On this day, just one year ago, I drove to Edmonton to meet a very special pup. I had been looking for an adult rescue dog and had seen Lucy’s picture on the NASAP website. For some reason I kept returning to her picture (below):
She looked so cute and intelligent! And even though I had seen a few other dogs on other animal rescue websites I just had this gut feeling that I should just go and see her first. I made the appointment to meet her at her foster mom’s in Edmonton and drove out from Pigeon Lake.
For me, it was love at first sight. I observed her mature attitude and calmness and interest in me. Her foster mom filled me in on what little they knew of Lucy: that she was a stray, that she was very thin when they found her and that they had to shave off her fur because her long red coat was so dirty and matted. I sat on the floor with her for half and hour and pressed my forehead to hers, asking her (in my mind) if she would like to come home with me? I felt a calm ‘yes’ and so I signed the papers. We left the house and Lucy jumped into the back seat of my truck without any anxiety and promptly went to sleep.
The first three months were not always easy. Yes, she was the perfect companion when we were alone, but she was very suspicious of other people and did not like other dogs (especially other females). To help socialize her in a supportive environment we attended obedience classes and visited off-leash parks with other dogs and owners from the class.
In this past year Lucy has had many adventures in the bush and she has showed an uncanny wisdom when dealing with wildlife. For example, she LOVES to chase deer, mice, squirrels and grouse but she keeps her distance from the skunks, porcupines and moose. We have had bear and recently cougar sightings on our trail out back and during those times Lucy stuck right by my side, never leaving me.
Another story demonstrating her protectiveness was when I was accidentally hit on the head (very hard!) last summer with a long wooden board. I dropped to the ground and waited while my friend ran to get ice. Lucy laid right beside and did not leave my side. My friend, a doctor, checked my vital signs then sent me to bed (still iced) to rest. Again, Lucy stayed right at my side for hours (lying on the floor) and did not even leave to eat her usual evening meal in the kitchen.
Lucy has come a long way over these past 12 months. She is no longer suspicious of most people (although I love it that she still barks ferociously when there is a knock at the door). She is playful with other dogs although, like me, she seems to prefer to be alone. Lucy is my clock, my skiing/hiking partner, my confidant, my playmate, my driving partner and yes, truly my best friend. I am so grateful for her constant love and companionship and I wish her many happy healthy dog years to come!
Happy Adoption Day, Lucy!