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Pretty Lil' Angel

October 21st 2011 11:32 am
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October 15, 2011

I was walking back from the store yesterday and across the street I saw a man with a Basset Hound puppy. I yelled to him, “Hey can I pet your puppy?” He stopped, and I ran over to them. I knelt down and was smothered with puppy kisses! “How old is she?” I asked. “She’s four months old”, he replied. “I got her from the San Francisco SPCA; someone had received her as a gift and wasn’t able to take care of her.” I loved on her some more, and then I asked her name. “Her name is Lucy,” he said.

My Pretty Lil Hound Lucy and I lived together for four years. I’d known her for nearly 14 years, when after ten, she wasn’t able to stay with the family she’d grown up with, so she came to stay with me. She was the sweetest dog; I would often look at her and say, “Lucy, you are soooooooooooooo SWEET!” Lucy was always so easy-going and no matter where we were or what we were doing, she would go along joyfully. Even after losing her sight to glaucoma three years ago, she kept her endearing spirit and made her way through life with a trot in her step and an enthusiastic wag of her tail. She showed me that it was possible to flourish and live happily under the most challenging circumstances. She was my hero.

Lucy loved to be anywhere I was. We went everywhere together. A few weeks ago, we were packed up to spend the weekend at the Russian River for my friend’s 40th birthday. When we’d returned from our walk that morning, I noticed that she was having trouble getting up the stairs to the house. Nonetheless, when our ride arrived, she got right into the car, excited for the journey.

A few of the ladies traveling with us that weekend had made appointments for spa services in Calistoga, and since dogs weren’t allowed at the spa, Lucy and I spent the afternoon at a small park. We had a picnic under the shade of a big tree; I fed her chicken and I ate a sandwich. Lucy got up occasionally and sniffed her way slowly around the park. We napped. It was a day I will always treasure.

The house on the river was beautiful and for three unforgettable days, Lucy never left my side. There were six other ladies in the house and they showered her with love and attention. She slept most of the time, only waking up for a few short walks, or to drink some water. I could tell that she wasn’t feeling well. On Saturday morning, I grilled some chicken for her but she wouldn’t eat it. I immediately called the vet and made an appointment for Monday afternoon. She drank water all day and later that evening, she ate the chicken. I was so relieved.

The next day she had some more of the chicken, but threw it up a few minutes later. On the way back from the river, we stopped in Petaluma and had a picnic in the town square park. Lucy was having trouble walking up the hill, so I picked her up and carried her. She lay on the blanket next to us while we ate and drank a bottle of wine. At one point, I looked at her and started to cry. When we got back to San Francisco, her cat, Cow, was waiting inside the house for her. He rubbed up against her, purring loudly, as they made their way around the house. A few minutes later she went to lie down in her bed. I grilled a steak for her that evening which she devoured enthusiastically. She slept curled up next to me in my bed that night. I woke up several times during the night to give her water and kiss her furry little face.

The next morning, I tried to feed her the rest of the steak, but she wouldn’t eat. I sent a text to my friends at Dogster HQ to let them know that I wouldn’t be coming into the office; “Lucy isn’t doing well and we have an appointment at the vet later this afternoon.” I had a sinking feeling that this appointment wasn’t going to be about how to get Lucy well again. She was listless, wouldn’t eat, and had no desire to get up and move around. It became clearer, as each hour passed that morning that Lucy was letting go.

I needed to talk with someone. I needed comfort and reassurance. I didn’t call my family, or one of my close friends in the area. I called a friend, with whom I had met on Dogster. Right after speaking with her, two more of my friends from Dogster called. Jacqueline, Sally, and Kim, thank you for being there for me that day. I love you.

Later that morning, a thread was started for Lucy and I in the Plus Power of the Paw Forum on Dogster. I stayed in bed with Lucy, reading the posts, the Paw Mail, Comments, and the gifts that followed. I have an abundance of gratitude for the Dogster and Catster Community for the caring kindness Lucy and I were shown. And to the B&A, you are the heart and soul of Dogster and Catster, I cherish you so much!

