Here is a picture of us, a really long time ago, when you were shorter and alive and I had no hair. I can remember the smell of your baby fur and that look of assured-almost-annoyance in your eyes.
Wow, you were such a looker, from the moment we picked you up at the airport. You always said it to the animal communicator:
“I’m the cutest.”
You said this with a certainty that belayed pride or canine-ego. You just knew the truth, from tiny baby-dog-hood, and lived into it.
You were right. You always were the cutest. You always will be.
I remember the first morning you lived at our house, which, by the way, never would be the same again. I had the flu and Ras took you for your first walk down the road, Oak Road, your road.
I remember lying in bed, talking to my mom on the phone. The door opened–you both came back too soon.
I remember Ras standing at the bedroom door, your tiny body tucked under one arm, Ras’ right wrist heaved and askew. She had fallen on the ice and obviously had broken that very essential right wrist.
There is much blurred memory now—your dog crate, the emergency room, pain pills, more hospital, supportive friends, the tiny blond self-assured dog becoming my full responsibility—I who was committed to being the sues-chef of dog raising. I am a great second. But now it was on me and I didn’t know how, I was positive.
But it is what you said to the animal communicator that was my first big Lucy Doodle Lesson. We called when things settled a tad, not wanting you to harbor guilt from Ras’ fall.
We checked in with your twelve-week-old-self.
I will never forget what you said:
“It’s not my fault. She fell.”
Your capacity to not assume responsibility for that which wasn’t yours—your ability to have a boundary that asserts love but not co-dependency—to be in relationship without assuming that which is not your responsibility—these are lessons I am still learning.
I miss you so much. I know you are dancing with the snowflakes right now, but I miss your blondness, your face peering around the corner of the bedroom door, the sound of your feet on the wood flood, the smell of your delicious dog toes, the breath of your presence.
Dear Lucy, my teacher.