It wasn’t at all what I thought it would be like. I didn’t see it coming. I couldn’t tell it had happened, at least not right away.
I was working when from the other room came a terrible cry. I ran in but couldn’t figure out which dog made the noise. There are three dogs in the house. One was with me. I knew it wasn’t him. One was running outside. The other was sleeping, breathing normally. I went back to work.
The next “scream” was longer. I ran into the other room again. This time I saw it coming from the sleeping dog. I assumed it was a dream. Her feet were moving. She was breathing like she was running. I tried to rouse her, but seconds after her head lifted she’d lay it back down and start snoring. It must just be a dream. I went back to work.
There was another yelp. This one short. I ran back to the room. I tried to rouse her again but she wouldn’t wake up. She was breathing hard. There was a bad smell. She had vacated under her chair (her favorite sleeping spot). I tried to lift her and she yelped. I called her owner (my friend who rents me a room here). I told Lucy to hold on. I petted her and talked to her and told her that her momma was coming.
Before my friend could get home, Lucy stopped breathing. I watched my friend touch her and confirm she was gone. She handled it far better than I did. Talking sweetly to her. Saying it was probably the best way for her to go. I’m still crying.
She was old. A 12-13 year old cream-colored cocker spaniel who looked like a sheep when she needed a haircut (seriously, kids who saw her would point and say, “Look mom, a sheep!”). She was blind. She would often walking straight at my dog and get into a tussle because my much smaller dog thought she was picking a fight. She was sweet. We called her the ninja dog because of the way she would sidle up to the coffee table when there was food on it, her nose going the whole time; then, when she sensed no one was looking, she’d move quick as lightening to snatch whatever she could.
She would be sound asleep and as soon as you pulled out food (cold, hot, didn’t matter) you’d see her nose start wiggling back and forth and soon her big, sleepy head would raise and lead her toward the smell.
It was the first time any living thing that I’ve loved had ever died in my arms.
I’ll miss her.