Tag Archives: Lucy

Lucy’s nicknames

23 Mar

When I adopted Lucy at age three, I didn’t change her name, despite the hundreds of other dogs named Lucy. I t doesn’t matter because I very rarely call her by her name. There is no real rhyme or reason to the name I choose to call her at any given moment, except for the way it trips off my tongue or works in a sentence.

Here is a list of names I have for her, in no particular order.

Lucy_BathLucy_6th GotchaDayLuce
Miss Moo
Moo Muffin
Little Muffin
Babu
Pinouche
Moufette
Mi Amor
Popo
Stinker
Potty Pants
Princess Potty Pants
Pokey Pants
Princes Pokey Pants
Pook
Miss Poo
Pook Muffin
Poppet
Punkin Butt
Bum
Miss Bum
Bumskaya
Popalicious
Poopmeister
Bobo
Precious Punkin
Honey Bunny
Bunny Butt

 

 

Stealth packing

9 Mar

Lucy has issues. She is a worrier and starts trembling the moment she realizes we are on the way to the vet. She gets especially trembly when the suitcase comes out, so, to the best of my ability, I try to pack without her knowing.

Usually, I drop her off where she’ll be staying the night before a trip, and pack once I am home alone. That isn’t always possible, like this week. I leave Tuesday morning for four days at Outdoor School. I will drop her off at Sniff Dog Hotel on my way to work. But that means that I have to get the suitcase out while she is still home. What’s a dog-mom to do?

Sunday morning, I decided that there would be too much to manage Tuesday morning. I would pack Sunday and bring my bag to school on Monday. That way, all I’d have to wrangle Tuesday morning was Lucy’s bag, my “carry-on” (we are travelling by school bus, not plane), and Lucy herself, who will be a nervous wreck.

Adrienne, you are a genius, but how will you get your bag packed and to the car?  I asked myself.

Lucy presented me with the answer.

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At almost 14, Lucy sleeps very deeply. While she was sleeping on the living room sofa, I went to my bedroom and packed. She was still sleeping when I carried the bag to the car, carefully closing the back door so she wouldn’t wake up and realize what I was doing.  When she finally woke up, I was sitting, pretending nothing had happened while she slept.

When I get her in the car Tuesday morning, she will know something bad is about to happen and the trembling will begin. until then, though, she will live her happy life, oblivious to the terror the future holds.

 

Lucy’s Haiku Series

24 Mar

Lucy’s nails had grown long. Because her nails are black, I can’t see the quick.  I am afraid to cut them they way I confidently cut her predecessors’ nails. So, Saturday, we made a trip to the vet for a professional trim. Here is a haiku series I think she could have written.

Lucy's Paws

 

We are in the car
Should I feel worry or joy
I start to tremble.

Shake shake shake shake shake
Drool drool droll drool drool drool drool
Shake shake shake shake shake

The door of doom looms
We have come to the place where
They torture me

I don’t like other dogs
But I hate this place more so
I ignore the others

The mean girl bribes me
Back, to the torture chamber
She cuts off my toes

Finally back to Mom
I will stare out the front door
Until we can leave

The drive home is short
And I am soon home, sweet home
Time for a nap.

Lucy's Paw

 

Life with Lucy

27 Mar

Lucy's Nose

Lucy is a pretty low maintenance dog.

Although she doesn’t enjoy it, she will let me give her a bath.

She doesn’t enjoy nail trims either, but she will let me clip her toenails. All my other dogs tried to pull their paws out of my hand when I tried to trim their nails. Lucy keeps hers there and likes to eat the clippings. I let her. I figure it is the canine equivalent of biting her nails and it is her reward for cooperating.

The only thing she really hates is getting her ears cleaned.

As soon as I go to the cupboard where the ear cleaner is kept, she starts paying attention. When she sees the container, she tries to hide, so I generally try to act nonchalant, hiding the bottle behind my back. I will do a few other things before sidling up to her, ear cleaner, cotton rounds and hands still behind my back.

As soon as she realizes that I tricked her again, doggone it, she tries to bolt. But, I am a stealthy ear cleaner. I have her literally cornered on the sofa. There is no escape. She bears the indignity on the first ear and I can see the little wheels turning in her brain as I switch to the second. I block her so she can’t escape before she gets the other ear done.

