It started at the end of August. I hadn’t even thought of adopting a second dog yet. Mugen had been home for just under a month at that point, and I had no idea that anything this heart wrenching was going to happen. I was wrapped up in chocolate Lab puppy dreams and sweet puppy kisses.
I didn’t know anything at all.
At the end of August, a female yellow Lab was picked up by a shelter in LaPorte, Indiana. Her test for heart worms came back positive and she had a wound on her left eye that looked as though it was having trouble healing, or possibly worse. The shelter had no idea and had no way of knowing. Municipal shelters often don’t receive funding to give animals necessary veterinary care. These animals are usually on the short list to euthanasia if those shelters become over crowded, and are often difficult to adopt out.
No one wants an ugly, sick, old looking dog.
I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but a shelter worker saw something on this girl’s face. Someone decided to list her on petfinder. Someone else decided to pick up her story and carry it through all the dog forums on the internet. Any rescue groups in the area must have been full. So she waited and waited and waited, until a kind couple of ladies who rescued dogs decided they were close enough to pull her from the shelter and made the brave decision to intervene. And they chose to do it on their own without the assistance of a rescue group.
That is the day that her life changed forever.
Lucy received donations from some people who read her story on the internet. Those donations paid for her boarding at a vet until a foster mom became available for her. She was treated for heart worms, got a dental cleaning and that fungal infection beneath her eye was removed. Then they waited. They had spread her story far and wide and for over 2 weeks, they heard nothing.
This is where I enter the picture.
I saw her story on a forum that I frequent about dogs. The dog forum has taken up a lot of my time lately because I have a new puppy at home and I’m trying to assimilate as much data as I can about training a puppy. I haven’t had a puppy in the house for a very long time so getting Mugen was a bit of a culture shock for me at first, and then we settled into a groove and things were going well. Hubby and I had discussed from the beginning that Mugen would be the first of two dogs in a set this time. We wanted to try our hand at raising two labs at once, we knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but we felt we were up for the challenge. And no, that wasn’t a decision that I bullied him into. We talked about it together and made that choice together. The original plan was to wait until Mugen was 2 years old and then either adopt a young dog from a rescue or go back to his breeder for another puppy. That is.. until I saw Lucy’s photo.
I was drawn to the post by the fact that she was listed as an Indiana girl, and I’m a Hoosier girl too. I left the cornfields a long time ago, but I will always think of Indiana as home. So I looked at the thread and I saw her photo. Something about her face, something about the way she looked told me that she was the dog I was looking for. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it to you at all, it just seemed like it was right. I discussed her story with hubby and he took one look at her photo and said, “Ask about her.” So I did.
The moment that I first exchanged an email with her foster mom, I hoped that she would come home with us. Lucy was exactly what I was looking for. She was an older dog, she had been in foster care for a month at that point and was up to date on her vaccines. She was healthy and extremely well behaved, very well socialized with other dogs and super sweet. The only worry was that heart worm thing, but it was something hubby and I felt we could handle once we looked into heart worms and what sort of care had to be completed for her.
I talked to hubby again and we decided that if we could figure out a way to get her here from Indiana without someone having to drive over the rockies at a semi-scary time of year to do so, we would adopt her. So you can imagine our surprise, and the joy that filled our hearts, when she went in for her vet check and the vet said her heart worm exam came back negative. When her foster mom told me on the phone, it was all I could do to not squeal into her ear. I was so happy for Lucy that day. I had never heard such good news.
And then today, after a 9 hour flight on a plane and a week of waiting and anticipation.. she was here. Our Miss Lucy Girl. She’s everything we dreamed of and is exactly everything that her foster mom had said she would be… and we fell in love with her in a split second. She even gets along decently with Mugen, who would love nothing more than to be able to play with her for hours on end, but Lucy is older than he is, and while she’s still got some of that classic lab bounce and spark, she’s had a very long day and is very tired. I expect that tomorrow she will play with Mugen a lot more seriously and put him in his place. Which I am sure he will deserve, being a danged punk kid and all.
And there you have it. It is with great awe at what rescues do for dogs and with a heart full of love that I introduce you to our Miss Lucy Girl. I am sure you’ll see more stories about her on my blog soon.