Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Lucy, A True Friend of Portia, by guest blogger, Barbara
July 2000. Stopping by my brother's house on the way home from work, I encountered the most neglected dog I have ever met. We are used to stray animals on the dead end road to our family home, but this one was different. She appeared to be a reddish black, midsized dog with dreadlocks that were two feet long. It took days to get her to come close enough to us so that she could accept a drink of water and we could leash her. My brother, Tom, fell in love with this somewhat frightening creature and took her to a vet. The doctor said she was a spayed Chow-Australian Shepherd mix who had spent most of her first two years living on the street. As expected, no one claimed her, nor was anyone interested in taking her on, except my brother. At the time, I lived in an apartment nearby with a Siamese princess. So her care was up to Tom, who named her Lucy. It was very difficult to find anyone willing to groom her, but a local mobile groomer took on the three hour chore of shaving away her long neglected double coat. Lucy's fur grew back glossy black with a Chow ruff and ears and with Aussie waves and tail. She looked like a black bear with shiny white teeth With her stiff legged Chow gait and boundless Aussie energy, she quickly began to fiercely protect her new home and yard. Tom became a devotee of Cesar Milan and Lucy became a successful rescue with one exception--Other Dogs. This aggression was never overcome and so we always walked her with a great deal of control and warned off other dog walkers. (Do not talk to me about retractable leashes!) She eventually learned to coexist with the inside cats, and became good friends with a stray white bunny, whom I also found on our road. Lucy accepted these animals as part of her pack and herded them, along with visitors to our home. She loved everyone if we said they were OK, but protected me against men in ball caps or uniforms. All our visitors grew to Love Lucy. As I write, Lucy is getting ready to leave us. She has a severe and fast growing cancer under her tongue. Tom is doing everything he can to keep her comfortable while there is still quality of life to maintain. How do you tell such a devoted creature that it is OK to leave us? My sweet Bella Lucia, please join Samantha. Chase each other, and wait for me like the devoted loving souls you are.