In the afternoon, I asked Lucy to please let me know if it was time for me to let her go. She licked my hand and nuzzled closer to me. I decided to take her to the park. When I put on her leash, she wagged her tail. I carried her down the stairs to the sidewalk, I took a couple of steps, but she wouldn’t budge. I picked her up and carried her halfway down the block into Golden Gate Park, and sat her down in the meadow. She walked a few steps, sniffed around a bit, and then came and sat down next to me. We sat in the park for close to an hour; I pet her and told her over and over again how much I loved her.

My mom arrived around 5pm to take Lucy and I to the vet. I was sitting on the couch with Lucy on my lap. “We have to go Babycakes, its almost 5:30,” she said. “NO, I cried, tears streaming down my face, “SHE IS FINE; LOOK AT HER, SHE DOESN’T WANT TO GO! WE ARE GOING TO STAY RIGHT HERE FOREVER!” My mom came down and sat next to me and said, “You are giving her a gift. I just wish that someday, when I am too old and sick to go on, that you could do the same for me.” I got up, sat Lucy down, and put on her leash for the last time; she wagged her tail.

Dr. Fong has been Lucy’s vet since she came to live with me. He took care of her when she got glaucoma. When we were in for Lucy’s senior wellness exam a few months earlier, she was doing really well; her appetite was healthy, and she was still enjoying her life. He and I marveled at her endurance and agreed that at close to 14 years old, what mattered most was Lucy’s quality of life.

My mom, Lucy, and I were taken to an exam room. I sat down, holding Lucy in my arms like a baby. She loved to be held like a baby. When Dr. Fong came in, I said, “I think its time to let Lucy go. “ I started to cry. He looked at me knowingly and said, “Tell me what’s going on with Lucy.” She won’t eat,” I said, “she doesn’t want to go for a walk, she doesn’t want to do anything. “ “The last time you were here, he said, “we talked about the importance of Lucy’s quality of life and that what really mattered was that she was still able to enjoy the things she loved, eating, walking on the beach and in the park, going places with you.” “It seems she is not able to do those things anymore.” No, she’s not, “I said, “I am ready to let her go.”

He carefully explained what he would be doing to help Lucy on her journey. The veterinarian assistant came in and I gave Lucy to her. She carried Lucy like a baby to another room so they could put in the catheter. When they came back, she laid Lucy, now wrapped in a blanket, gently onto the exam table. I wrapped my arms around her and put my face to hers. My mom put her arms around me **lovenhugyoumommy**. Lucy lay there quietly, she did not stir. I told Lucy again and again how much I loved her. I thanked her for blessing me with her company. Dr. Fong gave Lucy an injection that put her into a deep sleep. She grunted a couple of times like she often did before falling asleep. He gave her a second injection and put his stethoscope to her heart. Moments later Dr. Fong lifted the stethoscope.

I picked up Lucy’s cremated remains today. They came in a small wooden box, engraved with the words, “Pretty Lil’ Hound.” There is a place at the front of the box for a photo. I am going to put a photo of me holding Lucy in my arms like a baby. I had also requested to have her paw print in ceramic. Included was an envelope that contained a copy of the Rainbow Bridge Poem.

I walked home carrying these mementos of Lucy held tightly to my chest. When I got home I placed them on the table next to my bed, along with a white gardenia in a heart-shaped bowl, and the “Whispers From Heaven” Teddy Bear from the Roo Crew. I lit a candle in memory of the Pretty Lil’ Hound. Lucy wagged her tail and the flame flickered.

Lucy McGruff 10/28/97-09/26/11

With love always,

The Lady Who Fed You and Who Will ALWAYS Love You Most

Barked by: Moxie (Dogster Member)

October 21st 2011 at 11:51 am

Oooo gawd did I love Lucy. I loved it when she slept in my bed cuz I was sleeping in hers. I loved it when we snuggled together. And went on walks. I loved it when she lost her sight and tried to eat my food cuz I could scare her away and no one ever let me scare them away from a food bowl.

