Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Joyous Dog

Yesterday, I needed to make a one-day trip to the mainland for the annual Christmas Dinner at my mother’s seniors' residence. As a 2.5 hour dinner/visit with mom requires being away from home for about 12 hours, I arranged for my friend Else to let Sadie and Charley out a couple of times during the day and to feed them their dinner (thanks, Else!). I knew Lucy would need more supervision than a couple of short visits, however, as she gets anxious when left alone and also gets into mischief. So Lucy went over to Gail’s for the day (thanks, Gail!).

She knows Gail. She's met her several times and Gail has looked after her and the pups at my place. And Gail is very dog savvy. So I had no qualms about leaving her there. I dropped her off at 8:15 AM and waved goodbye to Lucy's sad face peering out the window as I drove away.

It was a lovely day for a ferry ride, we had a very nice dinner, it was great to see my mom again (as well as my sister, my daughter, and a long-time family friend), we exchanged gifts and our family’s traditional Christmas baking, I read a good book on the ferry ride back, and I made it safely back to Gail’s about 8:45 PM.

Lucy was happy to see me. She licked me to death and leaned against me, as Gail told me how Lucy had cried for the first hour and wouldn’t even lie down to rest until noon. I laughed when she told me her cat Molly had made sure that Lucy knew just who was boss in THAT household (I think Allie probably warned Molly to make sure she established the upper paw from the get-go), and I suspect Molly hissed in Lucy’s ear “Yer NOT welcome here ya dum dog! Don’t get any ideas ‘bout stayin’!" Lucy was very happy to see me.

But the real extent of Lucy’s joy didn’t become apparent until we got home. As I opened the van door, Lucy looked at me apprehensively, ears back, licking her lips... “Where are we now??” The minute it registered that she was back home, she went ballistic. She danced and leapt and woofed and twirled and then danced some more. It was all I could do to shepherd her into the back yard without becoming entrapped in her leash.

I let Charley and Sadie out and she KISSED them – yes she did! – right on the nose – each of them. She dashed inside, still dancing and twirling and wiggling her butt so hard it seemed disconnected from her front, and she playbowed to the cat (who gave me such a look!), then zoomied back outside to tear around and leap at Charley and Sadie some more. When I finally got all three dogs back in the house, Lucy was still leaping and barking and grinning - unfortunately, my camera was still in the car with my other gear.

And her joy was obviously contagious, because next thing I knew, eleven year old Sadie was rolling on the floor in a wrestling-kissyface-I’m-gonna-get-you play fighting match. I have never seen Sadie do that before, not in the nearly three years she has lived with me. Even Charley tried to get in on the act until she got bowled over and made the wise decision to retreat to a safer distance.

Happy Lucy bounced around the house for nearly two hours last night. She checked out every one of her favourite spots – the bed, the chair, the couch, the kitchen, each of the dog beds - and she ran back and forth to the door to repeatedly check out the back yard. She gave me a zillion kisses, she chased the cat with big bounding leaps, and she wore the biggest grin I have ever seen.

Finally, when she felt sure all was right with her world, she went to sleep.

Whoever adopts Lucy is going to have to be a very, very special person who will be willing to work with Lucy and me in ways to make the transition to a new home as comfortable as possible. But once she's made that transition, she will give her whole heart to that person. Just as she has to me.

Lucy is being fostered for the SPCA and will be available for adoption once she is spayed. If you know of a special someone who is looking for a four-legged Best Friend Forever and might consider Lucy, please direct them to this blog. I can be contacted using the "Email me" link on the right.


Lori B said...

Lucy may still need to learn a few things but she sure knows how to show gratitude!! I'm going to learn from Lucy and remember to show some gratitude to my loved ones today. Thanks Lucy.

irene said...

Jean, you are amazing! How in the world did you manage to do Christmas baking to exchange with your family when you had 10 pups underfoot?????

I'm in awe :-)

Jean said...

Lori B - how true! We should all be as enthusiastic in our joy at seeing loved ones as Ms. Lucy is!

Irene, my little secret is never to bake until the night before you are going to distribute it (because otherwise I eat it all myself and just have to bake more!) - so the pups were gone by the time I actually baked. And I only had two things to make - a few dozen sausage rolls and about 10 dozen cheese crispies - both really simple to make!

Erika said...

As a failed foster mom (to Arthur) I have to ask, is there a chance you will keep Lucy?
I know, I know she is a foster dog. She sure does love you... :)

Jean said...

Erika, as much as I love Lucy, she's really not a dog I want to adopt at this stage of my life. She is very young, which means she could well be around for another fifteen years or more. I don't know that I want to still be living in a detached home with a yard to maintain for another fifteen years, and she is too large to meet the size requirements of the few condos or seniors' places that do allow pets. And while my senior girls are very good with her, and she with them, it has been very hard for them to deal with a powerful, exuberant dog who quite literally knocks them off their feet - er, paws. Charley, my oldest, who has been through a lot of changes in the past four years, and who is increasingly showing her age and physical, neurological weakness, deserves to live out her life without having to take a backseat to a body-slamming, rootin' tootin' silly, wiggly adolescent dog.

Erika said...

All good reasons!