Sunday, March 16, 2014

In Memory of Lucy

For 16 years, Lucy, a Maltese Shih Tzu cross, has been a member of our family. That’s pretty old in human terms.  We saw her health gradually decline and we knew that she was in the last stages but it was still a sad moment when she died yesterday morning. Son Elliot was stroking and talking to her and, although she was almost comatose, she searched for his nearby hand with her paw. When she found it, she kept it placed on top of his hand. She died not long after.

Lucy was a lovely little dog who loved to play with people. She also liked being outside, one of her favourite pastimes, when in the front yard, to bark aggressively at Rottweilers and other larger dogs on the footpath on the other side of a paling fence and gate.

My wife Kate raised Lucy from a puppy and the bond between them was always quite extraordinary. Kate worked from home as an outpost for Canberra (like Kevin Costner at the front line fort in Dances with Wolves) for 12 years. Lucy was always with her and following her.  Even wehn Kate got up to pick up something nearby Lucy get up and follow at her heels. Watching TV would be the cue for Lucy to sit on Kate's lap. Remember the movie The Golden Compass? In the world depicted in that film human souls take the form of actual, visible animals known as daemons. Every person in the film has their animal daemon close to them at all times, the species of animal varying from person to person. Lucy was like that with Kate.

I know that Lucy was “only a dog” but that doesn’t stop the house feeling emptier or that our family has a bit missing, a bit like a missing piece in a completed jigsaw.

Still, if there’s a dog Heaven, she’ll be running up and down alongside the Pearly gates, barking at Rottweilers and German Shepherds on the other side. 

Bye, Lucy.

Elliot with Lucy in younger days

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Some thoughts on dogs:

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion thatthey are gods.” 

- Christopher Hitchens

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“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.” 

- Milan Kundera 

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“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” 

- Will Rogers 

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“A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.” 

- Arthur Conan Doyle
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes 

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“Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.” 

- Dave Barry 

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“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the centre of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ” 

- Roger A Caras 

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“The only creature that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.”

- Johnny Depp

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“One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why.”

- Anonymous

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“Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul--chicken, pork, half a cow. they must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!”

- Ann Tyler

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The final quote was given to Kate by son Thomas after Lucy passed away:

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