Lucy No More

Lucy passed away yesterday.

She died in the very spot she always slept, in our bedroom, surrounded by the love of her family, friends, and people around the world who never met her but wrote to her here at Holy Cow! wishing her the best after she began her battle with osteosarcoma, a deadly bone cancer, nearly two-and-a-half years ago. To all of you, Desi and I want to say thank you with all our hearts. We loved it that you loved our girl.

Lucy came to us as a one-year-old from the Washington Humane Society, our first rescue dog. She was a huge German Shepherd mix who looked like a wolf, with a past that was a mystery and a heart that was full of love. The first night she came home I fell asleep on the couch watching TV, and woke up to an unknown sensation: a huge doggie tongue planting slobbery kisses all over my face. Lucy was not a prolific kisser, as I found out eventually, and today I know exactly how special that kiss was, and how much love and trust it offered to a human she’d just met. No one had told her she had been adopted, but it was like she knew we would be together for life.

The next morning, when Desi took her for a walk, she slipped out of the collar to chase another dog and disappeared into the woods. An hour later, she found her way home by herself, even though she had just lived with us a few hours. She knew she was home and she wasn’t going anywhere.

We named her Lucy after the wonderful Lucille Ball, because of her unusual red coat and her screwball behavior, especially right after we had adopted her. She loved stealing and chewing on dry flowers. I’d be sitting in the room and the vase would be right near the door and I’d see a head pop around the corner, mischief written all over the face. I’d pretend not to notice and she would grab a couple of dry stems and take off down the stairs to find a secret place to enjoy them.

When we brought Opie home, he was just a puppy and had to be crated for a lot of the time. Lucy would  not let him sleep, so I had to keep them separated for a good part of the day. But she’d find ways to get to him, including crawling across the room, close to the floor, hoping I wouldn’t notice. It was the cutest thing I’d ever seen.

We had many nicknames for her: Fan-Face, as Desi liked to call her, because of the way her two huge, pointed ears framed her long, pointed muzzle. Lucita Momo (whatever that means– ask Desi), Lucinda, Lucille, and Angel-Face. Peanut, because she loved nothing more than peanuts in their shells. She would sit patiently while Desi shelled peanuts for her, and guzzle them in the blink of an eye. Strangely enough, she did not like pre-shelled peanuts. Go figure.

Today I can only think of how much I miss her. I miss the feeling of her soft ear in the palm of my hand. I miss the sweet smell of her fur when I’d kiss her behind her head, I miss how wonderful she felt when I hugged her, or how honored I felt when she shyly offered one of her rare kisses. I miss how she followed me around the house, hid in the closet during a thunderstorm, begged for a ride in the car at every possible opportunity, danced around my feet when I came home from work, and offered me her belly to rub.

If there is a heaven, Lucy must surely be in it today, along with all those other great animals who make our lives so much better than we can imagine. For me, Lucy was a life-changer. Loving her and learning how intelligent, gentle, and loving she was opened my eyes to the suffering other intelligent, gentle, and loving animals endure in our world. She was the reason I went vegan. She was the reason I started to write Holy Cow! and met you all.

I am a better person for knowing Lucy. For that, and so many more wonderful reasons she gave me over 10 years, she will always be my true love.

Sleep tight, my baby.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

Comments

  1. says

    i am so sorry Vaishali. sending you all love and strength.
    this is a beautiful post.. all those memories and incidents made me smile through the tears..
    Rest in peace sweet Lucy.

  2. says

    Thank you for sharing Lucy with us. She was a beautiful & very special lady. Having lost so many of my dogs & cats over the years, each one special in their own way, I understand the pain of loss you feel. Life without her will be rough, but had she not entered your life neither you, Lucy or Desi would have experienced the joy and delight she brought to you & that she gained from both of you. Bottom line for me – the LIFE is worth the pain. The life is what will always remain. Much love coming your way.

  3. Anonymous says

    My heart goes out to you. It’s amazing, isn’t it, that creatures that never utter a word can be such a profound part of our lives. Maybe that’s why the loss is so heavy on our hearts – we’ve known them best by looking in to their eyes, and seeing their hearts. There is nothing that can adequately capture that connection. I do take more video now though – sometimes after they’ve gone I like to imagine that they’re looking through the small screen at me.