She was my best friend!

Barked by: ♥Sophie Claire CGC (Dogster Member)

October 21st 2011 at 1:06 pm

Wow, what a wonderful tribute that you have written. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Dogster has given us the ability to meet so many wonderful new friends and their babies that we never would have been able to do. We all have laughed, cried, enjoyed, learned and loved with people who understand our absolute love for our fur babies. You and Lucy enjoyed a wonderful life together and those memories will be with you forever. Know you were loved Pretty Lil' Angel.
Barked by: Flicka ~ CGC (Dogster Member)

October 21st 2011 at 1:11 pm

Several attempts to read this.... and still typing through tears.

Lori.... pawprints NEVER ever fade. I am going to copy in something I wrote to someone else.. because it stands.. it is what we all KNOW......

Love and HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSS Pam.. and Flicka.. and Lucas.. and my Beloved Cleo.... who will sit with Lucy.. and watch us light the candles to lead the way...

There is something I am getting to grips with... it isnt a simple concept... I have lost too many I care about in my life...

The pain of loved souls passing can be agonising . I have no strong faith to carry me.. I have a basic belief that I will see those I need and want to see in another dimension .. either in this life.. or a next if there is one.

What I have had to seriously ask myself is if I would rather not have had those souls in my life.? Meaning.. I had none of the pain of their passing.

The answer is a deafeningly loud '' I NEEDED THEM IN MY LIFE !".

They taught me to be who I am

They gave me wings to Fly

They gave me the joy of Love.

If I want to be without the pain of their passing... then I have to not have them in my life to start with. I do not want a life that bitter and bare and empty.

I hate the pain.. I hate knowing the pain other souls are in. I hate the terrible diseases and pain that take our loved ones sometimes.

There IS no one without the other.... the only place that can be so is some science fiction Robot-World.

SO........ I will take the pain of the Passing... it is a small price to pay for all the LOVE that comes before.

Barked by: Scooter, PAWS (Dogster Member)

October 21st 2011 at 1:35 pm

Our Fa la la Luce...Your diary entry was beautiful and just shows how much your mama loves you. We miss you dearly but you will always be in our hearts...
Barked by: Coco Rose (Dogster Member)

October 21st 2011 at 3:07 pm

Even though you were fortunate enough to be able to take Lucy to work with you everyday, spending time with her doing the things she enjoyed the most right before her crossing the Rainbow Bridge must have been real special for both you and Lucy.

It’s hard for us to foresee the pain loosing a special friend will cause when we open our hearts and homes to them initially, but time has a cruel way of reminding us that every living thing is only here for a certain amount of time. The once vibrant pup begins to slow down and have health issues. In no time at all it seems that the manageable issues have become chronic and we begin to see slight indications that our friend is no longer young and that someplace along life’s journey they have become elderly.

In the back of our mind, usually deep in our subconscious, we know that the journey will end soon. Letting our special friend go when life is no longer an adventure or enjoyed is one of the most selfless acts we can do.

However knowing that you did the right thing does not ease the pain you feel. All of those cherished memories that the two of you shared will also bring much sadness as you continue on without Lucy by your side.

Please don’t let the sadness overwhelm you because Lucy would not want that to happen. Cry your tears but be happy that you were able to share the time that you did with her. Not all in life can find their own special friend. You were lucky that you found Lucy, and I was lucky that I had Logan.

Marilynn - Coco and Puff's human mom
Barked by: The Roo Crew™ ©® (Dogster Member)

October 21st 2011 at 5:10 pm

Thank you for sharing Lucy with us, and for being a part of our lives. This tribute to her is perfect. Its from the heart and soul. I feel every tear and the pain you feel writing it.

Lucy gave you a gift, as you gave her a gift. You both gave us all the gift of friendship and laughter. We treasure you, now and always.

And though time has gone by, and you feel like things are supposed to be "normal" again, they aren't. I'm still here. We love you. We ALL love you.

They joy is in the living of it, and the loving of them.

