Monday, February 21, 2005

Lucy

"Drift Away" - Dobie Gray

Lucy is our 18 month old Yellow Lab. We had a Chocolate Lab named Chloe that we had to put down in June of 2003 because of severe diabetes and a tumor on her spleen. Putting Chloe down was the hardest thing I have yet had to do in my life, and I swore that I would not get another dog for a long time after we put her down. It turns out that long time was a whopping four months.

Lucy has been more difficult to train than Chloe was. We didn't have kids when Chloe was a pup - she was our only child at the time. We were able to come home from work and spend hours with her, making sure we trained her right and played her out every night. We now have three boys, and Lucy didn't get the same kind or amount of attention from us as Chloe did. Chloe was our dog, and Lucy is definitely the boys'. She has destroyed our bushes, our yard, chewed up everything in sight, ruined furniture and carpets during her house breaking training, and has gotten into more trouble than most dogs probably would have by now. I have scolded her countless times in an effort to get her to behave like we want her to. Lucy, like Chloe before her, has something that no other type of being has - unconditional love to offer.

I am convinced that dogs are the only things that God put on this earth that offer unconditional love. I don't think any other animal can give it, and I know that humans are not capable of it by any means. We'd all like to think we are capable of offering it, but something is always out there to prevent us from offering someone - anyone - our unconditional love. It doesn't matter if it is a spouse, a child, a parent, a lover - no two humans will ever be able to share the kind of unconditional love that we share with our dogs. We always have conditions and parameters to put around love, no matter who it is we are trying to love.

No wonder it only took four months after Chloe was gone for me to agree to get another dog. And no matter what she has ruined, chewed up or destroyed, I am thankful for Lucy every day. I also realize I need to be much more like her - except for the licking the butt in public part. That I think we all can do without.

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