  4. says

    Vaishali,
    Please know that many of us who love all animals are so touched by your beauty and your kindness. Lucy was a very beloved dog and I am sure she shared her love wonderfully. There is very little to say that can ease your grief other than to know that you gave her the life every dog deserves and then some. I hope you are eased by the knowledge that many of us so understand your pain and hope you will have moments of joy as time passes.
    -Caren

  5. Anonymous says

    I am certain that Lucy was happy to have you all as her family and I have a small idea how much you are hurting because of the love you shared and how much you will miss her Rest in peace sweet Lucy.
    Thank you for letting us read her story and You are in my thoughts and prayers

  6. Carol Hope says

    I’m deeply moved by your beautiful story about Lucy. May she rest in peace. I send you my condolences from Rochester, New York.

  7. says

    Lucy sounds like she was such a special girl… I’m glad she had the best love on earth in your care. I hope the memory of her sweetness comforts you as you move on. Goodbye Dear Lucy.

  8. says

    So very sorry for your loss. As the ‘person’ for two rescue dogs and cats, I know how strong the bonds are and how much these ‘pets’ enhance our lives. I hope that her memories will always be strong and give you the strength you need in the next few days, weeks, months and years. Her special essence will always be with you. So very sorry.

  9. says

    Finding it tough to type through the tears. RIP Lucy and my deepest condolences to you and Desi. She found in you the best home she could have and lived a beautiful life, not knowing how deeply she touched your life and our out here too. Many hugs

  10. says

    tough to type through tears. RIP Lucy, rest well. My deepest condolences to you and Desi. Lucy found the best family she could have, and with no idea how she changed your life and touched all of ours too. Take care….

  11. Anonymous says

    I’m sorry for your loss. It’s nice to know how Loved Lucy was. They all deserve that but too few get it. Take care.

  12. Bridget says

    I am so sorry that you lost your beloved Lucy; what a beautiful dog. I loved reading your tribute to her especially the part where she found her way home to her forever home after having her for only a few hours; what a wonderful memory. I lost my almost 12 year old lab-pit mix, Avery, in July; it sure leaves a hole in your heart. Unfortunately that’s what we sign on for when we bring them home but the joy they bring into our lives makes it worth it. Thanks for sharing Lucy’s story; she saved so many animals by her presence in making you a vegan and influencing others with Holy Cow!. Take care.

  13. says

    Vaishali, my thoughts are with you and Desi. This was such a beautiful post which brought me to tears. It was lovely to hear that Lucy was able to pass away peacefully at home with her parents. I’m sure you will always miss Lucy and will remember the good times fondly but the loss will always hurt.

    RIP Lucy. If there is a doggie heaven I would love to think that you and Jasper are there and happily running around on 4 legs now.

  14. says

    I am so sorry, Vaishali.
    I never met Lucy, but on Holy Cow! I fell in love with her, difficult not to!
    RIP, Lucy angel! you will always be loved.
    Take care Vaishali, hugs to you.

  15. says

    i’m truly sorry for your loss, i know how hard it is to let your pet go. Lucy was a cute dog and i’m sure she had a wonderful life with you. thank you for the touching story.

  16. says

    Vaishali,
    I have never met Lucy but will miss her. I am so sorry for your loss and hope you will find some comfort in knowing she had a wonderful life with you.

  17. says

    Vaishali,

    I am a lurker and enjoy reading your blog and trying out the recipes. I especially enjoy your posts about your babies Lucy and Opie. I am so sorry for your loss. Rest in peace Lucy. Take Care Vaishali.

    Vani

  18. Anonymous says

    Dear Vaishali,
    Very tearful after your heartfelt post on the loss of a dear family member. We owe it to Lucy to read your posts and wonderful recipes. People and animals come and go but leave their memories behind. Lucy will always be with you in spirit though she has moved on. May you continue your good work with animals and food.
    Nandini

  19. says

    Dear Vaishali and Desi

    Reading about Lucy broke my heart and brought a huge lump to my throat. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. You and Desi enriched Lucy’s, Opie’s, Freddy’s and numerous others lives, and I know they gave you so much more in return. I truly believe that if we all had a pet in our homes that gave us such unconditional love, we would be better as a race, we would be more humane.

