About a month ago, my family's dog of just over 13 years passed away. Lucy suddenly lost her vision, became confused and upset (and ran into everything, as you might imagine), and eventually lost control of her bladder. There was no official diagnosis, but the vets she visited thought it was likely cancer. I miss her so much. Even though I didn't get to say goodbye (she passed a week before I drove home for the holidays), I cherish the memories we shared together and am glad to remember her as her healthy and happy self.
We didn't adopt Lucy by any of the more traditional routes. My parents attended their friend's 40th birthday party at a bar, and the bar was a second home to many of the employee's dogs. (They call themselves a "dog friendly" bar.) One waitress saw Lucy running down a busy street nearby multiple times and would bring her into the bar to chill with the other dogs. Lucy was there the night of the birthday party, and after a few beers, my parents thought it was a good idea to bring her home. I remember getting the call from them talking about a "surprise" while I was babysitting my brothers and didn't even think the surprise would be a dog; we had lost our first family dog only a few months prior. She was quite a surprise running through the door! She was a very rambunctious 6-month-old.
We contacted her owner at the time who turned out to not care about Lucy at all (as you might expect, since Lucy was seen running around a busy street too often). We were thrilled to add another furry family member! The one thing we weren't quite sure about was her breed. She looked like an Akita but not exactly. After much Googling by my especially Google-savvy stepmother, we found out she was in fact a Jindo (fun fact: apparently, the most consumed dog in Asia). I should note that she likely wasn't a purebred Jindo; she was much broader in build than the typical Jindos.
When she was a spazzy young dog, Lucy loved to chase squirrels in the backyard and launch herself at the fence. I think my dad replaced every fence panel at some point because Lucy rammed herself into them and broke them! I remember watching her run like mad at the fence, jump up, and hang on with her front paws. I have no idea how she managed that! She also loved to run out the front door whenever it was open and jump on whoever walked through the door (eventually breaking both of those habits, thankfully). She loved going on walks to the duck ponds and spending weekends at the cabin. Lucy absolutely hated water (baths were an adventure; she tried to hang herself with the choke chain once) but loved wading in the stream next to the cabin. She also loved snow!
As she grew older, Lucy calmed down and became a loving family member. She always lived with a cat or two (and experienced six cats two Christmases ago when I brought mine home with me!) and generally avoided them, though she was great friends with my parents' cat, Ignatius. (Iggy guided her around the house when she went blind.) We kids were bad and often snuck her a few cheese crackers or Wheat Thins. Lucy loved holidays because it meant a bit of turkey or ham meat for dinner! She was such a great dog and I feel so lucky to have had her in my family! Rest in peace, sweet girl. <3
In loving memory of Lucy
May 2001 - December 2014