Meet Lucy Lou!
Lucy, the moment I became a rescue.
what you are going to read below starts with the post I wrote last year the day after my birthday of 2018. It describes how I found my way to Lucy, my little bait dog miracle.
This little girl in the pictures below immediately has become the most special little girl in the house since her arrival. She’s a survivor! She’s been through hell and is still here and is still willing to love. I love all my dogs to death, and as many of you know,Harley in particular, is dear to my heart because of how fragile she is and how much she needs me. As, is my friends dog, Lady, who rescued me first. However, the story that you are about to read will explain just how important Lucy is to me.
She made me realize just how sick and cruel humans could be. 😡
She gave me a cause.😢
I have very few fond memories of my childhood from my fathers side. I came from a broken home as many have. I grew up with my mom. So, unfortunately, not many special memories from that side as I he lived far away and I didn’t get to see him very often. You know the routine, Christmas week and a few weeks in the summer. So one my only memories I have of my grandfather on my dads side came from taking walks in the park at Christmas time up in Westfield, Nee Jersey with him and his little miniature pincher, Lucy. This is also one of, if not the fondest memories of my childhood in general. It was a peaceful memory full of learning and vividly, I remember so much about those morning walks. The park itself. I could literally draw you the path winding around the frozen pond with the evergreens covered with snow and the sun starting to hit the ice causing the steam to start to rise off. I remember his black pea coat, decades before I knew what a pea coat was. As a retired colonel and working for leg mason he always was a dapper man. The still air capturing our breath as quick as they came out of our mouths. Then, of course, little Lucy. A undersized miniature pinscher. I would honestly guess she would know more than 9 to 10 pounds even though she was what we would call, portly. She was friendly and full of energy, yet still very disciplined when on her leash. Go figure, military brat. 😂😂😂So, when I first realized that I wanted a small dog like my friend Connie’s dog, Lady, who saved me of course, i decided I was going to buy a female miniature pincher, and name her Lucy after my grandfathers dog.
Now, for those of you that haven’t been following long enough you remember the original stories of Lady, and Kira. This is what happened when I started looking for my own Lady. I decided to go look for one that resembled my grandfather’s dog rather than resembling the looks of Lady so that I could try to capture both memories in one. I got on the craigslist, looking for either a miniature pinscher or Chihuahua that might be Black and Tan. Before I knew it I came across Kira, who was brown and tan, and a Chihuahua, but close enough. I was excited and impetuous and maybe even thought I’d rename her Lucy. After all Lady was a chihuahua and she’s really why I’m looking for a dog now. My own Lady. I’ll make my own memories with a resemblance to the past I thought. The rest until yesterday, as they say is history. LOL. I’ve acquired ten beautiful pups and have taken great pride in finding ones that needed a loving home the most.
I woke up that morning feeling is this going to be the worst birthday of my entire life. Even though I’ve been over year since my wife had left me, I was still reeling from the loss. No plans, no love, no birthday dinner, no thoughtful card or flowers from the one I love, no parties, no family. Just solitary emptiness. As many knew at the time I even avoided social
media that day simply because I did not want to deal with my birthday at all. However, being a slave to my phone like everybody else I had to look at something to kill the boredom, so I looked on craigslist. I something ironic happened. I found something very specific. She’d only been up on the site for a few hours, she was a black and tan Chihuahua who was give or take a-year-old and low and behold, her name was......... Lucy. So why not? Maybe. Honestly, it was wishful thinking and being caught up in my own memories, that made me reach out. I truly didn’t even expect a response. Well I got one, and rather quickly. I was surprised actually. The girl asked when could I come get her? I mentioned that I might be up this weekend to take a look at her (This was a Wednesday). Her response was that she could not guarantee she can hold Lucy which I understood. I started the two hour drive to work. An hour or so passed and I got to thinking that I could probably get up Friday morning early if she could meet then. She responded. Her responses responses seemed to get a little more urgent. She asked if there was anyway I could meet that night before 8 o’clock. Turns out there was now urgency on her part, and it wasn’t due to someone else’s interest in Lucy,as I originally assumed, but rather her inability to keep Lucy past that day. So I did the math in my head. She was in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. I was in Mount Vernon, Virginia at 1:30 in the afternoon. Without traffic it was a four hour drive if I left them. I told her I didn’t think I could make it that soon and she said if it was at all possible she would drop the rehoming fee down and exactly why. She said that her landlord said that if she couldn’t find a home by the end of that night Lucy was to end up in the pound. This and the fact she’d be free was incentive to come get her tonight. Not knowing if Pennsylvania pounds are kill shelters or not it promoted a sense of urgency in me. I told her I would make it up there before she has to go to work.
