Meet Lucy and Nikki: A story of true love and heroism

So, this weekend I was having some down time from studying and I came across the most beautiful story on a page that I follow on Facebook. I contacted the writer and she’s agreed to answer some questions for me. Below is her beautiful story.

“This is my precious little girl Lucy, she was from a litter of 8 and because there was such little room her front legs were pressed tight against her and her ribs developed around them. She is fine but her ribs have an indentation on each side, that along with the 2 white specks on her head caused her not to be show quality, so the owner put an ad on Craigslist saying that if no one bought his little girl for $150 they were going to put her down because they only wanted her to show and she wasn’t worth keeping. Oh and they put a time limit on the add and it was the last day they were going to have the add up and then she was going to be put down first thing the next morning. I came across the ad at like 11 pm and I frantically sent the person about a dozen emails and gave her my phone number and asked her to call me because although she didn’t give the address in the ad, she did give the name of the town she lived in and I drove 2 hours that night and waited for the lady to call me telling me what her address was so that I could save this beautiful little girl. It was a very long night as I drove around the town looking for something that looked familiar from the picture of the dog they posted in their ad. There was a driveway and a corner of a house with flowers and I spent hours driving up and down what felt like every street in that town searching for the right house. I gave up looking at around 5 in the morning and decided to pull into a church parking lot and take a nap hoping that I would be woken up to a phone call from the lady with the Doxie. And sure enough at 7:00 AM I got a phone call and the lady said if I could be at her house in the next 30 minutes I could have the dog for $150, as it turned out I was just 2 blocks from her house. I drove right over and paid the lady the money and she handed me the skinny, scared to death little girl. I put her in my car and I drove away, and I wasn’t a block away before the little girl crawled into my lap, quit shaking, and went to sleep. She was 2 months old when I picked her up and this November she will be 3 yrs old. She is the sweetest little thing and such a lover. She loves to snuggle up to you and she will turn herself upside down and lick your face and she has brought so much love and joy into my life….I didn’t save her….she saved me. I can’t imagine my life without her now, and I would gladly pay 10 times the amount I paid for her because she is priceless”.

Q: Nikki, wow, firstly you should know that you’re a true hero! How have Lucy’s front legs impacted her quality of life so far?

A: Lucy’s front legs are pretty normal…she has really big paws that are just adorable, it was her ribs that were deformed. Her rib cage is much more narrower then it should be and there are indentations on each side where her arms were pressed into her sides and her ribs developed around them. Although, it looks a little strange it doesn’t effect her quality of life at all. She doesn’t know that she is any different from any other dog…in fact, she runs circles around any “normal” dog.

Q: What did you say to this lady when you arrived at the front door? Were you angry?

A: When I arrived at the lady’s house I was not angry at all, at first I was kind of more frustrated then anything because if I had not headed out to search for where Lucy was that there wouldn’t have been time for me to get there before the lady was going to take Lucy to put her down. I was polite when the lady came to the door and she asked me for the money. As soon as she had the money in her hand she turned around and picked up Lucy out of a cage and pretty much shoved her into my arms….and then the door was shut in my face. I was a little shocked at her behavior, but then I looked down into my arms and the cutest little girl was looking up at me with fear in her eyes and I fell in love with my little baby girl. I turned around and walked to my car and I wrapped my little girl in a blanket that I had in the car and placed her on the passengers seat. I wasn’t a block away when she crawled into my lap, quit shaking, and went to sleep. So I just pulled the blanket over the top of her and drove the 2 hours home.

Q: What made you say to yourself, “I need to drive there right now,” and not just assume someone else would respond to the ad?

A: I can’t really explain why I felt as if I had to drive to the town where Lucy was in the middle of the night….all I can say is I felt an overwhelming feeling of dread and I was compelled to try and find her. I knew that her time was running out and I just couldn’t sit there or go to sleep knowing that if I didn’t show up to rescue her then she might just die. Her life was at stake and I just couldn’t let such a little thing be put to sleep when she never even had a chance to live. I couldn’t understand why someone would put their pet down just because it wasn’t “show quality” and was slightly deformed. It just made no sense to me and I wanted to make sure this little girl had a chance to experience love.

