bySam-BBY08-26-201807:07 AM - edited 09-17-201810:31 PM
Update, 9/17/2018: Lacie won her fight with cancer today and went home to celebrate with her big sister in the sky. As hard as it is to say goodbye to someone who's impacted your life in so many ways, we take comfort in knowing she no longer has to fight such a difficult battle. She was strong through the very end, and she will be missed by many. Thank you for an irreplaceable 12 years, Lacie. We love you so much.
Tune your car radio to the local pop station, and there’s a solid chance the first song you’ll hear is about love. Whether it be about a past relationship or a broken heart, the concept of love is sprinkled in almost every form of mainstream media. Everyone has a different definition of what love is or is not, but perhaps the best lessons of love I’ve ever learned have been from my dog.
Lacie entered my life when she was only six months old. She had been found tied up to a pole in the middle of a field with no food or water, and nothing to protect her from the harsh Texas summer heat. After being taken to a local veterinarian’s office by a city employee, it was discovered she had suffered heavy abuse since the day she was born. Once she eating and things seemed to be looking up, Lacie was handed off to a foster family about three hours north of where I lived. Her photo was posted on an adoption site and I found her almost immediately. Despite being about half the size of a normal Golden Retriever, her sweet soul still managed to shine after all she had been through, and I knew we were meant to find her.
We drove to meet her a few weeks later, and the moment I looked into her eyes for the first time, I could sense she was going to be my best friend. Even after we adopted her, the first few years of Lacie’s life weren’t exactly easy. The quietest sound and smallest action caused her to jump, and trust was a concept she rightfully didn’t yet understand. As we grew up side by side, we learned how to battle our harder days together and what it meant to put our trust into others. She would spend the days sitting with me while I read for school, and spent each night at the foot of my bed. Protecting others was in her nature, but her heart was made of gold, and she loved to meet anyone and everyone that walked through our front door.
It never got easier saying goodbye in the mornings when I would leave for work or school, but she was elated when I returned in the evenings and greeted me with her yellow rubber football every time. When I moved across the country for college, I would call my parents and ask them to set the phone next to Lacie’s bed, and I'd talk to her while she sat there smiling. I like to think she understood exactly what I meant when I said I missed her. Despite being 1200 miles apart, she taught me that love knows no distance.
At 12 years old, Lacie is still as sassy as ever, and the only thing she loves more than food is special (human) food. Frankly, she’ll eat just about anything that you put in front of her, unless it’s healthy. I get that quirk from her.
One of the more bittersweet things Lacie has taught me is the importance of living in the moment and relishing the time I’ve been given. It seems like I blinked and this puppy turned into a senior dog. Going on walks isn’t as easy for her anymore, and jumping up on the bed is pretty much out of the question now. Her movements have slowed, and her face has turned gray, but her heart continues to grow with each day that passes. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d learn so much about the concept of love from a dog, but this sweet creature has impacted me and enriched my life in more ways than I can count.
I think we both know our time together may be coming to an end soon, but even if she’s aware, it doesn’t show in her smile. Lacie is the poster child (pet?) for perseverance, kindness, and unconditional love. I hope I can be like her someday.