Our dog Lucy is having a challenging time. Last Friday we found a large growth on her elbow (do dogs have elbows?) that sort of popped up overnight. We watched it for a day and on Sunday I decided to take her to the E.R. vet because she was having trouble getting up and down a little bit.
The vet drained it a little bit and sent it off for testing and so we’re waiting. It is sort of a huge issue no matter what it is because Lucy is frail. She’s old. Yesterday I took her to our vet and here’s all I know. Her leg is also swollen which is concerning as well. Pressure cyst? Could heal on it’s own. Or not. Cancer? She may need to cut it out. The growth is on the elbow and our vet would refer her out to a specialist. We will, most certainly, not move forward with treatment with any of the scenarios.
Six months ago we noticed how all of a sudden she was old looking. We made the choice to take her on vacation with us because we pretty much decided it was her last vacation. We talked about that fact with the kids, too, hoping to “prepare” them for her eventual passing.
We’ve only had Lucy for six years. We’re part of that small group of people that adopted an older dog from the Humane Society. We weren’t able to find a smaller dog that we could connect with (and we had one for 2 days that was a biter) so a volunteer shyly talked about an older seemingly un-adoptable dog. She said the dog had been there several months, was sweet as could be, played catch, and was housebroken.
Too good to be true, right?
No. Lucy was the perfect dog for us. We all really loved her instantly. So even though she was bigger than our ideal dog, she was the ideal dog for us at a time we really needed her. We’d started our search for a dog when we knew Gage would be facing kidney transplant and because he was getting sicker and sicker quickly. I’d reasoned, quite assuredly, that Gage should have a dog because every boy should experience the love a dog. Especially a boy facing a chronic illness and life-saving surgery. My points about this fact are well documented.
The volunteer said family after family walked by our Lucy while she lingered at the shelter. Families with kids wanted a dog longer than the 5-7 years she would probably live. I can’t tell you why we did other than she was the perfect dog at the perfect time. No training. Mellow. Gage connected with her. She fetched.
I’ll be sad to lose Lucy for whatever reason whenever it happens, but I am extra sensitive about it because Lucy is a time marker for me. She came to us as we were adjusting to a very different life and she made the transition easier. It was within a month from bringing her home that she welcomed our son home after his emergency surgery (see pic!) to place a catheter into a chest to save his life with dialysis. She is responsible for helping us all cope with a new life, most especially Gage.
Lucy is and will always be the dog that helped save a boy.
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