    I wish you peace Vaishali and I know that Lucy will remain in your heart forever. She was bound to find you, to care for you, and to enrich your life.

  20. says

    hi Vaishali, i found u’r blog a month ago. And i was so impressed by the way u love animals, and how u took an oath not to use any animal products in any way. As an animal lover i always loved to read u’r blog abt u’r pets. And i even tried few of your recipes which came out finger licking good, but never commented before. I’m sorry for the loss of u’r beloved pet lucy.I know how hard it is for u to cope with the loss.May god bless u with all the strength. RIP Lucy.

  21. says

    Oh Vaishali, I am so very sorry to hear about Lucy. I know just how heartbroken you must be. I lost my darling Fifi (my cat), my daughter after 17 years and it was so very devastating. There aren’t words enough to comfort you. I share your pain and loss. There is nothing more I can say but know that my heart is with you. What a great gift she gave you – to show you the light and turn you vegan. That is a gift that will always be with you. Much love and light. Lucy is in a great place with Fifi and the rest of our beloved children who are no more.

  22. islandcat says

    There are so many of us who empathize with you..we have also lost our beloved companions. We lost our Mac to old age (17 years) this April – he was a big, white, wolfy-looking shepherd mix. His old body gave out while he was napping in his favorite grassy spot. We carried him into the house and nestled him in a pile of blankets, and he passed away peacefully in the night. We buried him wrapped in a quilt made by my grandmother. I haven’t carved his grave-marker yet, but it will say, “Mac. Fierce and Faithful”. Maybe he and Lucy will meet each other in the after-life and say, “I can’t wait until our people get here.”

  23. says

    Love and loss, life’s little ironies. I’m so sorry, Vaishali, so very sorry to hear of Lucy’s passing. Pretty broken up about this. As islandcat wrote, many of us do empathize and feel the pain as keenly as if Lucy was our own. Thank goodness there are others who “get it.”

  24. says

    Dear Dear Vaishali and Desi,

    i’m really sorry to hear about Lucy, your words brought me into tears as you write so well, in a such beautiful way what you’re feeling, it’s like your feelings are pouring out of your words. And we can feel them, we are embraced by them. My heart is with yours, please receive my tight hug filled up with love and courage to continue to move forward!
    After all the love and caring you guys had for her, I know, you know, all of us know that she’s in peace, wherever her spirit is.

    Susana.

  25. says

    Vaishali and Desi, I am so sorry for your loss. Having lost 2 of my wonderful companions I can understand what you’re going through. Lucy was a fighter and the love she brought into your lives, the memories will help you get through this. Thank you for sharing her story and pictures, her memory will live on through your wonderful post. She couldn’t have found better carers and more loving companions. I pray for your hearts to heal soon.

  26. Pauline AV says

    I am so sorry to read about Lucy – it is unbearable to lose a beloved pet. I hope the many blessings she brought to your lives will soon give you some comfort. xxx

  27. Heather says

    Thank you for sharing Lucy’s photos and story with all of us. Losing your best friend is the hardest thing in the world; however, I know Lucy chose you, and you chose her, too. Thank you for giving her a beautiful life.

  28. 2Goldie says

    I feared this would be reason for your absence. I’m so sorry to hear about Lucy. You and Desi were great parents and truly loved her. RIP Lucy.

  29. says

    I’m just seeing this now – I’m so sorry for your loss! My baby (Pug) died unexpectedly on August 9th and I am so heart broken. GOod luck to you in your healing <3

  30. says

    Dear Vaishali and Desi,

    It is so very hard to loose such a dear friend, almost a child, but with four legs. But I am so sure that Lucy is not only watching over the dogs. but over you and Desy too. In 2004 lost The-tje, she was very special and I could not eat for a week neither sleep. Than she came back twice, she did not look exactly the same but it was very clear that it was her, she did not stay long both times. Now I have 24 doggies living with me, because dogs are treated very badly in Bolivia. Several dogs were run down by cars or trucks, some were almost dying of long and intestine infections. Many underfed. Luckily there is a very knowledgeable vet here, who saved legs, hips, eyes. Operated tumors, once rescued a big dog with a huge tumor. It was enormous and weighed 9kg, that is one stone and something?

