it touched me!

Lucy
by: Peggy

Robyn, I really don't know you but I know your heart by the way you took Lucy in and the bond that developed between the two of you.

The first time you have to make the decision to give our furry friends their last gift (I refer to it as a gift because it really is. The gift of our sacrificing our feelings so that they can have peace and be set free. Free from pain and suffering and limits of a failing body.) is the hardest.

I have had to make this last trip more than 15 times, each as hard as the last. Our heart is so amazing, we can love, lose that love and still have room for another.

Take comfort from your other furries. They too feel the loss.

One last thing, dog spelled backwards is GOD. To my knowledge these are the only 2 that give unconditional LOVE. I do not believe this is a coincidence.

Prayers to you, Peggy

God Speed, Lucy Lu
by: Zofia

What a loving tribute to Lucy.

You were angels for each other. She would not want you to be sad but celebrate the wonderful years you gave her. I've gone back in my head and believe Lucy came to you mid-2008.

I remember taking her up to Fresno with me in late Oct/early Nov. where she was supposed to have her enucleation. You had had her several months before that, working with your vet to try to save the eye.

You gave her a wonderful future. As well as loving you, I'm sure she is proud of you, as you should be yourself.

Love and hugs from us here. Zofia

Lucy
by: Joan campbell Mccarver

Robin,

You have such a big beautiful heart!

I know how you feel as we had to put down our first dog Candy. She was 17 years old and to this day I still miss her.

Like Lucy, she had lost her sight and could hardly stand up. She was our first dog.

Ronnie and I bought her at the flea market on 321 in Dallas.
When we brought her home we told Shelly that Daddy forgot something in the truck and would she go get it for him. Of course she did not want to stop playing with her little friends. But when she got to he truck she heard a little white ball of fur barking. I can still see her little face light up. She loved that little dog! (Shelly was six years old then.) That was the same year that grandmaw died, your great aunt Bess.

It really is amazing how much love a little animal has to give. It does not matter what kind of day you have had or they have had, they always love you so much!

Now we have 3 other dogs, 2 Poms and a Chihuahua.

We love them just as much but there was always something special about Candy.

And I know when the day comes for them to go, it will be just as hard.

You will never forget all the love Lucy brought you and she will never forget you. You may have only had her a few years, but to her it was as if she had been with you forever, YOU were her Angel!

Love you Robin, God Bless!

Robyn, you were the best Mommie Lucy could have had
by: Dawn Grayson-Scales

Awww, Robyn, Lucy was so blessed and fortunate to have had you as her mommie. She is truly free and playing in the warm sunshine and so happy in heaven.

I love you and am so sorry. I know this is a hard thing to go through, to lose a part of you. But be strong for her, as that is what she would want you to do.

She would want to see your beautiful smile and want you to be happy thinking of all the memories that you and she had. You gave her another chance to be happy here in this life and she was so grateful, I know.

God bless you, sweetie, Hold your head up and remember all the good times, and hold on to them. You will always have her precious memories to hold in your heart.

Lucy is dancing and having a good time.

I love you always ...

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