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  • Adrienne Tuling

The end of an era


It happened. I always knew it would, but it came too fast as endings do. My Lucy peacefully took her last breath on Christmas Eve, surrounded by those who loved her the most and while cradled in my arms. Her heart stopped, and a piece of me died. The stark reality that my little shadow was mortal bore through all of me leaving a gritty void. I miss her so.

Lucy was plucked from her misery in the summer of 2006, back during Facebook’s humble beginnings, and before anyone had an iPhone. The Avian flu was a significant public health concern at that time, Paul Martin was Prime Minister, and we learned that Pluto wasn’t, in fact, a planet after all. So much has happened since then, and Lucy was a constant companion through it all.

Lucy was a frail pup of about six months, full-grown, but a wild animal passed over too many times at the pet store. New puppies took the window seats, and Lucy was relegated to a tiny wire-bottom cage on the floor shared with two rambunctious pups. I didn’t notice the cage at first and literally tripped over it after marvelling at all the tiny puppy faces behind the glass. Lucy just laid along the length of the cage despite the other two and was listless. I gently stroked her to see if she was alive and was struck by the sharpness of her tiny ribs through her cream fluff. I asked the storekeeper, a mature man with a thick accent and gruff presence about the pup, and learned that she would be returned to the puppy mill in exchange for new “inventory.” My first thought was that she wouldn’t survive. I wasn’t looking for another pup, just liver treats for Joey, my 2-year-old pup, but I couldn’t leave her behind. I didn’t leave her behind. The dynamic duo of Joey and Lucy was born that summer, and my life was forever changed.

Both Joey and Lucy passed on the cusp of 17 years, just two years apart on December 27 and 24th respectively. For almost 20 years my existence was largely defined by these beautiful, vulnerable and loyal little beating hearts. My world revolved around their needs, and they fulfilled my maternal inclination whether they liked it or not. Above all, they were family.



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