Let me tell you about Lucky.
Lucky is a 95 pound yellow lab. She is turning thirteen years old this year. She is my best friend.
Lucky was the first living thing my husband and I brought into our life to care for, together. We were both raised with dogs and when I met my husband, he had three of his own. When I married, I did not just add a husband to my life, but three elderly dogs.
It was not long before one of those dogs got very sick and had to be put to sleep. After a month or so with two old dogs, we started looking around for a third, younger dog. Our vet said this would help the other two dogs to remain active and, bonus, they would help guide and train the younger dog.
Enter Lucky. Lucky came from PETSinc and from the moment my husband saw her (he likes to say he spotted her first), we knew she was our dog.
Throughout the years, we’ve taken her to the beach, dog parks, walks in the neighborhood (few and far between with those – as a young lab she would actually be the one walking us). She slept in our bed until she couldn’t anymore – now she sleeps on the floor next to our bed. She is always around.
Five years ago, when I was pregnant, people would say things to me like, “Lucky is going to be forgotten when that little one comes around,” or “your dogs aren’t going to be so important now.” When our daughter was born, that simply was not true. Our dogs are still important to us. Our family grew…we did not forget about the four legged members, we just added to the pack.
Like us, our daughter is growing up around dogs. Over the course of Lucky’s life, the two older dogs have left us, but we have gained two more dogs (Mozzy and Penny). The three are best friends to each other and to us. Our daughter loves all of the dogs, but she knows that my husband and I have a favorite.
Day by day, we can tell that Lucky is getting older. Her joints are sore. She sometimes has a hard time walking. There were days my husband and I thought it was time to make the call. But, we aren’t ready yet and because sometimes we still see that glimpse of the kind puppy we once knew, we know she isn’t ready yet either.
When the time does come, however, I have some books packed away to share with my daughter. If you have recently lost a pet or know a loss is ahead of you, these books may be helpful to share with the little (and big) people in your life.
- Blue by Seeger – Beautifully illustrated story that follows the life of a boy and his dog.
- Dog Heaven by Rylant – What does dog heaven look like? What is your dog doing now that he/she isn’t part of your life? You may want to check out Cat Heaven by Rylant too.
- The Goodbye Book by Parr – A good one for any kind of loss, not just pets. Simple enough for the youngest of readers.
- I’ll Always Love You by Wilhelm – A classic in the pet loss genre.
- When a Pet Dies by Mister Rogers – You simply cannot go wrong with Mister Rogers. The photographs are dated, but the message is the same.