She should be scratching on the front door.

Or laying in the sun, fussing at the people cutting their grass across the street. Or stretched out on the floor of my office asleep with all four paws in the air.

But she’s not. Our beloved Lucy is gone.

We lost Lucy today, struck by a driver in our neighborhood who was going too fast.

It just seems so surreal, that this cannot be happening. Just a few hours ago she was chomping on her food as we finished our breakfast. Now she is laid to rest in a quiet spot in our back yard.

I grew up with dogs and pets around the house. So did LaDonna. Losing a pet is part of life, and we’ve both experienced it before.

But this is different. Lucy was a special dog, that one-of-a-kind mix of rambunctiousness and sweetness that you rarely find.

She could be infuriating. A couple of times while we were trying to potty train her, she would get mad at us and pee or poop somewhere in the house out of spite. The other day, she chewed a hunk out of one of my signed baseballs. And I’ve chased her more than once around the yard, trying to get her to bring me a toy or come inside. But even then, it was hard to get too upset with her when she would put her head down on the ground, stick her rear in the air and wag her tail a hundred miles an hour.

She was an endless source of entertainment. She had a stuffed Eeyore that was her favorite toy that she would bring and nudge up against us when she wanted to play. She would fetch balls for hours, although she liked to get it more than she liked giving it up. She had this little fuss-bark — a kind of a “boof” — that she would give when she felt like someone in the neighborhood was doing something out of line. And we thought we had scarred her for life when we took one of Grant’s Nerf guns with the “laser” sight and had her running all over the house chasing the elusive “Red Dot.” She would look for it obsessively for days.

And she was so very loving. When we would leave for a few hours and come back, you would have thought that we had been gone for weeks. Recently she had started to want to get in the bed with LaDonna and I and snuggle, either at night before we turned the light out or first thing in the morning. And nobody’s day had started off right until Lucy had given them doggie kisses.

In the past, I had always kind of chuckled at people who talked about being devastated by the loss of a pet. It seemed to me to be putting too much value on them.

But I understand so much more now. Lucy was a huge part of our family, and that part has suddenly been ripped away forever. The sorrow and the grief is very, very real.

Life does go on, though, and I feel reasonably certain that Studio P will have another mascot at some point. We have already discussed it. We are dog people, after all, and dog people have dogs.

But there will never be another Lucy. Rest in peace, baby girl. We love you.