She adapted well to the lameness as we made a lot of changes in the house to facilitate her needs. Yesterday morning she seemed fine. She ate breakfast and did her usual business outside. About 11:00, she tried to get up and simply could not. She was quite anxious and seemed scared that she could not arise. We used the lifter we have to help her at times but when we got her up she could not stand at all. Her rear legs seemed paralyzed and her front legs weak and trembling. I called the animal hospital and told them we were bringing her in.
We got her in our SUV and she calmed down immediately. She clearly did not have any pain since she did not whimper or moan as we lifted her into the car. I rode in the backseat with her and she was calm on our drive to the emergency hospital about 45 minutes away. Once there she was still calm which indicates she was not fully alert. Typically she is very nervous at the veterinarian office.
They had Lucy on a stretcher and put us in a room together for a while, then took her to put in an IV and give her a pre-medication. When she came back she was a bit groggy, but the instant she saw my husband and me, she raised her head, smiled at us and wagged her tail. She did not make any attempt to get off the stretcher. We loved on her for some time and in fact, she fell asleep before the veterinarian came in with the anesthetic. It was a smooth and peaceful passing. The staff could not have been nicer and when we left we noticed a sign beside a burning candle. It said that someone was saying good-bye to a dear friend and asked that the waiting room be kept quiet as long as the candle was burning.
We are obviously so so sad but we are grateful for so many things. Lucy had 12 and a half years of being a puppy and still ran zoomies when she turned 13. She adapted well to the lame leg and still lived a happy life until the day she died, peacefully and in no pain.
She loved her big bed
She was totally devoted to my husband just as Ellie was devoted to me. Both loved each of us, but Ellie felt like "my" dog and Lucy like my husband's. After Ellie died Lucy was even more attached to my husband.
Nurse Lucy stayed by my husband's side while he recovered from surgery.
Ellie was a year old when Lucy came to live with us, so Lucy had never known a life without her until Ellie died. She sought out my husband more and more after that and was never far from his side.
The two dogs were very close and they loved to run. In open areas Ellie was by far faster. So fast that it was difficult to get both of them in the frame. But in the woods Lucy always won. She could pivot and maneuver ever so much better.
Lucy and Ellie running free. Ellie was loping along and Lucy was putting her all into it.
We had large dog beds all over the house, at least two in every room in which they were allowed. Invariably they shared the same bed or even snoozed together on the floor.
Sleeping in the sun
Ellie was our first Golden Retriever and she was so great that we decided to get another. They were one and two years old when we came here to the mountains and we had tons of fun hiking with them, watching them run with their fluffy hair blowing in the breeze, playing with them on the floor and simply loving them.
I prefer to believe in the Rainbow Bridge. My belief won't change whether it actually exists or not, so why not believe that Lucy made her way yesterday and Ellie rejoiced to greet her. They are running free and then resting side-by-side.
God speed dear sweet Lucy. You gave us so much pleasure and you will always have a special place in our hearts. We will toast you on your birthday Thursday when you would have been fourteen.
A quote from Dr. Seuss always gives me peace:
"Don't cry because it's over,
Smile because it happened."