Meet Lucy!

Many memorists think their own lives are fascinating. However, after writing 2 1/3 memoirs (The Compassionate Carnivore counts as 1/3, in my mind), I still think my life is not fascinating. So it’s hard to write about it….luckily, writing about dogs is easy.

After a month without little Teddy, we adopted a new dog. Lucy was rescued from a high-kill shelter somewhere in the US by Midwest Animal Rescue Services and driven to Minneapolis to live temporarily with a foster family. 

We found her listed on, a dangerous place to go because so many great pets need homes. We fell in love with this face:


She’s big—half-St. Bernard, possibly half-Great Dane. Melissa put a coin in Lucy’s pawprint. If you look closely, you’ll see it’s a quarter, not a dime! Big feet.

The shelter thinks she might be 18 months, which is still a puppy. And she acts like it. When she runs, she flails around as if her legs are about to come off! She loves to run in the backyard, huge loping strides.

No one knows what her life was like before coming here, but she’s very underweight—ribs and backbone showing, muscles underdeveloped. We think she weighs 80 pounds… not sure how large she will get. Yikes, what were we thinking?

Unfortunately, Molly (griffon on the right above) really dislikes Lucy. Growls and snaps. Molly has been cranky the entire two weeks Lucy has been here. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this better, we’re open to ideas. Lucy is pretty laid back around her, but gets excited outside. She gets ugly when around food, so we’re keeping that under control.

And the best part? We’ve hated our vacuum cleaner for years because it doesn’t pick up the dog hair, but we just couldn’t justify spending the money. Turns out Lucy sheds like CRAZY. So—yippityskippity—we bought a new vacuum, a special Cat and Dog vacuum. And it does a GREAT job.

Incorporating a new dog is a time of adjustment and training: “No, you can’t get up on the bed. No, you can’t hold my hand with your mouth. No, you can’t put your paws on our shoulders.” But she’s learning (especially when treats are involved.) Our first command is always Battlestations, which means “Get your butt out of the kitchen so I can cook without tripping over you!”

So we’re back to being a two-dog family. And once we get Lucy trained, and Molly relaxes, life will return to normal. Normal is good. Our only problem will be fighting over who gets to vacuum, but Melissa and I will work that out.

11 thoughts on “Meet Lucy!

  1. She looks like a doll! What a lovely big girl.

    As for your crankypants Molly, it has been my experience that they’ll work it out. At this point Molly is probably just letting Lucy know who’s boss. The best scenario is that they’ll become buddies. (This has happened with our dogs.) It might also be that they’ll not be buddies, but will form a truce. (This has also happened, with a different dog in our pack.)

    Have fun! I’m actually a bit envious!

  2. I’ve heard two female dogs have the hardest time becoming buddies . . . but I’m thinking that will eventually happen in your happy home. And I’ll bet Lucy will stop shedding so much once she gets the proper nutrition going in her system. Poor Molly no doubt feels slighted because it’s necessary that Lucy get so much training attention right now. Just give Molly as much loving and time as you can so she doesn’t think she’s being displaced. With Teddy and now Lucy coming into her home, she’s probably thinking, “What am I? Chopped liver?” Hugs to you all!

  3. Mary Beth—she’s very cuddly!

    Penny—Miele Dog and Cat. German vacuum. Very quiet. Cool swivel neck. Never spent so much money on a vacuum in my life, but it’s going to be worth it.

    Mama Pea—I didn’t know that about 2 female dogs—no wonder, since Molly had no problem with Teddy.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Wow, I can understand how you couldn’t say no to Lucy. Look at that face! A great resource for behavior issues is the Humane Society. The one in Golden Valley has a “hotline” you can call for ideas. We have a 6-year-old female, and my dog-trainer friend said older females don’t need another dog, and usually don’t like them. This saved me from adopting on Petfinder last year. Oh, yeah, we also had 3 cats at the time. Enough animals!

    However, there are probably lots of things you can do to ease the transition. Congrats and best of luck on the new family member.

  5. Lucy is adorable!! Hooray for a rescue and I totally agree with you about Pet Finder.

    If I may suggest a couple of things…have you kept Lucy and Molly separate to get used to each other? Like humans, it is not always love at first sight! Take it slow and don’t try to force it. As for two females, as Mama Pea mentioned, I too have heard that but we have five females (ages 11 months to 8 years)and two males. Currently one male (2 years old) and the puppy female (11 months old and blind) are most likely to disagree. BTW all are rescues and some are special needs. You can e-mail if you think we can assist further.

  6. I’d like to suggest a book: “30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog: the Loved Dog Method” by Tamar Geller. I have trained dogs my whole life and this is the best method ever. It works with dogs of all ages. Some of the most important lessons are completely counter-intuitive for we humans and the results are astonishing.

  7. It took my older dog about 6 months before he would play with our puppy. When we first got our Sophie, Baxter would just turn his back on her (when he wasn’t showing his teeth). She didn’t get it, she has no idea what aggression is. Now, they play and he even INITIATES it sometimes. Warms the cockles of my heart!

  8. Congratulations on your new pooch. Such a lovely girl! Reminds me of my Grand Doggie, Harley. He’s a three year old Malamute, 125 pounds of pure love. We call him Buddha Doggie due to his disposition. When one of the small dogs in the neighborhood approaches, he will, of his own accord, sit. If that doesn’t calm the smaller dog, he will lay down on his tummy. If that is still not enough, he will put his chin on the ground. That has always done the trick! The little ones come over for a sniff and every time they meet thereafter they approach without fear. He could charm his way into a phone booth full of cats!

    Cheers from sunny San Diego!

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