Animals often arrive on our doorstep when we least expect it—and often when we just don’t have the time, the space, the energy to rescue them. But we take them in, because no matter what is going on in our lives, their lives are clearly worse. They bring their own needs, of course—for shelter, food, a warm bed, a scratch on the head. And we give them a better life…they love us, and we love them.
But every once in a while, an extraordinary animal shows up with as great an understanding about the needs on the other side of the door as they have of their own. They arrive with a purpose. And those are the ones who rescue us.
Today, we are laying to rest Lucy Rose, our gentle hound dog who arrived on our doorstep many years ago at Christmastime, a wounded and frightened puppy. While we take comfort in the fact that she had a long and wonderful life, and was loved dearly, we are also blessed and awed by the love that she gave back. She has been a constant, intuitive companion throughout our lives. She has laid her head in our laps and brought us comfort and security through the monumental events of life: the joy of weddings, the death of parents, the birth of a granddaughter, the scares of illness, and the sadness of moving on. She has also reminded us to appreciate the simple pleasures that happen regardless of our bigger worries: late afternoons on the back porch, snuggles in bed on cold mornings, the warm presence of another being, and the utter joy of being greeted by a loving and grateful dog no matter how late the hour.
As the great poet Percy Bysshe Shelley said, “The psychological and moral comfort of a presence at once humble and understanding—this is the greatest benefit that the dog has bestowed upon man.”
Lucy Rose is one of the greatest benefits ever bestowed upon us. She will be forever in our hearts.