If you know me at all, you know I am always happy to talk about my dogs. Rusty is our four-year-old Lab/German Shepherd mix who is super-sweet with huge chocolate eyes, scared of everything, and not quite right in the head. Lucy is seven, a beautiful mutt of uncertain ancestry, probably Husky and Australian Shepherd. She has been Greg's dog ever since she picked him out at the Portales pound, but she loves me too, and sometimes she even seems to like Rusty. She's a smart but stubborn dog, very well-trained with good manners and a sweet spirit. Her list of favorite things is short, but definite: food, affection, sleep, treats, and her two squeaky toys. One is a purple polka-dotted ball, and one is a bumpy white football. They have been around since before her time. They came in a stocking that Greg and I got for Sally, our first dog, on her first Christmas. She was a little freaked out by the squeak, so she never played with them. Then we got Lucy, and the football was the only toy that Sally would let her play with, so it became her one special toy. Sally then decided that squeaky toys weren't all bad, and adopted the purple ball as her own. We only let the dogs play with toys in the house, under supervision, and the house time is pretty limited. So any time she would come in the house, Lucy would immediately find the football, squeak it a few times to make sure it was okay, and then she'd be ready to play, or be petted, or flop on the floor and go to sleep. She would always remember where she had left the football, but if we had moved it and she couldn't find it, she would hunt it down with dedication and purpose, and expect us to help if she was having trouble. When Sally died, Lucy inherited the purple ball. That was great for us, because occasionally we would lose one of the balls, and Lucy would be very disappointed if she couldn't have her squeaky time when she first came in the house.
Lucy is a fluffy brown dog with furry ears and feet. Texas was not the ideal climate for her. She seemed to feel the heat more every summer. However, since we moved to Colorado last month, she seems to have a whole new lease on life. She is bouncy and happy all the time, and so far hasn't showed any of the grumpy moods that she would get into in Texas. Also, since Rusty would insist on barking all night if we left them outside, and we want our neighbors to like us, we have been letting them sleep in the utility room in the basement instead of in the pen outside. So they are really living it up now. Every night, they come in the door and charge down the stairs, and Lucy goes to find both the white football and the purple ball. Now, instead of just squeaking them once or twice, she pounces on them, chases them around the room, and has some real fun before coming to us for love and affection. This week, apparently she has got the idea that if the balls are so fun inside, why not take them outside? Earlier this week I found the football in a corner at the top of the stairs, and asked Greg if he had brought it up there. He hadn't, so I figured Lucy must have tried to sneak it outside. Then this morning, I went to let them out, and Rusty immediately ran up the stairs and waited at the door. Lucy took her time but came up soon after, and when I opened the door, there was the purple ball, about to roll out the screen door. I grabbed it just as Lucy scooted out the door. She looked back for the ball, and then looked up at me as if to say, "What the heck? It's my ball and I want to bring it outside!" I just shrugged and tossed it down the stairs. Greg laughed and laughed, and we decided the story was too good not to share. So there you go.
Lucy on the doghouse
Lucy and Rusty