Category: Year of Intention

Life With No Dog

Thank you for all of the kind words on Facebook, Instagram, and this little space over the past few days. I wrote Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds a few hours after saying goodbye – the post is raw but it captures the emotions I felt in those moments. Lucy is missed terribly but we are comforted by the fact that we gave her a wonderful life. She really was the best.

We’re looking forward to Christmas and break from our everyday lives. Traveling and getting away will help. The other night, Clay and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. We drank an expensive (for us) bottle of wine and reflected on our 17+ years together. We talked about our dreams, our goals, and where we see ourselves in five years. We agreed that it’s best for us to experience life for awhile without a dog for a variety of reasons – the biggest being that we know that Lucy is irreplaceable.

Next year will be the first year in 14 years that Lucy won’t be in our Christmas card photo. We will spend the next few months adapting to life with no dog. I wrote about how we didn’t particularly love life with an old and dying dog so we are planning on taking full advantage of being able to pack up and go when our time and resources allow. We are looking forward to the trips we have planned thus far in 2019 and everything else that the new year will bring. I look forward to writing more and seeing where this blog can go because oh boy – do I have some things to say about the current state of affairs.

Thank you again for all of the kind words and for taking the time to read what I have to say. I wish you all a very happy holidays and I hope that the next few days are filled with love, comfort, and really good food.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

There are defining moments in a relationship that help foster an even deeper connection than before. These junctures are often heavy, damp, and impossible to fully comprehend unless you personally experience them. Some of ours include those horrible minutes leading up to the first deployment, me waking up from an emergency D&C to him crying by my side, and this morning when we laid on the floor of the vet office cradling our beloved dog as the sedative took effect.


We said goodbye to Lucy this morning. Through our tears, we told her how much we loved her, how much joy she brought to our lives, and how we’ll eventually see her on the other side. We nuzzled against her head as we stroked her back in hopes to comfort her. She’ll always be our first baby –  we will miss her terribly.

Like a lot of military couples, Clay and I spent our engagement and first six months of marriage apart. But by the summer of 2005, we were living together in Fort Drum, New York and wanting to adopt a new member into our little family. From the moment we saw Lucy frolicking with her brothers and sisters, we knew we were meant to take her home.

During her puppy months, we’d run across the Madison Barracks parade field in Sackets Habor with Lucy nipping at our calves. She swam in Lake Ontario with the biggest grin and she’d accompany us on walks into town for coffee at Chrissy Beanz Bakery. That winter, we felt like the happiest family of three that ever did live. She was 7 months old when Clay deployed to Afghanistan.

It was just me and Lucy for the next 16 months. She’d lick my tears when I received bad news and she’d be waiting by the door wagging her tail when I’d return from a memorial service. She kept me company when I’d go weeks without word from Clay and slept next to me every single night because she knew I was scared. And when Clay returned home, we resumed our roles as the happiest family of three.

Over the years, she vacationed with us, moved with us, and saw us add more team members along the way. She sent Clay back to Afghanistan and whenever he’d walk through the door after yet another Army-induced separation, she’d run up to him with her whole body wagging with excitement. She loved our children and never showed jealousy when we brought them home. Her nightly checks included popping her head into their rooms to make sure that they were asleep and safe. And when I had my miscarriage, she laid next to me in bed with her head in my lap. For as much love as we showed her over the years – she gave us more.

Lucy managed to visit 30 states during her life. She absolute loved road trips to see our family – swimming in the Atlantic Ocean outside of Wilmington, North Carolina and being on the boat on Lake Lanier, Georgia. She seemed happiest when at the Great Lakes – she swam in both Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario countless times. And she broke through waves in the Gulf of Mexico and even hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail. 

December 17, 2018

We took one last family picture this morning. It will take time for us to adjust to life without Lucy and work through our grief. Lucy was always more than just a pet – she was a full-fledged family member. And she just happened to be the best damn dog that ever did live.