Q: How has Lucy positively impacted your life? Many people don’t know why I adopted my Oliver and like you said, he saved me.

A: I find it hard to express how Lucy has impacted my life. It’s kind of like expressing how the sun makes a flower grow. Every morning I awake to my little girl walking across me trying to find my face so she can lick it to wake me up. When she is asleep under a blanket and she hears my voice and I hear the thump thump thump of her tail wagging and hitting the couch it brings a smile to my face and it warms my heart when she walks across the couch and up into my arms and forces me to stop typing on the computer to pet her. I love taking her outside and watching her run through the woods and chase birds, butterflies, shadows, the wind, or just run to run. And when she is way across the yard sniffing around for rabbits or birds or whatever it is she is sniffing and she stops and looks up and realizes she is out in the middle of nowhere and she can’t find me and she starts looking around with kind of a panic look on her face and then she sees me and she lights up and she comes running as fast as she can and I can see the smile on her face and her tail is just wagging away and she runs right up to me and jumps up into my arms as I bend over to pick her up and then she cuddles into my arms and licks my face I can just feel pure love and joy and she brings life and happiness back into my life. And when I come home from working and I could be gone for a few hours or I could be gone for 3 or 4 days she always has the same reaction….she is just so excited to see me and she turns herself inside out trying to get to me. I have to literally lay down on the bed and let her jump all over me and she tries to lick my face but mostly ends up chewing on my nose and lips. I love her so very much. My mom died 4 years ago from breast cancer, and I was so devastated and depressed I thought I would never feel anything besides pain and sorrow and anger again. That is when I got my first doxie Little Joe, and although I love him very much he started my healing journey, but it was Lucy who helped me to feel love and joy again.

Q: Do you have any other pets? How do they get along?

A: As I have already mentioned I already had a male doxie who is 1 year older then Lucy and they get along so well.Also a year ago, I moved in with my girlfriend and we got married, and I wasn’t sure if my two dogs were going to get along with her dog, because they both seem to have a bit of aggression towards other dogs. But I was very surprised when they both took to my wife’s dog Paco. Paco is a Pug/Chihuahua mix and he is adorable but somewhat shy and scares easily. But the three of them get along so well it seems as if they have always been best friends.

Q: What brought you to look on Craigslist that evening?

A: I was on Craigslist the night I found Lucy just by luck really. I couldn’t sleep so I was just fooling around on Facebook, but I was board with that so I just started going down my favorites list and started going from web site to web site. And I eventually got to Craigslist, and I don’t normally look at the pet section, I wasn’t even thinking about getting another pet of any kind. I was going on Craigslist because I was looking for a new bed. And for no apparent reason I just started looking through the pets, and I was just scrolling down the list of pets and I the word doxie caught my eye. There was an add that read “Blue Doxie Puppy” and I really didn’t know what a blue doxie looked like so I clicked on it more out of curiosity then anything else. And when the page came up there was this cute little puppy and although I can’t remember exactly what the add said it said something like “Blue Doxie Puppy for sale, she is 2 months old and up to date on her shots. We got her to show but because of a deformity we are unable to show her, her defect keeps her from being ‘show quality’ so we are selling her for $150. We can not afford to keep her and maintain her so if she is not sold by the end of the week (and then it gave the date) we will be taking her to be put down.” My first thought was….how can anyone in their right mind ever put down such a cute little puppy just because she is a little different? So I sent off and email to the lady…in fact I sent off about a dozen emails because I was not getting a reply, but then again it was 11 at night and I guess I didn’t expect her to be on so late at night. I took another look at the add and it said what town she was in and I looked it up on mapquest and found out it was a 2 hour drive and I couldn’t just sit there hoping that the lady would contact me back. I just had a feeling that time was running out so I decided to go for a ride, I stopped at a tyme [bank] machine and took out the $150 and I was totally confident that I was going to be bringing my baby girl home. After studying the picture of the little doxie and imprinting the image in my mind I went driving up and down what felt like every street in that town looking for the corner of the house that was in the picture.

Q: Tell me more about Lucy, what does she like/dislike?

