Dear Lucy: I’m the needy one

Written on January 12th, 2017

Dear Lucy,

You’re laying at my side as I write this, your tiny body pressed against mine. I know you’ll never read these words, but I hope the way I run my fingers through your fur and massage your back and let you take up three quarters of my bed is enough to show you how I feel in a language you can understand.

We’ve all noticed how since the loss of Larry you’ve become more “needy”: following us around, picking up our idle hands with your snout, demanding to sit next to Mom while she works on her computer at night and to sleep with Ali or I when the time comes to go to bed. You run to us whenever we get home, tail wagging and big eyes bright, and as much as we occasionally laugh at your insistence on constantly being near us, I hope you know how much we love it.

Because the truth is that you are not the needy one, Lucy. The truth is that I am. We all are.

You are remarkable, baby girl. From the day we brought you into our home we’ve all noticed how absolutely sweet your disposition is; from letting toddlers tug at your ears to always respecting your brother as he aged, I can say rather confidently that you have never — and would never — hurt a fly. You have given us so much unconditional love in these past 12 years, and I am so thrilled that you are doing well enough that we get to have a few more with you. The piece of my heart you hold is massive.

When we lost Larry I know it affected you too. Though you were never best friends, there was always a sort of connection between you two, a level of steady love that always displayed itself when one of you didn’t feel well. With that said, I know that you must love being the only dog in the house and am happy you enjoy all of the attention – because we wouldn’t survive if we didn’t have you to give it to.

I remember returning home from the vet on that October day with tears pouring down my face, and when I walked in and saw you I just collapsed on the floor by your form. You were quiet and soft, and you brought your face to mine to lick a few tears away before leaning into me and just letting me hold you. If it weren’t for your love in that moment I’m not sure what I would have done.

We take you almost everywhere with us now; the number of car rides you’ve experienced in these past three months is substantial. You’ve come with my parents to Madison to drop me off in my apartment, you’ve gone to work with Ali, you’ve traveled distances both large and small. It has been such a comfort to have you with us.

I know you probably don’t understand exactly what happened to your brother. I know you couldn’t be a part of the decision we had to make. But through it all you have done the one thing you know how to do best: love us with everything you have. You might never know just how much we return that sentiment, baby girl, but I hope we can continue to show you.

So thank you, Lucy. Thank you for dealing with our tears and letting us hug you probably a little too tightly. Thank you for putting up with being carried from room to room so that we don’t have to be alone. Thank you for sleeping with me (even though you definitely have the sweeter deal there). Thank you for being so patient, and kind, and overwhelmingly sweet.

You may follow me around like you are the needy one – but I know I’m the one who wouldn’t survive without you.

I love you. Here’s to many more years.

Your Haley