We've known for the last two weeks that these were her last days. She was having repeated chest infections, and had lost a lot of weight.
The vet had told us that she thought there was 'something sinister' going on, and set out our options, which were quite limited due to her already precarious state of health. She had pancreatitis, and her kidneys were failing. Even if chemotherapy was theoretically possible, the likelihood was that Lucy would not be strong enough to cope with it.
Of course, there was really no decision to make - we did not want her to be in pain. So we chose not to have investigations done - no more tests, no x-rays - but to simply make her as comfortable as possible, even though effective pain relief would probably accelerate the kidney failure.
So the pain relief was started, and immediately she was happier. She slept a lot of the time, but when she was awake, she could be tempted to eat now, and for a while we thought that she might make it through to the New Year.
But in the small hours of Tuesday morning things took a turn for the worse, and even tramadol no longer helped.
By the time the morning came, it was clear that she wasn't going to be with us much longer. At that point, we knew that the only thing we could do for her was to make sure that she didn't have to go through another such episode of pain and distress.
So we took her to the vet, and her passing was easy and pain-free. We stayed with her, holding her and talking quietly to her until we knew she was gone.
Life goes on, of course.
We miss her at unexpected moments all through the day, and there are echoes of her everywhere.
Last night, I thought I heard her sigh in her sleep, as she used to. This morning my husband, sitting on the sofa with his cup of coffee, puts his hand down to where her head used to be as she lay by his side, and finds nothing there.....