Bringing some joy to Lucy's last days
If you are traveling down an old country road near 'Busco and come across an old man pushing a black-and-white little dog in a baby carriage, don't laugh too hard. You see, that little 25-pound dog has given this old man more than 14 years of love and companionship, and this is just a little payback.
This little loving dog, now being pushed in the stroller, was once a common sight walking beside this once younger and thinner man on the same country road. This little sheltie mix dog (Lucy), starting out as a pup from the shelter, has walked some hundred miles or more over the past 14 years on this once-gravel and now chip-sealed road. If these once-in-awhile strolls down this old road give Lucy some of the same joy she has given us, then it is well worth it and I will accept the strange looks and unheard comments.
Lucy has been stricken with congestive heart failure, can barely walk now and sleeps a lot. Her tail still wags some, but her mighty bark is now very muted. We are praying when the time comes God sees fit to take her in her sleep, hopefully taking a very hard decision out of our hands.
So note, if driving by and you no longer see an old man pushing an old stroller containing a small, old dog, the grieving process has probably started. Lucy will truly be missed. Maybe it takes a pet owner to understand these thoughts and feelings, maybe not.
About the author
Rick Ervin of Churubusco has been selected as the Golden Pen Award winner for June. In the judgment of the editors, his June 29 letter was the month's most effective.
Ervin, 72, is a part-time industrial salesman. He and his wife, Jane, are the parents of a son and a daughter and have five grandchildren. Lucy is joined in the Ervin houshold by a pair of cats, whom she watches over.
“I don't think she's in pain,” Ervin said of Lucy during a chat on Wednesday. “She likes to be around us but doesn't move that much.” He described a walk – or, more accurately, a push in the stroller – on Tuesday during which Lucy had gotten much joy from watching another creature up close.
“It was like God put this rabbit out there for her,” Ervin said.
He believes the universality of his family's, as well as Lucy's, story has struck a chord.
“So many people are going through this,” Ervin said. “(When it's time, T)he trip to the vet's will be very long.”
Ervin received a gold-plated inscribed pen for his efforts. The Golden Pen Award was established to express our appreciation for the contributions of our letter writers to the editorial page.