November 24, 2009-March 5, 2024

Lucy was my second Border Collie. When my beloved, dear, sweet Meg died in September 2010, I swore I'd not get another; but after seven months the lack of a Border Collie got to me, big-time. I didn't want a puppy: I'm past the age of housebreaking a pup. I contacted Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue and told them I wanted a dog: specifically a spayed female a year or so old, housebroken and ready to move in. No dog could ever replace Meg, but just having a Border Collie around would help fill some of the void left by her death.

BRBCR called me the very next day. "We have a dog for you." A gentleman in Maryland was getting a divorce: he was moving to an apartment, his ex-wife didn't want the dog, and his son was going away to College. After much soul-searching he had decided the best thing for his pet was a new home.

We met him, and Lucy, in Orange, VA on April 24, 2011: Easter Sunday. He was very broken up, but recognized that she was going to be loved and cared for. We interviewed her for the position of Assistant Dog; made an offer; she accepted our offer, and came home with us forthwith. Her ABCA registered official name is "Wampler's Lucretia of Westover," and had she not taken up a suburban existence, she would have been a crack herding dog.

Lucy was nothing like Meg. She was a force to be reckoned with, very self-assertive. Upon arriving at the house she said, "'Assistant Dog,' my butt, never happen!" She took one look at Tycho and Tehya, and announced, "I'm the new Sheriff in this town, and you two are going to do what I say." She was the Alpha from Day One, tolerating no encroachment on her authority.

She was, if anything, even more of a nut about the FRISBEE than Meg was. She was very, very good at catching it, though she wasn't so fast a runner. She would come and pester me for play time, and could never get enough. Her other passion in life was guarding the bird feeder in our back yard. For Lucy, squirrels were The Enemy. It took her a while to figure out how to do it, but eventually she developed a strategy to catch them: she caught one (a sort of mascot whom we'd given the nickname "Half Tail"); I found her merrily crunching away on his body, having eaten the head first. Later she killed two groundhogs in one day, and I subsequently found her with half a squirrel in the yard, flipping it around like she did with her rope toy. She'd eaten the front half.

She loved mud. If we let her go into the yard on a rainy day she'd come back caked with it. Thanks to her need for constant activity, she would run in circles when not chasing a Frisbee, and wore a "track" in the grass, much to my wife's dismay.

Lucy died early in the morning of March 5, 2024. She died very suddenly at the age of 14 years and 4 months. She was being treated for a really nasty infected pressure sore on her leg for two months; it was getting better, and I'd hoped it would be healed soon, but it wasn't to be.

For some time, since she had been unable to deal with stairs, I had been sleeping in the basement with her because she didn't like to be left alone. I had just brought her up for her breakfast about 7:00. She started eating, then fell over on her right side, gasped a couple of times, and was gone in seconds.  We suspect she had a massive stroke.

We're very grateful her death was fast and painless, even though it was shocking. It was what we'd wanted for her: an easy death at home.  I had promised her she would not die in a clinic, that I would be with her to the end, and at the end. I'm glad I was able to keep those promises.  We are also glad and relieved that we didn't have to make the painful decision to have her put to sleep. There were times when we thought we'd have to, but she went in her own way at her own time.  I hope we gave her the good life she deserved.

Her death has torn a huge hole in our lives.  Really, nobody can "own" a dog.  We are privileged enough to borrow them from God for a little while, but we always—always—have to give them back.

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

—Ecclesiastes III: 19-21


I am a good dog.
I am the happy Alpha.
But I am not Meg.

| Gordo | Penny| Dante | Toby | Tucker | Meg | Tessa | Tycho | Lucy | Tehya|