My Dog is Dying

This post is going to be a little backwards and I apologize for that.  First, I’m going to share my dog’s obituary, written by my husband, and then I’m going to share a post I wrote last week about her dying that I couldn’t allow myself to post at the time.

Note from my husband:

Lucy Lu

Just said goodbye to a very loyal, faithful friend this morning. Here is her obituary/bio.

Lucy Lu Walkup was born sometime in 2001, the year that I moved to this city. I’m not sure what happened to her between then and 2003 when we connected, but she was either lost or abandoned. I have to assume she was lost because I can’t imagine anyone intentionally giving up such a sweet animal. Then again I can’t imagine her running away either because every time I accidentally left the gate open and set out to look for her in the neighborhood I would turn the corner and see her on the porch staring at the front door.

I was never a dog person really and had no plans of getting a dog but one day a coworker, John, told me that he and his wife Sara had rescued a stray dog (named Hope at the time, they renamed her Lucy and I added the Lu myself) and they were fostering her and wondered if I had any interest in taking her. John convinced me to do a trial night and he dropped her off one evening after work. It was love at first sight. Not really. Actually the instant he shut the door and left she immediately squatted in the floor by the window and peed. I thought about flagging him down before he got out of the driveway but decided to stick it out for the night. I didn’t know what I was doing but as the evening and night went on she quickly stole my heart with her sweet nature and the way she was always shadowing me.

Lucy was a great, loyal friend that went through a lot with me. Before I had a family she was my companion every day during good times and bad and lonely times. Everybody loved her. She really was a sweet animal. Even people that didn’t like dogs either liked Lucy or at least told me she was as close as they came to liking dogs. She was always so patient with puppies and small children.

Then when I had a family she was a great fit for that too. When I married Ashley she was a little bit jealous at first. The first week we got married and Ashley moved in she didn’t even come upstairs to bed (she always slept underneath my bed). Finally one night she came up and we were so excited we let her come in bed. She worked her way to the foot of the bed under the comforter through the night though and got trapped. We woke up and heard her panting and got her out and got her some water. Oops. Despite that, after that she got back to her routine of sleeping under the bed and very quickly made friends with Ashley.

Then I threw her another curve ball in 2011 when our daughter was born. Once again there was an adjustment but Lucy was always patient through all the changes and we had some great moments of the two of them together. Lucy had to be patient for a while when a lot of our time was taken caring for a new baby and interrupting her sleep schedule. But as our daughter got older they got to be good pals. They had a great symbiotic relationship based on our daughter’s love of throwing food on the floor and Lucy’s love of eating it. They also both shared a love of going on walks together and those will always be some of my fondest memories. Lucy was always very patient, never snapping when our toddler petted too hard or stepped on her. She would always be gentle and tolerant and when she’d had enough she would just calmly walk away.

On September 13 I took her in for dental cleaning and in her pre-op exam her vet found a tumor in her abdomen. We were heartbroken by the news but agreed with the vet to make her comfortable as long as we could. She had two good months with us after that and I cherished every minute with her and chance to pet and love on her and get lots more walks in. I have more good memories with her than I could possibly share on here and this is likely more than any but a handful of people will be interested in reading anyhow. I don’t think I’ll ever hear a cell phone ring again without grabbing it as quickly as I can to keep it from scaring her. The same is true for any electronic device that beeps when you push a button. I haven’t used my toaster oven in 6 years since turning it on gave her a panic attack. It will take a while to keep from dropping pieces of pizza crust or popcorn in the floor for her while I’m eating and I think every time I go to to get in or out of bed I’m probably always going to expect to see two dog legs and a wagging tail sticking out from under.

I will miss her terribly and there will never be another dog like her. She was a perfect quirky fit for this quirky human. Thanks to all who petted her, rubbed her belly, and loved on her through the years. Rest in peace Lu!

Here is the post I wrote a little over a week ago on Nov. 7, 2013:  

My heart is heavy and my eyes are spilling over with tears.  I don’t know a good way to write about this so forgive me for just beginning.

A handful of weeks ago {around two months I guess} our beloved canine friend, Lucy, was panting and pacing at night so I urged my husband to take her to the vet.  She had an upcoming apt. anyway so the timing was perfect.  I thought “better safe than sorry” but when my husband came home with his head hanging low I knew something was wrong.  I can still picture Lucy joyfully prancing up the stairs and my husband fighting off tears as he came to hug me.  We had friends over at the time so they babysat my daughter while the three of us went for a walk.  It was then he told me about the mass the vet had found in her abdomen.

My kids

Regardless of the expense and hassle, we immediately changed her diet to a homemade dog food  that the vet recommended.  We wanted to do everything we could do to slow down the growth of this tumor (cancerous or benign).  Lucy’s panting ceased, she still had a spring in her step, and a wagging tail so we began to think that maybe she was misdiagnosed or that the tumor was staying the same size.  She still had her shiny black coat, was agile, and no one would have ever guessed she was 12 years old.

Last week Lucy has started changing.  She would still run down the stairs when we would jiggled her leash signifying that was time for a walk but she would get out of breath half way through our short little walk.  “She is 12 years old” we would say trying to reassure ourselves it wasn’t the tumor causing the change.  Then out of nowhere our thin snouted dog developed a saggy chin which had, you guessed it, a mass inside.  Just as the doctor predicted, she’s beginning to lose feeling or control of her back legs.  One day she could jump up on the couch to sit with us as we watched TV and the next day she couldn’t do it on her own.  She’s having trouble making it up the stairs in our house and up the ones on our back porch.

