The title comes from a famous phrase in the history of the Chad and Sarah Show, as my wife and I were dubbed at our wedding. “She’s like a ladybug, only Lucy,” Sarah told me after uttering the nickname, “Lucy Bug,” for the first time. I’ve repeated that phrase a hundred times in the 12 years, 4 months, and 3 days since I met both Sarah and Lucy on the same night in 2008. The common refrain is that Lucy did not take easily to the male gender, but that she warmed right up to me. I eventually warmed right up to her too. She became our Lucy Bug.
Saying goodbye to her yesterday was perhaps the hardest thing I’ve ever done. My daughter said to me, “Daddy, I’d never seen you cry like that before.” The only other time I ever have was when I lost my dad in 2012. Lucy earned my tears, a tribute as they’ve been to her quiet yet vital role in my adult life. In this moment, feeling so grief-stricken, I think I was more attached to her than I had thought. God, I’m going to miss her…
Rudy, I’d have to say, was the original reason for my bond with the Lu. Forming the other half of the Ru Lu, my Yorkie found a best friend in Lucy. It’s funny to think that Sarah and I once spent a night out with friends wondering if Lucy and Rudy were getting along back at her St. Louis apartment. If you had ever seen them together these past twelve and a half years, it would have seemed impossible that they could have ever not gotten along famously. They even used to make out! We introduced them, went to a Cardinals game, and came back to find them acting as if they had known each other forever. That Rudy, who healed my fractured heart when I got him at Christmas 2006, loved her made it easier for me to love her. It was only fitting that he was present and intent while sitting right with Sarah and I as Lucy passed. He looked at me and whined, as if to join us in saying, “Oh no…our poor Lucy Bug is gone…things will never be the same.”
“She just wants to be loved,” Sarah would often say playfully. So, love her we all did. Lucy, I’d like to think, felt very loved. Sarah rescued her in April 2008, and a month later, she had a whole family including a Ru to play with most every day for the rest of her life. Her sweet and watchful role in Jordan’s early years added a deeper layer of love from me to her. Lucy looked out for Jordan like she looked out for Sarah, especially when J was just a baby. Who knows? Maybe Lucy Bug set the tone for Rudy to eventually come around to the kids making our family of four a family of six, as well. She just had a way of making things better.
I had wondered how the kids felt about Lucy. Quinn has largely seemed indifferent to the dogs; Jordan, being the daddy’s girls she is, gravitated toward my little Ru, her connection with him mirroring mine. I learned definitively in her final minutes that both kids had indeed connected strongly with Lucy. Quinn stayed in the room with us to offer support as she passed. Jordan spent those last moments in her room, writing Lucy this note:
“I am going to miss Lucy. She will always be my friend. Every time I think about her she will always comfort me when I am sad and on her birthday I will sing to her and say happy birthday and we will always remember each other. She will always look down on me because she is my favorite dog who is named Lucy. I love you Lucy. You will always be my dog. You were always funny. You were always so cute. You were always my dog. She will always look after me even when I am asleep. She will always love mommy, daddy, and Quinn.”
She leaves a large presence missing in our lives. There is a hole in my heart right now and, though I know it will eventually be filled, her absence will be felt for a long time. Again…12 years, 4 months, and 3 days…that’s a third of my life – and the years that I quite frankly treasure most so far – that Lucy M. Bug was a constant presence. I could take a book halfway across the country from her and one of her little blacks hairs would show up in between random pages. She has just always been there, and I believe she always will be. The sadness will fade and all the many memories will remain.
Our sweet Lucy Bug…”Lucy in the sky with diamonds”…goodbye, my dear friend.