I packed up the job site, started making a five hour trek up there. There was a time limit and I was nervous and stressed that I would not make it in time with traffic. As I’m making the ride up I am messaging a friend who reached out to me directly to wish me a happy birthday and basically explained everything in the story you have read above. She proceeds to tell me how excited she is for me and that this is going to probably be the best birthday I’ve ever had. I had to stop and think about that because it certainly didn’t feel like it so far. Get up late. Miserable. Go to work by myself. Have to drive five hours all stressed out through the nations capital during rush hour traffic. Sun in my face the entire way. However, I kept my mind open to hope once the seed was planted. I do that a lot. I thought to myself, perhaps she’s right though, maybe, if this works out, someday I’ll look back and say, wow! it was so worth it, that this really was a good birthday.
Well I had no idea how right she was! I made it just in time. Like7:45. I was tired, agitated, hungry and sore. Luckily, she reached out to her work and was able to start her shift a little later to accommodate her situation as well. Upon reaching my destination, I saw Lucy outside being walked by her owner. I could tell immediately how much this couple cared for her and I already put me at ease. I felt horrible that the landlord would not allow them to keep her. We go inside to sit down and she proceeds to tell me such a horrible story that it took everything I had not to break down and start crying in front of her. Turns out, she’s not Lucy’s real owner. She’s only had Lucy for less than a week. She found Lucy in front of a trailer park wandering around and in very bad shape. I would later find out the doctor said she was near death at the time she took her in. She knocked on doors until she found Lucy’s owners trailer. Upon answering the door, Lucy’s owner looked at her and said, I quote “I don’t want to thing, I’m done with it!” She was able to get Lucy’s name and relative age from the guy before leaving. She then proceeds to tell something so horrible, that I couldn’t fully believe at first. From what she could tell, knowing of who the guy was, from the injuries she had sustained, and from the emergency vets diagnosis, she said Lucy was used as a bait dog. Now, honestly didn’t completely understand what a bait dog was until later that night when I read up on the subject. I knew enough, however, to be disgusted and so saddened for this little girl. For those that don’t know, apparently there’s fighting dogs and there’s bait dogs. The bait dogs job is to make the fighting dog meaner, better trained and conditioned. If they use another pitbull as a bait dog, it is usually put some disadvantage, such as muzzled or tied to a post. They will use anything from smaller dogs, to cats, even rabbits. A bait dogs job is to fight to the bitter end with no chance of survival. Fight...... flight..... futility. That’s their final moments.
This poor girl gone out and bought well over $150 worth of items for Lucy. Everything from the kennel to bedding, clothing, toys, leashes and leads, food and medicine and treats etc etc etc. then she asks if she could still have part of the rehoming fee. The items were definitely worth the price but that’s now why she asked. She’d also spent quite a bit on the emergency vet. They were young folks, and were definitely poverty level so that cost was a lot for them. it was admirable they did the right thing. I felt no issue with reimbursing their efforts.
Lucy was starving, had a large amount of hair loss, bite marks throughout her entire body and head, three broken ribs left to heal on their own, and her right arm broken in two places that had never healed properly. The vet had said he was amazed this little dog was still alive after everything she’s been through and the condition she was in upon examining her. Poor thing has only been on the planet for a year or so and experienced more abuse and pain than most will know in an entire lifetime. I kept it together and smiled and listened and helped her collect Lucy’s things but I had to get out of there as soon as possible. My stomach had turned. I was so sad listening to this and yet I felt the fire inside building and I was becoming furious. Then the damnedest thing happened. Lucy jumped up in my lap. My focus returned so quickly to her I was shocked. I was calm again. All I wanted to do was hold her. Lucy was as kind and gentle and as friendly as can be and didn’t seem overly skittish. I gathered my composure and I put her in the car, I thanked the young lady, and started the two and a half hour drive home. Lucy, almost immediately, climbed up into my lap, where she would remain the entire time. I continuously reassured her that she would never have to go through anything like she’s experience ever again. She kept turning around and looking up at me very calmly, and I could feel there was a bond already starting.
