Monday, March 11, 2013

Ode To Lucas: I Fell In Love With a Dog

I never loved an animal before I met you, in fact I was decidedly not a pet person before you. Before I saw your adorable face in the online classifieds, before you walked into our house and fell asleep at our feet and in our laps. Before you licked our faces and bounced around our world like a bucking bronco of lanky limbs and often unmanageable energy.

When you entered our lives less than 3 years ago, my hope was for a running partner, a safety net on the roads and trails, a pet for our boys to fall in love with and add to our craziness.

Like most of life, I could have never imagined how you would change me. How I would have to confront my anger issues, how you would push my buttons with your often uncontrollable instincts, how I would break my toe twice on your leg, how you would bark uncontrollably when anyone entered our yard. How I would return from every walk, in the first months we owned you, in tears because I could not control your rapidly growing body and single-minded desire to "be friends" with every living thing you would see.

I never imaged how God would confront me in Psalms about how you treat a dog is how you view God and how every day since I read that passage I have struggled to love you in spite of your often infuriating behavior.

I never imagined that, as you and I struggled to find a place of homeostasis in our relationship, how deeply lovable you would become. How you would change our family and my boys and added depth and purpose to our daily lives.  How our boys slept better and felt safer with you around. How I worried about you when I wasn't there and how happy you were when we came home. How the boys count you in our number of people in the family, despite being a dog.

Yes, I fell in love with you. A dog. A dog who required, often times, more care that a dog should. A dog who's beauty and personality are second to none.

I fell in love with a dog.

Recently though things have gotten crazier with you. For months we've struggled to maintain your happiness and healthiness. You started eating your tail and are on anti-psychotic medication to stop you from mutilating your body.  Knowing you needed a friend we got you Jed, hoping to rewire your brain and refocus your energy.  For weeks my life has revolved around you, I have become shackled to you. I have prayed for the Psalmist's wisdom for you and that all these efforts would save you.

I cannot save you.  None of these things are saving you. My love won't save you.

Today I have to say goodbye to you.  To make the gut wrenching decision that you are sick and will not get better.

I don't know if all dogs go to heaven, or if any dogs go to heaven, but with all of my heart and soul I pray that you are running off leash with a pack of beautiful dogs and horses in unending fields of grass and birds.

You will be missed.

I fell in love with a dog.


  1. Oh Jodi. I am so sorry. What a beautiful tribute you have written to Lucas. How are your boys handling this loss? We are probably getting a dog soon and I'm not really a "dog person." I do think a dog would be good for my boys and I'm sure it will also transform me in ways I could not imagine. Hugs to you and your whole family.

  2. Thanks Beth. It's been a super hard tear filled day. The boys are all mixed. Unfortunately we've had to have the discussion of maybe for some weeks now, hoping to keep the 'last resort' option as far away as possible. Owen is probably the most detached, Lucas was more of a pain to him than anything. Maddox and Judah are devastated and Solomon is "taking it like a man'. All in all, it is very hard and I am sure the grief will last longer than we all want. Dang dog!
    As much as this has been very painful, he was a huge blessing and we loved him very much and I know he changed our family for the best no matter what.


  3. Oh, poor baby Lucas. I am glad he meant so much to your family through such crazy times. He seemed like a genuinely good guy ;) I hope for the best with your new dog, and hope you all find peace with losing Lucas. It sucks, I know. Hang it there, Cole Train! xoxo