Blessings to you,
Barked by: Ringo (Dogster Member)

October 22nd 2011 at 3:59 pm

Hey Lucy's Mom... this is from my Dad...

I've been through that emotional hell too many times - it never gets any easier - but I won't try to claim that I know how you feel, because noone ever truly shares our own individual experience.

Our four-legged friends make the word "special" an oxymoron. Each one is, but yet they all are. They differ only in the special ways that make each of them them uniquely special.

Lucy was undoubtedly a very special pup, and you, Lori, were equally special to her. You gave her a wonderful life, and she in turn gave back in her own special way.

Memories last forever... perhaps as compensation for the fact that our friends' lives are far too short. Cherish those memories, and you'll find, in a way, that Lucy will also be there with you forever.
Barked by: Alice (Dogster Member)

October 23rd 2011 at 8:53 am

beautifully written.
the last act of love is the one that tears out the heart.and is proof of the deep love.
there is a new brite star shinning from the heavens.a light of your love. and will shine as a becon for you in your dark times.
angel feather kisses to you lori.
Barked by: Rocky 1997 - 2010 (Dogster Member)

October 23rd 2011 at 2:44 pm

Dearest Lori, Your memorial is so lovely and I feel as if I know more of Lucy and her life. She was always so special. It was always an honor to have Lucy in our lives, and she is now with our sweet Rocky and so many other Dogster angels, watching over us all. Bless you for all the wonderful things you and Lucy have done together. She will always be remembered.

Barked by: Bailey NWD (Dogster Member)

October 24th 2011 at 8:12 am

Mom and I send you lots of love Lori. You made Lucy's life wonderful.
Barked by: Harley Diva-Girl,CGC,Therapy D (Dogster Member)

January 7th 2012 at 4:11 pm

Momma cries when she reads your message about Lucy.

When her Prince Frosty passed, it was on a day she was gone most of the day, and he waited for her, then came to her, as she held him and told him what a good boy he was and how much she loved him in her life.
He was 16 years old and developed cushings, but fought really hard to stay here. You would never have known he was sick because he kept that all to himself.
What a great love paw he was, and the same for your Lucy.

A day never goes by that she has a smiling memory of him and his buddy Kody too!

What a wonderful life you two shared!!!
Barked by: Beepers - Our Handsome Angel (Dogster Member)

June 19th 2012 at 3:24 pm

What a beautiful tribute to your Lucy and the very special love you shared.

"Testing for HQ 06/19/12"
Barked by: Pal (Dogster Member)

June 19th 2012 at 5:03 pm

Waving at La Luce!
Barked by: Lucy, Pretty Lil' Angel (Dogster Member)

June 19th 2012 at 5:05 pm

Hey Pal! Beepers, are you getting the email?
"Testing for HQ 06/19/12"
Barked by: Beepers - Our Handsome Angel (Dogster Member)

June 19th 2012 at 7:52 pm

No, I did not get the email, Lucy.
Pal, did you get an email for this comment from me?

"Testing for HQ 06/19/12"
Barked by: Watch Dog (Dogster Member)

June 25th 2012 at 11:25 am

Testing for HQ 06/25/12
Barked by: The Roo Crew™ ©® (Dogster Member)

July 24th 2012 at 5:28 pm

I got a notification.
Barked by: Sarge, our precious Angel (Dogster Member)

July 25th 2012 at 4:01 am

I've received two emails for messages posted in June
Barked by: Harley Diva-Girl,CGC,Therapy D (Dogster Member)

July 25th 2012 at 5:14 am

I received 3 E-mails yesterday...Huggs!
Barked by: Floppy (Dogster Member)

June 25th 2013 at 7:49 pm

I haven't been on here in a long time between work, grandchildren, and other life duties. I read about Lucy and am still crying. My Floppy girl is 12 and still active thank God. I am so sorry for your loss. After having a basset hound around that long they are part of the family. People that don't have a basset hound do not know what they are missing.


Lucy, Pretty Lil' Angel


Family Pets

Miss Madhi
(bless her)


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