lucy is a black lab/chow mix i adopted from a shelter 12 years ago when i was single in new york and sharing a cramped rental apartment with my airline stewardess roommate. needless to say, she and i (lucy, not the roommate) have been through a lot together. when i got her, i gave her a ross perot chew toy (he was running for office). fast forward: the two of us are now five, if you include husband and two kids. (that's a photo of lucy pre-wedding, which she was in.) we live in in our own home in connecticut. she and i watched obama give his acceptance speech the night he was elected. and, you got it, we're both getting older, a fact i've studiously ignored, until this week. lucy has started to limp and move very slowly, so today, i took her to the vet for x-rays to find out if she's got a fracture or injury of if it's just old-age setting in. needless to say, i'm incredibly sad because i never believed she'd be anything other than a puppy. i'll pick her up after work, and she'll ride next to me on the front seat of the car, like she always loves to do. maybe we'll take a (slow) walk in the dog park in westport, followed by a trip with the kids to get an ice cream. at 12, she's entitled to a little mint chip every now and then, don 't you think?