Name: Lucy

Date of Passing: 08/31/2023

Message to Lucy: It is with the heaviest of hearts, that I inform you all of mine and my family's beloved furbaby Lucy's passing this past Thursday (8/31/23). Lucy was an extremely lovable and loyal companion for nearly 8 full years. No amount of words can describe the type of dog, friend, and family member she was and just how attached we were to her and her to us. And no amount of words describe the deep amount of loss, sadness, and pain we feel at this time. And this has been especially most hard on my mother who became the primary caregiver to Lucy and who shared the closest bond with her.

Tell us about Lucy: We got Lucy somewhat unexpectedly on September 26th, 2015 when she was just approximately a 4 month old puppy. My brother, Derek, had stopped by an adoption event from a rescue shelter/adoption agency at a Petsmart in our hometown of Schaumburg, IL, while I was out providing my expertise as a BSA Certified Climbing Director for a Boy Scout troop on an outing at Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin. My brother and Lucy immediately took to each other and there was no doubt that he had to bring her into our family. He called my mom, Patty, over to meet her in person and it was love at first sight. They agreed and signed the adoption papers. I then got a call and a photo sent to my phone and was so excited myself that I left Devil’s Lake that evening instead of the next morning (as I had planned) to come meet our new puppy ASAP. She was a bundle of energy, love, and kindness, her coat was so soft, and she was an absolute bundle of joy. Though it took a week or so, going through names such as princess, trinity, faith, hope, and many more, we finally settled on Lucy (named specifically after Lucille Ball, who has been a family favorite actress/comedian….and we saw the same goofy energy in our Lucy as we did in her along with a slight similarity in hair color).

At first we had to keep Lucy gated upstairs where we could keep an eye on her and crated at night and when we were gone from the house, as she loved to chew up and tear up things like toilet paper, get into garbage cans, and most of all liked to chew to pieces my dad’s Bluetooth ear pieces (and he never learned…went through 3-4 of them). When she did these things or got into trouble in general, it was hard to get mad at her because she would just give you that cutest “I’m Innocent” look like toddlers sometimes do when they get into trouble. She came potty trained so at least we had that worked out for us already. Though she was a bundle of energy, she was and never has been a very vocal dog in terms of barking. We had to train her to bark on command for a treat. Outside of that it was extremely rare for her to bark at random though sometimes she would when she was in a very playful mood and wanted you to come play with her. Though not a barker she did love to whine and wag her tail when she saw other dogs or new people. She was just a friendly and loving and playful dog. There wasn’t anyone she wouldn’t go up to and lick to death, there was no one she didn’t like. We always joked she would make a terrible guard dog because she would just like the bad person to death.

As Lucy grew older and with some gentle and proper doggy discipline, she grew out of some of her puppy behaviors and she started being able to have free range of the house and sleep with us at night (we took turns as to who she got to sleep with) many times personally falling asleep on my shoulder with my arm wrapped around her. She only needed to be crated when we were gone from the house, which she eventually outgrew too and became a well-behaved companion of ours that we could trust to be left alone free range in the house even if we were going to be gone for hours on end. One of her favorite places to be up until 8 months or so ago was to be perched up on my bed looking out the window, whether it be to look for my mom coming home (they had the closet bond between them out of all of us), looking for us all to come home if we where all gone, to bask and nap in the sun, or just watch people and dogs go by on the side walk outside.

Lucy always loved to play fetch, play hide and seek, zoom up and down our upstairs hallway, jump on and off beds, gentle play wrestle, and my brother and her would run around outside like crazy sometimes chasing each other all the way around the outside of the house. She was also a very intelligent doggo, learning many tricks and even knew what we meant when we would tell her to go upstairs or downstairs, and even “beep-beep” to move out of the way. And when it was winter and snowing and time to play in the snow or when it was time to go for a car ride she would be right there ready to go as these were absolutely some of her most favorite activities.

Lucy was diagnosed with cancer (osteosarcoma) of the skull back at the end of March of 2023 and was given only a few weeks to at most a few months to live. Steroids and other medications greatly improved/eliminated her pain and had her at some level of normalcy for nearly 5 whole months, much longer than expected. We are so blessed and thankful for this extra time we got to spend with her as we gradually said our goodbyes. Though of course it didn’t make things any easier when it became the time to gently let her go and end her pain and suffering. She was doing well until at the beginning of last week when several neurological functions started to rapidly decline (tumor pushing up on brainstem) including very heavy and rapid breathing and heartrate, inability to protect her own airway, among other things, she also stopped eating and would not even take the most favorite of her human foods (i.e. cheese/peanut butter). This is when in consultation with our primary veterinarian we made the difficult decision to put Lucy into a long sleep. We had the procedure performed in the comfort of our home surrounded by all of her family, favorite toys, and favorite blankets. Just prior to letting her go we did give her some chocolate which of course we have had to say no to her over the last 8 years. And surprisingly she took it and was still not taking anything else, almost like she was waiting for the day to come when she could finally eat chocolate. So at least she finally got to experience the rich flavor and joy we get out of chocolate ourselves. We greatly appreciate “A Gentle Goodbye’s” staff including Dr. Molly who came into our home to be with us through this process and difficult life event and gave Lucy her final car ride after she had gently and peacefully passed.