Lucy’s presence is evident in nearly all aspects of my life. And… nearly all aspects of my work.
February will mark the 17th year of my doing the strip. Of those 17, Lucy has been part of 11… Making her debut in the strip on September 20, 2008.
I fudged reality just a bit with this… when Lez rescued her from the Humane Society, they named her Dixie. I was the one who chose Lucy. I just liked the name.
From that first meeting, I probably screamed, muttered, growled and said the word “Lucy” several thousands of times.
I always told Lez that when Lucy passes, I will not be well. At. All. Just like Lez when she lost her collie Lady. It’s harder than losing a human family member. I know that seems cruel but it is… and I cannot explain why.
Over the next week or so, I’ll be posting work that are a kind of “Lucy’s Greatest Hits”. Strips, drawings, etc. I’m never going to be the same… that could be good or bad.
Thank you for coming along with me while I work through this.
The “Goodbye Lucy” strips will begin on the week of January 21.
Middle age is a funny thing. I mean, I’ve just now realized that that’s where I am in the timeline of Frank. Middle. Maybe there’s just as much ahead of me as behind me… maybe not. But it’s the middle. The middle.
I’ve loved many things in my journey to the middle. No point in making a list. It contains the usual things. If you read my strip then you’re already familiar with the “love” list: Lezley, Lauren, Bob, my family (both non-furry and furry) and then there’s Lucy.
Yesterday I had to take Lucy to the vet. She’s been having an issue with her inside nail on her left paw. I’d taken her there a few weeks back because of this and the techs managed to get the nail off. They had to sedate her to do it. It was the worst feeling ever. They allowed me to sit with her as she went under. Feeling her body fall limp made me think of things I didn’t want to think about… like that day in the future when she doesn’t wake up. It was horrible. As they took her away I descended first into basket-case, then into straight crying. I knew logically she was going to be fine… maybe a little sore and groggy… but fine.
Lucy is a dog like no other. I’ve had her since 2007… and did a comic about it. The vet said then she was about 3 years old. She’s been nothing but a pain in the ass. She doesn’t listen, she’s mean, she’s loud. she has a tendency to run away… and I would move Heaven and earth for her. She’s destroyed our doors, our window blinds, our window screens… and yet, when that warm little 15lb. body curls up next to me, it’s okay. It’s just okay.
I thought as she got up in years that she would chill out a bit. Nah. Now, when she (and myself) were younger, I did hope she’d calm down. Now, I relish her insanity.
So yesterday we had to go back to the vet. The nail that was removed a few weeks back began to grow in funny. Her toe was still swollen. She has a high tolerance for pain, so if it did hurt her you’d never know.
I thought they’d only give her a antibiotic shot and we’d be on our way. That’s what I thought…but no. The vet didn’t like what the nail looked like so it had to come out. It bled… a lot. I didn’t see this of course, but I got the report.
I felt sick. No one wants their dog to bleed.
Lucy was Lucy… she wouldn’t let the techs wrap her foot. So, they had to sedate her… again.
I felt sick. Again.
The rest of the night I made sure Lucy was as comfortable as possible. The sedation and subsequent wake-up juice leave her groggy… not to mention that collar. I love this dog… this pain-in-the-ass little dog.
She’s fine. She’s more than fine. Like me she’s got more years ahead of her.
Yesterday, I finally finished putting up my new fence. It was a lot of hard work but I did it. 15 days before I didn’t know what to do. 15 days later, I’m wiser and way sorer than I was.
The reason I had to get it done so quick is purely and totally Frank: Lucy figured out how to get over the temporary fence. Lezley luckily grabbed her just in time… before she looked to her left and saw a gaping hole of freedom before her. Once Lucy learns something, she can’t unlearn it. In fact, she builds upon what she learns like a musician learning scales. This means that her next escape would be a Great Escape... like Steve McQueen cycle jumping that wall.