Today my heart is full of love and grief for a friend who has loved my family her whole life. Our old Rhodesian Ridge Hound mutt will soon be gone. Lucy helped us raise our kids, who are now grown and out of the nest. She protected them from dangers real and imagined with her warm body and her fierce bark. For thirteen years she has been madly in love with my wife. She even loves me though I snarl at her for licking herself while I’m trying to sleep.Her buddy Egon, a fat yappy “Chug,”,will be bereft. He thinks she is his mom. Every day we walk them through our neighborhood. Down hill. Up hill. Past the church. She still likes to go for her walks. She cannot eat. She is down to skin and bones. Everybody says “Don’t wait too long to let her go”. I walk to church and light a candle for my old dog who has no more new tricks.