Lucy the Dog

Every day, for as long as I can remember, my mom went out in the morning to walk the dog. She took Lucy the dog for a walk last Friday, went to work, and we haven’t seen her since. Lucy was an elderly dog, had trouble walking, and we don’t hold out much hope of finding her again. Like Rocky, her predecessor, we think she went out into the woods and passed away quietly.

One rainy afternoon after school, my grandmother, mom, sister and I were coming out of a store when we noticed a very scared and shivering dog tied to a dumpster. She had been abandoned by her previous owners, and we came to the immediate conclusion that we couldn’t leave her out in the cold rain. This young brown-spotted half-dalmatian with a brown patch over one eye was scared of us, and whenever we made a sudden movement or created a loud noise, she recoiled in terror. She was quickly accepted into our family, and our other dog quickly adjusted to her presence.

Lucy was born to run, and we frequently found her running high-speed loops around our lawn whenever she was excited or even just chasing a stick. She was brimming with energy and always kept us on our toes trying to get her enough activity so she wouldn’t tear apart the house.

We found an old hand-made doghouse, gave it a fresh coat of paint, put in a new lightbulb, and quickly christened it “Lucy’s Doghouse.” Her short-haired fur made her much more susceptible to the cold than our other thickly furred  dog, and she needed the enclosed space to avoid shivering. We’d often just see her nose sticking out from beyond the blanket door the doghouse had.

Soon after we got her, I was home alone after school when a rare thunderstorm hit. I was in our computer room and not really paying attention to her until I noticed that the entire hallway was covered in water. Or more specifically, drool. Lucy was absolutely terrified of the thunder and her reaction was to drool as much as possible. In her later years Lucy managed to become more tolerant of fireworks, thunder, and loud music, but we always suspect it was because she had become increasingly hard of hearing.

Lucy never truly understood that as a dog she wasn’t allowed on the furniture. She saw the humans and cats be allowed to sit on these great comfortable cushions, and tried to sneak a nap on our couch whenever possible. I suspect she learned this from our other dog, but he had the advantages of having dark fur, didn’t shed constantly, and had extremely good hearing so he could always escape when he heard us get up in the morning. Lucy had none of these advantages, and was always getting caught by her tell-tail white hairs covering the dark couch cushions.

She had her encounters with wildlife. One day we went up to play Badminton to notice her throwing something in the air. Lucy had managed to catch a mole! Once she had found it, Lucy had very little idea of what actually to do  with it, so her solution was to toss it in the air until we found her with it. One very terrified mole was rescued that day from her clutches.

And finally, like all dogs, Lucy loved to sleep in front of a warm fireplace during a cold winter night.

Lucy pictured with Tiger the Cat


5 thoughts on “Lucy the Dog

  1. Oh Nikky, that is such a beautiful tribute to Lucy. My heart is breaking, so I know you all must be in pain. It is the hardest part of having a pet…when they are gone. Hugs to you, Nina, Eileen & Mike.


  2. Nikky you brought it all back! All the photos are fabulous, the last being especially wonderful. Thanks for doing this. GREAT narrative. Dad


  3. I ,miss Lucy very much. The doghouse was one I made for Duffy, Mary Lou`s dog when she came here in 1982. I brought it down to the house from the boathouse when .Lucy needed it and set it up for heat from the light. bulb.
    Grampa Ray


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