A: What is Lucy like…hmmm she loves her stuffed animals, she likes to chew off their ears, tails, eyes, tags, and then chew holes in them and pull out all the stuffing out of it. She loves to run through the woods and dig holes. She loves to play with the other 2 dogs we have. She loves to snuggle against me no matter where I am sitting. She loves to hog the blankets and she lays sideways in the bed from side to side instead of head to foot. She loves to be the center of attention. And if she is not being the center of attention she loves to figure out how she will become the center of attention. She loves to lay on my chest and press her neck into my face and have me kiss her ear and neck and her tongue is always licking even in her sleep. She loves to have her belly rubbed even more then a “normal” dog would. When I had her spayed she always wanted me to rub along side her incision to comfort her and it has turned into one of the things she loves the most.
I should also mention that her legs are short…yes doxies legs are short, but hers are unusually stumpy. And I just love her in every way.

After communicating with Nikki and hearing all these things I find myself with joyous tears streaming down my face. I think this is an excellent time to remind my followers about the darkness of bad breeders, how these dogs are just dollar signs. Of course if you ask me, or any other pet owner, deformities like “short legs” or “miss-shaped ribs” are just extra bonus’ that make us love them even more. It’s hard to imagine that somebody would consider ending a dog’s life for something so silly and trivial. Below is a picture of the gorgeous Lucy and another showing her rib cage.

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An Instant Fan

I’ve been seeing Sarah Silverman’s obituary to her dog floating around Facebook for a few days and I had chosen not to read it because I never really considered myself a fan, but something tonight made me click on the link and after reading I can say I am an instant fan.

How does one capture and express how they feel about their beloved pet? How does one do that while grieving its loss? I had seen a post today prior to reading Sarah’s obituary, about a Doxie who was celebrating their 19th birthday today. I thought to myself, “I’d do anything to have Oliver celebrate his 19th birthday.” Then after clicking to read Sarah’s post it all came full circle. Sarah’s dog was around 19 years of age, and she writes of the gut-wrenching experience of having to say goodbye.

Warning: You will bawl your eyes out and I have been the last 5 minutes after reading it; however, it is the most beautiful thing I have ever read.

Link to the Obituary here.

Neighbourhood Dogs: What’s The Harm…Right?

Since Oliver and I moved from the big city of Vancouver to our small, country-fabulous home in the Kootenays, I’ve noticed a growing trend that has probably been accepted for ages, but is really starting to irritate me. Neighbourhood dogs. Ever experience them? Basically, neighbourhood dogs are dogs with homes that are allowed to roam the areas surrounding their homes.

My neighbour, who lives 2 doors down, has a older lab mix whom is constantly out walking the “hood”. This dog looks slightly senile to me, pretty confused, walks out in traffic, etc. He is always wandering (confusedly) on the sidewalk, or a few blocks down. And they let him out of their unfenced yard (which is right on the corner of a busy street) fully knowing how easy it would be for him to get lost or worse, get hit by a vehicle.

A month ago another incident happened, someone’s dog came bolting out of their yard, snarling, and acting aggressively as he ran towards my small dog. Panicked, I picked Oliver up and held him to my chest to shield him from a bite I was sure was to occur. Luckily, the owner realized and came bolting after her dog.

Then today, while driving along the highway (80 km/hr), I came around a corner and nearly smacked a white bull terrier walking down the centre line. He had a red collar on so he must have a home and then he slowly decided to walk up the next street which he seemed to know well; Hopefully, he walked back home.

The dangers surrounding this neighbourhood phenomenon are insane. There are the obvious dangers: attacking people, or sadly, being attacked; being hit by a vehicle; causing a vehicle to diverge and get into an accident; and getting lost. But what about some other dangers? We know there are some sick people in this world, people who poison, beat, steal, or injure animals just for the hell of it. What about the dangers from exploring strange areas– falling into wells; ingesting garbage which can contain household poisons (xylitol, cleaners, etc); getting tied up to something/stuck to an object; or dehydration/starvation.

Your dog may be the friendliest dog on the planet, your neighbours may love his visits, but if that is the case they’ll ask to visit your pet. There is no reason why your dog needs to be roaming the streets. I’m not even going to mention how this irresponsibility reflects on owners constantly trying to fight prejudices against pet owners because frankly it’s obvious. Fence your yards, or leash your pets, I don’t care, but keep them at home!