When my husband had to have our precious Chihuahua, Diamond put to sleep in early 2001, we both swore that we would never have another dog. The pain was just too great. After all she was a part of the family, a hairy child if you will.
We inherited her from my father-in-law when she was about three or four years old. He was afraid that she was going to cause him to fall and break a hip or something and we were the only ones he was willing to give her to. I’m not kidding when I say that the poor thing actually cried real tears when we drove out of the driveway and she knew her Master wasn’t coming with her. I’m sure after we were gone that he cried some tears as well.
Diamond was a wonderful dog, she protected us when she thought we were threatened and was always up for a game of fetch with her favorite stuffed animal. She also helped fill our empty nest when all our children left home. What a comfort she was for us during that time.
When she was 13 she began to have hip problems and eventually couldn’t walk or control her bladder. Sadly we made the decision to have her put to sleep.
After 6 years, I began to want another puppy but Eugene stood firm and said, no. He just didn’t want to get attached to another dog. I understood that but my heart had a place that only a puppy could fill. About a year later I started talking about it again. He was still saying no.
One afternoon in August of 2008, my daughter-in-law D’Ann showed up on my doorstep with grandson Kolt and granddaughter Dallas in tow. Kolt was holding the cutest little black puppy with brown markings that I had ever seen. She was wearing a pink collar and was wiggling all over. She looked like a tiny Rottweiler.
“Someone got a new puppy.” I said.
“Oh, it’s not mine.” Said Kolt shaking his head and grinning a sneaky little grin.
“It’s not? Whose is it then?” I asked. I was totally confused at this point.
“It’s yours!” he said.
“Oh, my. Well, you better go and ask PaPa if we can keep her.” I said.
I chuckled to myself because I knew he wouldn’t be able to turn a gift from the grandkids and D’Ann away.
“Well, I guess we can keep her if Nana really wants her.” Eugene said, reluctantly.
By this time he was holding her and she was all over him trying to give him kisses.
“What are you going to call her?” he asked.
“I’m not sure. I’ll have to think about it.” I said.
“Ok, well, we’ll leave you alone and let you decide for sure if you want to keep her and what you are going to call her. Talk to you later.” D’Ann said.
D’Ann and the kids went home and Eugene went back to work leaving me with this little black ball of fur. As I held her in my lap, I remembered the heartbreak of losing Diamond and wondered if I could go through that again. Is loving them while we have them worth all the pain? Then the what-ifs started to come. What if she got sick? What if she got lost? What if she got killed?
“Oh, Lord, I don’t know if I can bear it.” I thought.
Then the Lord said. “But, what if, you love her? What if she’s a great companion for you and Eugene? And what if something bad does happen, I’m here to comfort you.”
“You’re right Lord, I can’t protect myself from hurt forever. Thank-you for bringing us this little puppy to love.”
I named her Luci because I knew that while house breaking her she might have some splainin to do. Like Ricky Ricardo would say to his Lucy when she did something wrong, “Lucy, you got some splainin to do!”
It’s been a year now and Luci’s fur is still black as coal and wavy and thick. We play fetch with her and chase and even hide and seek. She’s a very smart dog and we love her more than either of us ever thought possible. And when that day comes when her life here is over we can say, Luci’s in the sky with Diamond. Hmmm, sounds like the name of a song, almost.
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