I want to thank everyone for their thoughts. The house seems pretty empty for us without him here. Lucy laid her head down on the edge of his kitchen pillow and moped for part of the afternoon. this evening she has curled up in his usual spot on the bed. I have hundreds of wonderful memories of Ricky and hope you can stand one more...a few years ago when we were living at our previous house in the mountains and the forest fires were bad, the dogs kept sneaking dead birds that they found into the house. My husband found one in a boot, my son found one in his laundry pile but the best was the one they (we are not sure who the guilty dog was) "buried" in the foot of our bed that my husband discovered when he got into bed. So one afternoon they were barking to come back into the house. I opened the front door and there they sat and Ricky had his head tucked down, trying to hide something. I sternly said to him, "Is that a dead bird? You are NOT bringing that thing into the house." Getting a better look, I saw it was a dead squirrel. I turned around and went back into the house closing the door behind me. About 5 minutes later they started their Let Me In bark and I opened the door and they were sitting there on the porch like two little angels. I looked at Ricky and said, "what did you do with that squirrel?". He gave me his most innocent look but he cast a furtive glance over to the flower bed next to the porch. I looked at the spot and there was the proverbial 'freshly dug grave' in the flower bed with the ground neatly packed down and a squirrel tail sticking out of the dirt at one end. He buried the body but couldn't get the tail covered and it was sticking straight out of the dirt like a furry flag pole! I laughed so hard. Once he knew that I knew where it was, he did not come in but came in later and he had dug it up and hid it somewhere else.
Thank you again for your kind thoughts. They have been comforting. - Nancy