It was the summer of 2009. I will never forget. The neighborhood kids were playing in the open field by the house, where they found you lost, homeless, thirsty, and hungry in the blistering heat. They brought you back to the neighborhood, where I was so blessed to meet you for the very first time. When I walked up to you, you looked at me with your big, brown, beautiful eyes and started wagging your tail, just aching for me to pet you. I couldn't resist. I remember kneeling down, petting you, and giving you a kiss on your head. And, of course, you returned kisses right away. You were so sweet to me. It was love at first sight for me. That night, the kids brought you to their house, and I went to bed that night thinking about you. Where will you go? What will happen to you? When I woke up the following day, I was still thinking about you.

That day, I called my neighbor and asked her where you were. She told me that Animal Control had already come to get you. I was too late. That did not stop me. I was determined to find you. I knew in my heart that I was your Daddy, and I had to find you. I did my research and ended up calling the Animal Foundation, and I was told that you were there in holding and would be ready for adoption in 72 hours. Three days later, I called the Animal Foundation back, and they told me you were now waiting for me in adoption. I told them to hold you, not to let anyone take you, and that Daddy was on his way. I hung up the phone, hopped in the car, and went straight to the Animal Foundation to see you. I arrived there and found out they named you “Pebbles.”

I remember walking into the building and seeing you there in your little cell with cement walls and a glass door all by yourself. You were standing there patiently waiting for me. I walked up, you looked at me, and your tail started wagging immediately, just like you did when I first met you. You remembered me, and that meant the world to me. I opened the glass door, picked you up, and took you to the grassy play area—just you and me. You had me wrapped around your little paw at that very moment. You cuddled up to me and had plenty of kisses for me. It was an immediate bond. I knew that you were coming home with me. There wasn't a question in my mind that I was your Daddy. They asked me if I wanted you, and I couldn't say “yes” fast enough. I will never ever forget that day, from the time they told me on the phone that you were ready to be adopted, to my drive there to the Animal Foundation (so excited to see you again), to the time I was driving you home. I will cherish every detail of that day forever. It seems like it was just yesterday. I will never forget that drive home with you riding shotgun. You were soooo cute in the passenger seat, sitting there, so excited and so proud that you found your Daddy. And I was so blessed to be so lucky to have found you and have you in my life. You changed my life forever on that day, Lucy girl. I remember every single detail of that day when I adopted you, and I will never forget it.

Since that day, you brought so much joy to my life, sweetheart. You always knew how to make me smile and brighten my day. I always knew the minute I stepped foot in the door every day after work, you were there waiting for me, wagging your tail, barking, and spinning in circles because you were always so happy to see me. I was even happier to see you, baby girl. You always made me feel special and showed me your unconditional love every single day. I will never forget turning on the music and watching you show off your dance moves. I have to say you had the very best dance moves I've ever seen. You're even a better dancer than Daddy…and Daddy is a pretty good dancer. You always had that dry sense of humor about you that made everyone who met you fall in love with you.

There is no doubt you were the alpha of the house, and you always kept your sisters in line, and they loved you so much. That's why you were so aptly known as the “Brigadier General” of the house – “Briggie” for short. “My Lucy Boo.” “Lucy Goosey.” “Lucy Bear.” I lost track of all your nicknames, but you responded to every single one of them by spinning in circles with excitement every time I called you. You loved every one of your nicknames.

When it was treat time, you made sure Daddy knew, and of course, Daddy could never say no to my sweetheart. I always loved to watch you eat Daddy’s homemade food that I made for you. Your favorite was ground beef with butternut squash, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, green beans, rice, scrambled eggs, and turmeric. You always loved Daddy’s cooking, and it gave me so much joy to watch you enjoy it. And yes, Daddy always knew when you were in the mood for your bully stick. After 15 years of sharing my life with you, this is the first time I have cried when I think about you, Lucy girl. I miss the cuddles. I miss the kisses. I miss your bark. I miss watching you dance and get so excited when you see me. I miss everything about you.

My daily routine always involved you, and it isn't easy to adjust to a new routine without you. I didn't know I had so many tears, but my tears will never run dry for you, sweetheart. It's truly heartbreaking to let you go, but I didn’t want you to suffer any longer. No more pain, baby. Run free over the rainbow bridge and enjoy your play time with all your friends. There is a space in my heart that will always be reserved for you. Nobody else can ever take that spot except for you, Lucy girl. One day we will meet again. Spread your wings and fly high, my little angel. I will see you again someday, sweetheart. Daddy will forever remember you and all the memories we shared. I will always love you. You will be forever in my heart, my Lucy girl, and you will always be Daddy’s girl ❤️❤️❤️

08/03/2009 – 03/06/2024

Mark DiStefano
North Las Vegas, Nevada

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