I also used to tell her, "I can't undo any of what happened to you before, but I can spoil you rotten for the rest of your life" - and I did.
Lucy quickly won the hearts of everyone she met. My friend Denis was visiting us from Belgium, and he became so enamored with Lucy that I was afraid he was going to try to take her home with him.
Denis liked Chance, but he loved Lucy:
Life went on and Chance and Lucy and I were very happy together.
Chance had a good long life and he went to the Rainbow Bridge on August 16, 2011, just short of his fifteenth birthday. Lucy and I were devastated. Lucy had never been alone in all the years she had been with us, but I wasn't ready to get another dog right away. I needed to mourn for Chance. As the days went by I could see that being alone was not good for Lucy, so on December 20, 2011 Maggie came into our lives:
Lucy and Maggie quickly became fast friends:
Everything was going along fine until Wednesday March 13th - Lucy stopped eating. The first day I let it go but when a beagle doesn't eat they are sick. When she still wouldn't eat on Friday I tried tempting her with all her favorite foods, but with no success. On Friday I called and made an appointment with the vet for Saturday, hoping and praying that we wouldn't need the appointment. On Saturday she still wasn't eating. We went to the vet and after running some blood tests they told me that Lucy was a very sick dog. They said she needed around-the-clock care, so I took her from the vet to the Animal 911 in Skokie. We had been there years ago, but thankfully had not needed them recently. They got her on IV fluids and got her stabilized but they still couldn't get her to eat. I left here there the rest of Saturday until Sunday evening, but I insisted in bringing her home Sunday evening. Lucy never ate when she was nervous or upset, or if I wasn't around. I felt that if I brought her home, then Maggie and I had a good chance of getting her to eat. No luck. I took her back to the vet for observation on Monday but insisted on bringing her home again on Monday night. I stopped on the way and got her favorite - hamburgers from Bill's on Asbury in Evanston. She seemed interested but I still couldn't get her to eat. Tuesday morning after a quiet night she actually took a piece of hamburger in her mouth but then spit it out. As I was getting ready to take her back to the vet I could see that she was having trouble walking - her back legs were giving out. I knew then that the prognosis was not good. Maggie and I took her back to the vet, and they told me she was suffering from massive organ failure. If we did nothing she would die soon, but would suffer in the meantime. I could not stand to see her suffer, so I signed the papers and Lucy went to the Rainbow Bridge on St. Joseph's Day, March 19, 2013.
I can't say enough about the vets and staff at Riser Animal Hospital in Chicago and Animal 911 in Skokie. They were knowledgeable and caring. They all gave Lucy and me the best of care and compassion. Lucy deserved the best care and she got it.
I told them I wanted Lucy cremated and her ashes returned to me. They use All Paws Pet Cremation and Remembrance Services in West Dundee, Illinois.
Lucy was cremated the day she died, March 19th, and I picked up her ashes on Friday the 21st. When I picked up her ashes they had a surprise for me - They had made a cast of one of Lucy's paw prints as a remembrance. It is something I will always treasure.
Chance's ashes are with my mother, but I will keep Lucy's ashes to be buried with me sometime in the future. I promised her I would always be with her and I will.
So that's the story of a little dog and all the love she brought to everyone she met. We were blessed to have her as long as we did, and I will miss her every day for the rest of my life.
Maggie and I are bereft. I mentioned to someone that the only good thing about losing one dog is that you can rescue another, and I'm sure we will, but not right away. No other dog could ever take Lucy's place, just as Maggie did not take Chance's place. Every dog has their own personality, and each one is unique in their own way. No one will ever take their place, but another dog will have the chance to try to fill the void they left in our lives.
Lucy Craig, my sweetheart forever - until we meet again - Rest in Peace.
Over the years, my family has given me two signs that pretty well sum up how I feel. The first sign is one in my front window that says:
It should actually say that two spoiled dogs live here.
And the other one says: