a letter to Lucy Jane | a few more days

Important note: I originally wrote this blog in the past tense, as I thought tomorrow was the dreaded day. But, Lucy and I have decided to spend a little more time together. I have no idea how much more, but today isn’t the day. Tomorrow isn’t either. So, I opted to change the tense and post this now, as a gesture of how much I love this little hound. Other important note: grab a tissue.

Goose,

The first time you saved me, I was sure that I was dying from sadness. Susan and Tim were getting divorced, Jane Martin, your namesake, had just died, and all we needed was some love. What better move than a puppy? And so it began…

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You came into my life and you ate all of our stuff. You ate our shoes, you ate Molly Martin’s jewelry, you ate the leg of a chair, and for good measure, you ate an entire pizza (including the box). You barely passed puppy class. You peed on the floor. You jumped out of a moving car. But you were cute. So we forgave you.

The second time you saved me, I was broken in half. You were still just a little pup and I was lost. My family was in shambles, my life was completely upside down and you made my everything better. Sure, you ate a tube of Neosporin, continued to pee on the floor, ripped up my bed, tried to OD on my antidepressants and cost me a small fortune. But you forced me to get out of bed every day. So I gave you a pass.

The third time you saved me, I was mostly just scared. I had jumped off of a career cliff, but I knew that no matter who didn’t love me… you would. You posed for 1,000 photos, you licked all of my tears and you kept all of my secrets. You were the very best dog in the world. You took good care of me. So I loved you harder.

The fourth time you saved me, I had a broken heart. I had been lied to, I had been bullshitted, and I had been a fool. I left you a million different times to get on a plane to chase love and I came back every time in tears. You didn’t care. On the days when I couldn’t deal, you forced me to get up and fill your food bowl. One the days when I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other, you still needed a walk and I got fresh air. I was a mess. And you forgave me. You loved me harder.

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Since you’ve been sick, I’ve fought along side of you. I’ve spent more money, I’ve driven to the vet more often and I’ve sure as hell cleaned up more dog poop. On the days when you’ve been really tired, you’ve rallied and have taken me for a walk. On the days when I haven’t known what to do, you’ve taken a nap with me and managed to make things better for a little while. We have both been a mess with this one—together. We have loved each other. And we have been given three extra years, Goose. (Thank you, Dr. Glore.)

But now here we are. You aren’t feeling great. And you are even more tired, old girl. True to form, you are still trying like hell to make me feel better. You give me kisses. You wag your tail. We go for long walks and you run around with Frog. All of those moves make me think you are feeling better. But the truth is your body is failing you. That thing on your tail is an asshole. Your poop is more red than brown. You sleep more than you are awake. I adore you for trying to make me smile. I love the kisses. I love the (now slightly crooked) tail wags. But I owe you dignity… and dignity is the deal we made with one another. It’s almost time. And I will pay up. I am not sure how I will live without you, but a deal is a deal and you’ve certainly held up your end. It’s my turn to save you. But let’s have a few more good days, little girl. I’ve got a sunroof and a box of treats and some adventures planned. We aren’t done quite yet.

I love you. You have kept me breathing when I wasn’t sure I could do it on my own, and I have done my best to give you a good beagle life. You will always be my little spoon. I will always walk around puddles in your honor. If there’s a knock, I will always remember to check the widow before I go to the door. You will always be the keeper of my secrets. And your frog will always be right where I can see him. You are my soul mate.

You have taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. You’ve also taught me that a pile of shit is relative, that anything is edible if you try hard enough, that laundry baskets are viable sleeping options, that it’s important to hit pause as soon as you have to pee and that wagging your tail in the face of the unknown is a solid tactic. Your last great lesson… has been one of grace. Our lives, undoubtedly, have been made better because of one another. I love you, Lucy Jane. Thank you for loving me more. But first, let’s take a few more laps together.

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These images were taken by my friend, Bobbi Sheridan. If I didn’t have these photos, I don’t know what I would do. I will forever be grateful.

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