Halfway home I had to stop and get gas, so I stopped at a Sheetz outside of Bedford, Pa on route 30. It’s a highway with random gas stations on the side of the road here and there. Cars are going highway speeds and there’s a lot of tractor trailer traffic. I pulled up to the pumps for as soon as I opened the door, Lucy jumped out of the car. She starts wandering at a slight jog sniffing the ground. I wasn’t too concerned. I started telling her to get back in the car or come to me. “Come on Lucy, come on let’s get back in the car baby.” She decides to pick up speed and started running out of the parking lot and towards the highway. At this point I am into a fast jog still calling her name assuming she’ll stop but my concern is growing rapidly. I Call her again to come. She doesn’t stop and runs directly into the highway. I looked back and noticed that traffic starting to come around the corner at a high rate of speed about a half a mile back. Traffic the other direction is already passing us. Nothing new ahead. At this point I break into the fastest Sprint my non-cardio body could do, and stop calling her name. By now we are in the second lane of traffic. I am chasing her down a dark highway at 9 o’clock at night. Of course, I had to be in black sweats. I knew there was literally no way they could see me until the last second, let alone a little 4 pound black dog in the dark. I made the decision to stay in that lane in hopes they’d see me since they’d barrel right over her without seeing. I am thinking to myself, oh god, this is it. I’m going to die in the middle of a four lane highway somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania. I was able to gain on her due to her prior injuries and run her down. I literally got within 5 feet of her and she collapsed, curled up into a ball and buried her head between her legs. I stopped and froze. It was at that moment I understood what a bait dog was. It was so intense to see that she was giving up her on her life and accepting her fate that I forgot everything going on around me. The trailer went by blaring it’s horn and the wind sheer about knocked me over.
I was able to grab her and get her off the road and bring her back to the car. I filled up my gas and left the station, but I had to pull over as soon as the adrenaline stopped pumping. I sat there literally cried for over five minutes. I held her so tight. The only thing this poor girl knows is survival. She knows that if she can get loose she must run for her life and when she can’t run any longer she simply collapses and accepts her fate. I can’t imagine the life she must’ve led. I’m reminded of it every time I look into her tortured, beautiful, loving little eyes. I have taken pride in helping these pups that I thought had it rough. Inbreeding, neglect and a general lack of being loved. This poor dog has been more abused than all the others combined. I started the day thinking that Lucy could possibly fill a need for me from my childhood, and by the end of the day I realized she needs me I thousand times more than I need her. Now that I have her home safe, and I can put the horrible thoughts out of my mind of what she’s had to endure, and work towards her very bright future together with me! I can honestly say that I will always remember this birthday, and I know now that it will be the most special and meaningful birthday I’ve ever had.
For the first seven months Lucy maintained in this family. She’d kept mostly to herself to avoid conflict. She didn’t know how to interact with other dogs. If they tried to play, she didn’t understand. She would go after a couple here and there. Now she has never so much as growled at a human. In fact, to this day she remains terrified of all men. Even me. It breaks my heart to call her name and watch her slink away. To see her piddle every time you go to pick her up. I am reminded of her pain every time I look at her body and I can see it everywhere she’s been punctured by another dog teeth. You see those spots actually grew back back albino. White spots littering her black and tan body. Over the last several months however, something miraculous has been happening. Lucy is begin to play. Lucy has learned to start to interact with the other dogs. Most importantly, Lucy has started coming up to greet me every time I come home just like every other one of my babies. She’s barely piddling anymore. I caught her one day with Kira and Mia, Who are pretty tough and like rough housing. I’ve seen Mia trying to drag Kira around by her ear. All while growling. Now of course this is all playing, but if you didn’t know any better you think these two dogs are going at it. Well, on that day Lucy was in the middle of them. I was scared to death I freaked out. Until I realized she was playing along. She was able to stop, pull back. She was able to calm down. Then I noticed her playing with some of the smaller pups. It was so awkward but adorable. She was being so gentle while trying to grab them by their legs with her mouth. All the while they are going full steam and biting her ears.
On November 28th when Puddles had passed, I was really upset. I never had someone pass away in my arms before. I actually felt for a while that I killed her by moving her. She was sixteen when she came here and only lived a month and a half longer. I must’ve startled her system by picking her up while she was so delicate. I felt like such a failure. Looking at peanuts sad eyes was it. I went out to the garage to be alone. I put my head down in my hands and started balling. I felt a set of paws on my legs. I expected Kira, or pinches or peanut. No, it was Lucy. My little bait dog was more concerned for me than she was concerned about me. This little girl who has been through hell, was there for me. It’s one of the most rewarding moments I’ve ever had in my life and she continues to amaze me with her every action. She and I are forever bonded. To a level I never thought possible. My beautiful Lucy Lou.