I used to pretend to cry, whenever I was down, just so my dog Lucy would run up and comfort me. This worked well for a little over 16 years.
I have lived my entire life with dogs. I have been lucky enough to know several really special ones. Lucy Patterson was, from the very first day we got her, up until the minute she left, a dog that opened up every heart around her -- and then stole their food.
Lucy was a glutton. She once ate an entire 3lb bag of "Bit o' Honey" off my kitchen table. Lu proceeded to crap corn syrup and wax paper for days. I doubt she regretted it.
Lucy took a point blank shot in the face from a skunk, and in her suffering somehow decided to run back into the house and roll around in the clean laundry to try and get the stink off. She, and the house smelled for months.
Lu chewed the gear shift lever in every car she could.
When Lucy was 12 her cardiologist told us she had 3 to 6 months to live. Lucy did not hear this.
Mad at a member of our family, Lucy once took a dump at their spot on the dinner table.
Lucy would sleep on my feet, and I'd call her 'LuLu Shoes' -- when she'd sleep on my head it was known as a 'PatsPats Hat.'
Lucy trained Calliope to be a near perfect dog, but Zuul really became her mini-me.
Lucy spent too much time with the vet. Once she ate rat poison at a park in San Francisco and spent 5 days intubated at doggie critical care units all over the bay. There were too many incidents.
Once the congestive heart failure was in full swing, and she was on a ton of diuretics, we started calling her Leaky Lu.
Lucy's heart condition and her desire to be an alpha dog did not work out well with Nemo. For the last few years I didn't see as much of Lu as I'd like. My ex-wife Carolyn took amazing care of her. The regimen of pills and care were a constant thing. Dogs do not make it to 16 without a lot of love.
Lu was always quick to show up if you cried out in alarm. She once came barreling around a corner, all Han Solo, just to run directly into the raccoon I was yelling at.
Patty Lu once trapped herself on a kitchen island. After finding a way to climb up and eat a large pizza, she could not get down!
On a flight overbooked with dogs, Lucy got taken into the cockpit to fly with the pilot. Reputedly there were snacks.
After 16 years it seems Lucy decided to move on. Her first 12 years were spent in close partnership with Mollie, and I think she just wanted to see her again. It was clearly time and Lucy simply stopped eating and taking her meds a week or so ago. Regardless what we or her vets would try, she was no longer interested in food. She seemed in good spirits, spent a lot of time in our laps getting pet and winding down. Last Friday it was clear she'd soon become uncomfortable and we all said goodbye.
Rarely a moment of her life wasn't filled with love, luxury, or reckless and wild doggy adventure, Lucy went out on her terms.
I've often told my daughter that everyone needs a friend like Lu. Our time with her has passed, but 16 years was a good long time.
For the first time in nearly two decades, Lucy will not try to fix these tears. Hopefully these scattered thoughts pay her tribute enough.