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My first sight of Lucy Lou was a wet, shivering dog with haunted dark eyes that begged for mercy. I had taken one of my cats in for her yearly shot and told my vet, Cindy Johnson, about my son's dog getting suddenly killed in an freak accident. When Cindy heard about Leo, she told me that an abandoned dog had just come in rescued by one of the Best Friends Sanctuary volunteers. This dog was found whimpering in the middle of the road beside another dog, who had been run over and killed. Cindy asked me if I would take a look at this abandoned dog. I agreed, although I told Cindy that at this point we weren't planning on getting another dog just then.
As soon as I saw the frightened dog my heart went out to this abandoned animal. I spoke gently to the trembling dog, reached out, and petted her head. The dog whimpered, then reached out, and licked my hand. The volunteer got all excited. It was the dog's first response to a human since being rescued. Her curly fur was all matted with burrs so I helped the volunteer comb some of them out. The dog lay still as though she understood that we were trying to help her. I was sure that such a loveable dog would soon be claimed.
Two weeks later I received a phone call from the volunteer, Sharon Craven. No one had come forward to claim this dog. Lost dog posters were put up. The police had gone from house to house in a wide circle for a couple of miles from where the dog was found asking if anyone knew who owned this dog, but no one wanted or identified her. Since the dog had responded so well to me, Sharon told me I would have the first chance to adopt this dog.
Another person was also interested so I told Sharon to let them have this dog if they wanted her. I was only concerned that this neglected dog would find a good home. The next week Sharon called me back. The other person had come and seen Lucy Lou (the name her daughter gave the dog), but Sharon wasn't satisfied even though they seemed nice. Sharon kept remembering how Lucy Lou had responded to me and asked me again if I would be willing to adopt Lucy Lou. If Sharon hadn’t already been overloaded with keeping dogs needing homes at her own residence her family would gladly have adopted Lucy Lou as they were becoming quite attached to her.
My heart went out this abandoned dog, who needed a loving home, but we had just received word that my husband's brother had died and we were getting ready to make a trip to Florida for the funeral. Sharon told me that she would keep Lucy Lou as long as I needed if I would take her. I agreed and Sharon made arrangements for Lucy Lou to be fixed and given all her shots while I was gone.
Almost a month later from when I had first seen Lucy Lou, I went to pick her up at Sharon's house. I secretly wondered if Lucy Lou would remember me after such a long time, but as soon as I looked into Lucy Lou's eyes and spoke to her it was as though we had never been parted. I signed the necessary papers, chatted with Sharon, and then got ready to leave. It was difficult for Sharon to say good-bye to Lucy Lou. Even though she had several other dogs, and Sharon kept saying that she couldn’t believe how much Lucy Lou and I were made for each other, I saw how a volunteer's heart becomes quickly attached caring for these abandoned animals.
Lucy Lou rode home curled up in my lap and I carried her inside my house. Her dark eyes looked around at her new home. She cautiously sniffed exploring all the strange smells. As soon as Lucy Lou saw my tall husband, she flattened herself out on the floor and started to shake in fright. Lucy Lou did this for any loud noise or strange men for a couple of months, never letting me get out of her sight for an instant. At night she slept on the bed at my feet. The way Lucy Lou reacted to my husband confirmed my suspicions that she had been formerly abused by a man.
As much as we loved, petted, and assured Lucy Lou that she would never be abused or abandoned again, it was three months before Lucy Lou regained her self confidence back. As loveable as Lucy Lou had been from the start and quick to house train, I was amazed as her true personality began to emerge. Despite being abandoned by a human, Lucy Lou is still quick to trust people. Everyone that meets Lucy Lou falls in love with this furry animal. Today she greets any stranger with excitement trying to lick them to death while dancing around in excitement on her two back legs as if she can’t wait to show off her home and owners. She loves to romp and play and is quite the tease, but stops and quickly gives a doggy kiss if she thinks she has been too rough.
Lucy Lou is quick to sense when I am in pain and will stay close by me. When I am in bed she spends the day curled beside me licking my fingers every couple of hours to wake me up to make sure I am okay. She makes sure to give my feet a wide circle when I am unsteady walking. You would think that this dog had already been trained to be a companion to someone with a chronic illness. When I struggle with despair, Lucy Lou’s warm furry body gives me comfort and hope. Every morning I wake up to find her dark eyes watching over me. Each day I count my blessings to have an angel in fur enriching my life.
One day as I fretted about a friend, who had cancer, I got the wild idea of using Lucy Lou to write a letter to help cheer my friend up. Being sick myself, I know the frustrations that one often feels. You tend to mask your true feelings. But with a dog, hey, you can say anything. Even so I wasn’t prepared for the quick response that Lucy Lou's letter triggered with my friend. I decided to share these letters with others in a doggy blog. Everyone needs a friend in their life.
To read these letters check out my doggy blog