I was screaming at Siri who had conveniently decided to stop talking to me while I was lost on one of the busiest highways outside of Boston. That’s why I declined my daughter’s call when it came through the first time.

When she immediately called back, I was annoyed, but I accepted, in the unlikely event that something was wrong. While my daughter had officially “launched” she still called me often to report on the details of her first post college job, which I normally enjoyed. Except not during a fight with Siri.

All I heard was, “MOM DON’T HANG UP!”

My first thought was I am such a bad mother that my daughter would actually say that to me.

It was followed by my daughter’s hysterical sobbing, “Lucy ran away and may have been hit by a car.”

Lucy was our 6-year-old border collie mix who was having a “sleepover” at my daughter’s apartment in Cambridge. Since my husband’s illness, Lucy has been the glue that held our family together. With her goofy, unconditional love, she provided each of us with a break from our collective anxiety about my husband’s health.

How will we ever survive this?

Blinded by salty tears mixed with mascara that caused my eyes to sting, I miraculously managed to pull over, reinstall Waze on my phone and navigate toward Cambridge. By the time I got to my daughter’s apartment, she had already called animal control, posted on Facebook, scoured the city with her friends and was completely defeated and exhausted.

“I am never going to recover from this Mom,” Hannah cried in my arms.

“Yes, you are. Let’s keep looking.” I whispered.

“Lucy. Lucy. Lucy Come!” we yelled up and down dark, Cambridge sidestreets for another hour.

I somehow got it in my head that if Lucy heard my voice or caught my scent, she would come running. Afterall, it was my pillow she slept on.

To what felt like hundreds of masked, random strangers we asked, “have you seen a black dog running off-leash?”

They all sadly replied, “I’m so sorry, no.” I was struck by everyone’s kindness, evident through their masks, in the dark cold night.

How will we ever survive this?
We wearily walked back to my daughter’s apartment and cried ourselves to sleep side-by-side in her small bed. I held her head like I used to when she was a little girl. I knew we both had the same tragic image of our terrified and hurt dog, far away from the only people she trusted. We both fell asleep with the same thought: How will we ever survive this?

Little did we know that while we were sleeping, Lucy was winding her way out of Cambridge, headed north. She was found at 9:00 am the next morning by animal control, about ten miles away. Scared and tired she was miraculously returned to us, uninjured except for sore foot pads.

It’s been under a week since Lucy’s escapade and my daughter and I still have PTSD. Neither of us can look at Lucy’s picture from missingdogsmassachusetts.com without crying.

Lucy and her sore feet, on the other hand, are doing just fine. She spends most of her time recuperating, snuggled into her favorite blanket. She gets a little extra food at each meal and special treats in between. Just because.

If Lucy didn’t make it, what would have happened? Hard to know. The point is that Lucy survived. My work colleague said that she must have had a doggie spirit animal by her side. Maybe we all do. Afterall Biden/Harris won the election two days after Our sweet girl was rescued. What’s next? I heard good things happen in threes.

My Dog’s Spirit Animal was last modified: by

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