My husband is just now over his shingles and now Lucy takes a turn for the worse.  This pregnant mama can’t take much more.  I do appreciate your prayers.  I know it might seem silly too some to cry over an animal dying but if you’ve ever loved and lost a pet you know what I’m feeling.

A few things I’ll miss about Lucy:
– Bugging her by tickling the hair on the bottom of her feet while she lays near me.
– The crazy way every tiny beep or vibrating phone would make her start shaking but thunder didn’t phase her.
– The way I could brush her for hours without her wanting me to stop.
– How she insisted her cold nose had to touch my arm while I petted her.
– Her sweet presence that followed me every time I went into my daughter’s room.
– How she would come and get me every time our newborn would cry.
– How she would smell her and then lay down beside her.
– How my daughter now loves to get hit with Lucy’s tail and chase her for kisses.
– Sharing popcorn with her and trying to toss it in the air to her.
– Sharing my last bite of pizza crust with her.
– The way she would bark and move her paws in her sleep.
– I loved how she would never take food off of our plates or beg for food.
– How each week Lucy would invade our photo of the week that we take of our daughter.
– How she slept under the bed and left a huge pile of black fur there.
– Petting her little foot that didn’t make it all the way under the bed with my foot and telling her goodnight.
– Traveling with her and convincing her not to get in bed with us at my in-laws house.
– The clicking of her nails on our wooden floors.
– The way she would think it was time to play every time we would get in the floor to be with our daughter.
– The way she cleaned up any dropped food in the kitchen.
– How she would stop and sniff every few feet along our walk.
– The perked ears and joy in her face when she heard the garage door open every evening when Dad came home.
– The way she loved to lick every last little bit of peanut butter out of an empty jar before we would throw it away.
– How she thought she was a lap dog and would wiggle and squirm onto your lap.
– Hearing her walk around upstairs, jump off the bed, or scoot under the bed.
– How she sent a little bit of her fur behind the tape of every gift we ever wrapped.
– The wet paw prints she would leave after it had rained.
– How she would chase rabbits and cats but would never harm them.
– How she would eat flies.
– The way she enjoyed laying on the back porch in the sunshine.

There are so many other things I’m going to miss. I’m losing a faithful friend.  I want to try and cling to the memories I have so I don’t forget them and try to make new memories with the time we have left together.  Tonight, we’re having family pictures made with her and I’ll probably be bawling in them.  I’m going to love her all I can.  I’ll cherish the fur under my fingers as I pet her no matter how tired my arm gets.  I’m praying that the Lord will let her die peacefully in her sleep or that He will give us the wisdom to know when to put her down and the strength to do it.

For those who have managed to read this far, thank you for letting us share about our beloved Lucy.

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About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl, and she is the main voice behind Embracing Beauty.


  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet can be as tough as losing a human family-member. It sounds as though Lucy has given some wonderful memories to your family and was a great ‘first pet’ for your daughter to experience. This post has made me want to hold my pups even more today and appreciate every day that they are here because we never know when something will cause them to part from us.

  2. I”m so sorry – no one ever wants to go through what you go through when you say goodbye to a beloved pet…but for some reason we keep doing it. Keep remembering all the good things (and heck, even some of the bad).

  3. My heart is breaking for you and your family. I honestly cannot imagine how sad this must be for you. I adopted my first 2 dogs about 7 years ago, and am so attached to them.

  4. A Mom's Take says

    This post is a very sweet tribute to Lucy Lu! I loved that she was jealous of you, Ashley! So sweet!

  5. Ashely, I’m so sorry to hear about Lucy. You and your husband paint such a great picture of her, I feel like I know her through reading this and I’m tearing up even though I never met your pup.

  6. This is so hard to do. It’s good you put it all out in a post to re-live the memories and hopefully help with the healing process. Lucy sounds so much like our lab Shadow who died 2 years ago. We still miss her 🙁

  7. RIP Lucy Lu <3

    losing any family member is so hard

  8. Words fail me. What a blessing that you had each other for the time that you had.

  9. Hugs! I am so sorry, losing a pet is so hard.. especially when it happens so quickly due to something like cancer. We lost our dog to nasal cancer and 6 months later lost our kitty to cancer too (he had vaccine associated sarcoma and stomach cancer).

  10. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is almost unbearable 🙁

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have a cat who is more like family than pet. I would be so upset if something were to happen to her.

  12. Jennifer @ My Sweet Sanity says

    Oh Ashley, I am so sorry for your whole family! Both of your posts about Lucy were so touching.

  13. That is so bittersweet. I read it as my two dogs sat with me on my chaise. I cannot imagine what life would be with out dogs. Over the past 20 odd years since I have been an adult, my husband and I have always had pups. It was awful when we had to put 4 of them down over the years, so I feel that I can completely understand what you are going through. They really do become part of the family.

  14. michelle jadaa says

    what a great tribute to a great love.We have 3 dogs and 3 cats all rescues,each has a different personality and issues but they all give us way more in love and joy than we ever could give them.Adopt dont shop people.

  15. Ashley, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is. 🙁 Huge hugs to you and your family!

  16. Ooohh I’m so so sorry ((hugs)) losing our doggies is so so hard.

  17. I am sorry for your loss. Just remember, that he is in a better place

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