the lucy jane post | with a happy(-ish) ending

My mom was right.  Ugh.

Eleven years ago, two Mollies lived together.  Early that summer, Other Molly’s mom was in the final stages of her illness and my parents were in the early stages of their divorce.  Needless to say, there was an epic amount of Molly drama up in this house.  We were just damn sad.

“We should get a puppy.  A puppy would make us happy, right?”  Brilliant, I know.

I found a baby girl beagle, claimed her as mine and waited to pick her up while I decided on a name.  I had decided I would call her Lucy, but when Molly’s mom passed away mid-June, I decided that I would call her Lucy Jane in her honor.  She was tough.  Later that month, I went to southern Indiana to get my girl.

It turns out that tough isn’t exactly Lucy’s thing.  Yes, she has survived many close calls, thanks to Dr. Phillips.  She’s trumped an almost-overdose of anti-depressants, a jump from a moving car and fine entrees including, but not limited to: a loaf of bread, a box of jelly beans, Neosporin, jewelry and crayons… but she is a huge scardy cat.  As functioning, actual beagles go, she isn’t exactly an overachiever—she hates loud noises, goes the long way to walk around puddles and doesn’t know how to howl.  She won’t look my mom’s cat in the eye.  Confrontation is not her thing.  We were meant to find one another.

In the eleven years that have passed, she has been my best friend, the dryer of my tears, my secret keeper, my soul mate, my therapist, my pillow, my guard dog, my cheerleader and my plate licker.  She has been with me through family drama, unemployment, a new business, eff ups, break ups, drunken nights and plenty of storms.  She is my family.

Two Mondays ago, I took her to see Dr. Glore for what I thought was the onset of arthritis.  Actually, it turned out to be a pulled groin (she had a bad dismount from my bed), but upon inspecting her leg, a lump was found.  I panicked, but I did it really quietly.  Dr. Glore aspirated it, took a look at it, and came back in to talk to me.  “I’m glad we checked… it’s a tumor,” she said.  She called it a mast cell tumor.  I panicked a little louder.  We scheduled its removal, I left, and when I got to the car I panicked BIG in true Molly form.  Wasn’t pretty.  Never is.

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In the 10 days since, we’ve done doses of Benadryl, removed a tumor, hidden pain meds in treats, unsuccessfully negotiated an inflatable cone of shame, treated what appears to be a liver infection, done lots of cuddling and have had some serious bonus panicking. And there have been lots of naps.  Benadryl is a mother effer.

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I was fearful that we were nearing the end.  It turns out we’re not.  Not quite yet.

Dr. Glore called today.  The bad news is that the cancer went all the way to the margins.  It wasn’t for lack of trying… this dog has one hell of a scar.  She removed all she could, plus a little more for good measure.  She took very good care of my girl.  So, there’s cancer.  Stupid, dumb, awful cancer.  But in true Lucy form, she has managed to have a type of cancer that likes to lollygag.  Her cancer seems to be lazy.  Well, it’s come to the right dog.  Phew.  The studies show that we’ve got quite a bit of time—good money is on a few more years.  I won’t take any of it for granted, but we’re going to keep an eye on her and carry on living the good life.  One thing at a time.  We will see what happens and take a break from the panic.  Needless to say, there’s been a lot of this going on:

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So, back to my mom being right.  Sigh.  My mom told me that the moment I bring a puppy home, I am setting myself up for heartbreak.  Mind you, this is the same woman who currently has one two three four dogs. She said that a dog would be the greatest joy of my life and the hardest thing to let go of… when the time came.  She was right.  That said, the time is not now.

We’re not done taking the long way around puddles.  Together.

I found a book today at Anthropologie.  It’s called Old Dogs: Are The Best Dogs.  I hadn’t talked to Dr. Glore yet, so I couldn’t bring myself to buy it.  I did take a photo of the back cover.  I’m going back to buy it tomorrow.

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P.S. If you need her, she’s currently in my closet with two rawhides, a stuffed frog and one of my t-shirts hiding from the big, scary fireworks.  I won’t embarrass her with a photo of that mess.

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