    Over 50 doggies were rescued over the years and although all are lovely, adorable and cute, only 3 or 4 of them were as special as Lucy was and always will be for you and Desi. All the strength in the world to cope with the loss and the sadness.

    Rianne

  31. says

    Dear Vaishali and Desi,

    It is so very hard to loose such a dear friend, almost a child, but with four legs. But I am so sure that Lucy is not only watching over the dogs. but over you and Desy too. In 2004 lost The-tje, she was very special and I could not eat for a week neither sleep. Than she came back twice, she did not look exactly the same but it was very clear that it was her, she did not stay long both times. Now I have 24 doggies living with me, because dogs are treated very badly in Bolivia. Several dogs were run down by cars or trucks, some were almost dying of long and intestine infections. Many underfed. Luckily there is a very knowledgeable vet here, who saved legs, hips, eyes. Operated tumors, once rescued a big dog with a huge tumor. It was enormous and weighed 9kg, that is one stone and something?

    Over 50 doggies were rescued over the years and although all are lovely, adorable and cute, only 3 or 4 of them were as special as Lucy was and always will be for you and Desi. All the strength in the world to cope with the loss and the sadness.

    Rianne

  32. says

    So sorry for your loss. Losing an animal companion is so hard yet I believe that we will meet them again and in he mean time they are our guardian angels.
    Blessing to you and your family

  33. says

    I am so very sorry for your loss. These angels find ways to touch us in so many ways, it is so hard to see them go. I hope you and Desi gain the strength to go through this from the ten wonderful years she gave you.
    Xoxo

  34. Anonymous says

    I’m so sorry to hear about you loosing Lucy. She sounds as if she had a wonderful life and was very lucky to have met you. I hope that the pain you are feeling now, does not last long and you are soon able to love another animal in need of a new home x

  35. Anonymous says

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

  36. says

    I currently have very limited internet access so have trouble keeping up. I was so saddened to hear about your Lucy and my wife is too. Our own Lucy has a lame back foot and has trouble climbing on the bed to be with us. I have heard of your devoted love for your Lucy and I know dog-lovers make good people. There is a heaven for these wonderful animals and we will see them again. My daughter Chali is a big-time animal rescuer and in fact our own Lucy was rescued over a dozen years ago.
    I feel emphathy for you and your family here, God bless and may Lucy rest in peace.

  37. Elena says

    I stumbled upon your blog in search of recipes and found this post at the home page. Lucy was a beautiful and intelligent creature. You gave her a home and a loving family and she taught you so many things. You had a wonderful time together and I’m sure she would choose life with you once again if she had a choice.

  38. says

    hi vaishali,
    still thinking of you. i check in regularly. i hope you and desi are slowly managing. please know some of us think of you often and are sad for your heartache.
    sincerely,
    caren

  39. says

    I’m so sorry!! You really deserve all best but their lives are so shorter than ours. I have 6 rescued pets and to know what awaits kills me but I’ll know they lived the best lives they could.
    Receive my hug dear Animal Lover (because your are vegan). Your work helped me a lot and you are like a far away friend. Hope your heart heals, time will make it better. I’m sure she’s in an amazing place now…

  40. says

    I am so sorry for your loss. I had the same experience of losing my dog Angie in 2004 so I know how you feel. I know that Lucy and Angie are in heaven playing together. We are better because of them. I still miss Angie until this day. It is a very hard period you are facing right now. My heart is with you!

  41. Anonymous says

    My heart aches for the loss of your Lucy. I am lucky enough to know the love of a dog and know how deep their heart and soul goes for us and for us them. Here is one of my favorite quotes:
    It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are. ~Unknown

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