She has been with me eight years today, the dog that told me that her name was “Lucy”.
She was supposed to be a “Becky” or a “Sawyer”, to go along with Finn. It became very evident in a very short time that she was not a Sawyer. Try saying that name along with most dog commands. “Lie Down, Sawyer.” “Leave it, Sawyer”. “Good Girl, Sawyer”. Doesn’t work very well for me. So, she was going to be Becky or Becca if I kept her.
Except she really wasn’t a Becky or a Becca. She was most definitely a Lucy. Lucy, as in the character from the Peanuts, the one that pulls the football away from Charlie Brown every time after manipulating him into thinking that this time, she wouldn’t.
So, I named her Lucy. Her fancy name is “Kei’s Piccola Bella Luna”. I’m not sure why she is Italian, although one of my favorite characters in a movie is Cher’s grandfather in “Moonstruck” — the one that always has about 10 dogs trailing behind him, and that there’s a scene in that movie where the grandfather looks up at the moon and says, “aaah Bella Luna”. Maybe this was a sign that I would be rolling my eyes toward the moon with this dog!
What is amazing with the name “Lucy”, is that I found out later that it was her name before she went into rescue!
Lucy is most definitely a conundrum. The one thing I absolutely wanted in my second dog was that she was trustful of humans. And Lucy thinks humans exist to give her pets, so I did get that in her. If you call her over, she will come to you, put her head in your lap…look at you with her big brown eyes, suck you in….and then you go down the rabbit hole of giving her scritches on all parts of her that she presents to you.
She is very strange about food. Not only is she not food motivated, when presented with a new item to eat, she will trot off into a quiet corner with it, and examines it (if she had a scalpel she would dissect it) before she decides if she wants to eat it. Most times, she will leave it in her corner, guard that corner, lying in wait for some other dog (Finn in most cases, her Poodle Friend Fargo has been snared in this trap as well) to come check out her food — just so she can tell them off. It’s as if she is running a test….”let’s see if some other dog wants it. If he does, then I want it.” When I am in a situation when I absolutely need her to eat, the magic words are, “Can I give it to Finn?” (She will clean the bowl.) I often give non-kibble bits — yogurt, green tripe, vegetables — in my dogs’ food. Lucy will eat it in the order she likes them, no matter how much I think I’ve distributed the bits throughout. And yes, she licks the yogurt off the kibble before she eats the kibble.
The best command I taught Lucy was the command to go to the bathroom. It’s very handy, particularly if we are traveling. And she has a secret signal for me. She spins clockwise before she pees, and she spins counter-clockwise before she poops. It’s like she’s telling me….get that bag ready because here I go!
The other not-so-secret handshake Lucy has with me is that she wears her emotions on her sleeve. Ears at 10 and 2? She’s relaxed. Ears pasted back? Scared/unsure. Hackles — are they up? And her tail — it speaks volumes.
When I first met Lucy, her tail was a scrawny puppy tail. Over the years though, it has filled out. It’s quite magnificent, actually, and she is very proud of it. She fans it out on display. She will hold it high on alert and interest. It can be found up by her chin if she is scared. And she has about 1,000 different wags. If you ever meet her, and you get the helicopter, you know that you’ve been invited into her club. That’s her special wag.
There are so many stories I can tell about Lucy. And I hope to be able to tell more, year after year.
Happy adopt-a-versary, Loony Lulu Lucy!