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Rated: E · Essay · Contest · #2146032
Memories of a loving pet
                                                 Lucy  798 words.

                                                 Lucy  798 words.

Lucy passed, 2 years ago, on a warm August afternoon, on her veterinarian’s table, in Port Washington, NY.  She had barely eaten in two days. She was probably not hungry, just in pain. Her last physical act was to lift up her head and look at me, with her big black eyes, just prior to the blessed needle piercing her skin.  Lucy was 15.

Lucy was born, in a Glen Cove Animal Shelter six weeks before joining our family. She was the youngest, smallest, and last to be adopted, out of a litter of four.

A promise made to a six-year-old boy, afraid of moving to a new home is kept.

“It’s too big. And there are too many trees. It’s scary”
“I understand Jason, but you can have a dog”.

How many fathers have made a similar promise? How many had such a hard time keeping it?

“Can I get a dog mom”
“Please, can I get a dog mom, dad promised”
“No!” My wife has no moral problems making a liar out of me. 

Years pass and my son’s entreaties become more cogent, more intelligent, more conniving.
One evening, after watching a Disney movie, about dogs, my son marches up to our bedroom. In his hand, he is holding a pre-written contract. Jason can have a dog, it said.  Waking my wife up, and refusing to leave, until she signs, my son stood there determined. Finally, she gives in and signs.

Yes, we will obviously still have to work on my son’s ethical education; but after 6 years, armed with a contact I deem legally obtained (put the aspirins away), waving the contract high in the air, as my wife continues to object, the promise is kept.

Lucy traveled to our home, sitting on my son’s lap, next to his best friend, in the back of my Mark VIII.

Within days, Lucy became a loved, and vital member of our family.

It is important to note, at this time, that Lucy shared some characteristics with my son, which was confirmed by the trainer at her first group training session.

“She is friendly, smart, and very independent. Good luck”.

Friendly she was. She loved it when people came to our home. Hated it when they left. She would let us know it too. Loudly.

Her intelligence was quite apparent as well. It was necessary for us to lock all the sliding glass doors, otherwise, she would jump at it sideways. She would then us her paw to push it further open. Once she was out, forget it. Did I mention she was part whippet? One time, when Jason was older and in college, we needed to board her for the weekend. While I was talking, with the director of the facility, Lucy started to jump at the door nob, wrapping her paws around the round knob.

“Isn’t that cute”, the director said, laughing. “She thinks she is going to open the door. 
It took me a half an hour to convince her that Lucy never did that before. Not on a door with a round knob, at least

There are no tales that I can tell you about her independent streak, but when I would tell her to sit, she would definitely let you know that she was doing you a favor. And don’t do it too often, please.

These are tales. Stories that show off her wonderful abilities. They don’t show her most amazing trait. Her wonderful capacity for love.

When she brushed against your leg, or walked up to you as you were sitting on the couch, looking up at you, with those big black eyes, you knew what she was saying. I love you.

When she waited at the window in the family room, at 3 pm (how did she know?)  waiting for the sight of the school bus, run to the front door to jump on my son, she was saying I love you.

Memories are precious things. They bring sorrow, pain, happiness, and joy. They help us put things into context and bring meaning to our lives.  Usually all of the above.

Fifteen years. Just a number? Just a mathematical abstraction? Time is relative. Just ask Einstein. The only constant is the speed of light. So what can fifteen years mean? It is just relative. It’s just memories.

Memories of a promise made to a six-year-old boy, afraid of the new house he is about to move to.
Memories of a promise kept.  Memories of warmth, anger, and frustration. Memories of looks and touch. Memories of time. Memories that warm your body and soul. Memories of love. 

When she lifted her head, to look up at me one last time, she was saying I love you.
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