When the ordeal is over she runs away, shaking her head and rubbing her ears on the floor and sofa. At this point I usually offer her a treat, followed by a walk. By the time we get home, I have been forgiven.

Lucy’s Seven

8 Mar

I’ve never had a dog that liked any kind of citrus, but Lucy loves mandarin oranges. She has mastered the art of getting what she wants à la Steven Covey.

1. Stephen Covey says: Be proactive.

Lucy says: Always be in the room where the mandarin is being eaten.

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2.Stephen Covey says: Begin with the end in mind.

Lucy says: Visualize that tiny morsel of deliciousness sliding down your throat and into your tummy.

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3.Stephen Covey says: Put first things first.

Lucy says: It is important and urgent that I get a slice of that mandarin.

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4.Stephen Covey says: Think win-win. 

Lucy says: A piece for Mommy, a piece for Lucy. Sounds like a win-win, to me!

IMG_0013

5.Stephen Covey says: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Lucy says: You want me to to sit. Look, I am sitting for the next slice.

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6. Stephen Covey says: Synergize.

Lucy says: Together, Mommy and I can polish off that mandarin in no time.

IMG_0020

7.Stephen Covey says: Sharpen the saw.

Lucy says: We’ve had a snack, let’s take one more walk before bedtime.

Lucy's Nose.jpg

 

Lucy by Randy Cecil

29 Sep

Lucy_Nose

My Lucy is a funny girl who loves to burrow in bedding. She was never homeless,in fact, she had two homes before me. One kept her in the bathroom, too busy to pay attention to their new puppy. The other fell apart and Lucy became a canine victim of divorce. It took three tries to find her “furever” home with me.

The eponymous Lucy of Randy Cecil’s Lucy is a homeless dog.

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Publisher’s Summary:A tiny dog, a kindhearted girl, and a nervous juggler converge in a cinematic book in four acts — a unique children’s literature experience.

Lucy is a small dog without a home. She had one once, but she remembers it only in her dreams. Eleanor is a little girl who looks forward to feeding the stray dog that appears faithfully beneath her window each day. Eleanor’s father is a juggler with stage fright. The overlapping stories of three delightful characters, offering a slightly different perspective each time, come together in a truly original, beautifully illustrated book for dog (and underdog) lovers of all ages.

Lucy touched my heart. Told in three acts, the book feels like a silent movie,  the circular illustrations reminiscent of their openings and closing.

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Act one lays down the groundwork of the story. Act two follows the same pattern, with some variations. Act three had me worried, even though I knew a happy ending was inevitable.

I’d like to think this one is a Caldecott contender.

ER

21 Jun

The gagging caught my interest.

Lucy began gagging shortly after our walk on Sunday and I wondered if she had something stuck in her throat. It stopped and started and stopped and started. And then she started licking air.  That got me up, looking to see if I could see something in her throat. Of course, I couldn’t.

And then she started pacing. Lucy is a 10-year-old basset hound. Walks are always followed by naps. But she seemed to have trouble getting comfortable and that worried me greatly because bassets are one of the breeds prone to bloat, a potentially life threatening condition when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid, making it expand and putting pressure on other organs. In severe cases, the stomach can rotate. I gave her a Gas-X and took her to the emergency vet, hoping I was wrong. As we drove to the emergency room, she drooled profusely.

Portland has a fantastic 24-hr emergency vet hospital called DoveLewis.

nwhospital_exterior

The parking lot seemed rather full when we pulled in. I guessed our regular vet  wasn’t the only one closed on Sundays. When Lucy and I walked in, The waiting room wasn’t packed, but still,  I figured we were in for a couple of hours of veterinary care.

We didn’t have to wait long after checking in. Our vet was Dr. Casey who took us into an exam room. She was impressed when I told her about the Gas-X. I explained about my work with basset rescue and how I follow several blogs and boards related to basset hounds.As she lifted Lucy’s tail, some gas was released, and we had a little laugh. We talked over bloat and having a foreign object lodged in her throat and we decided on a course of action.  She took Lucy back for x-rays and I got to wait.

I had planned ahead and packed a book, but was too anxious to read. As I leafed through magazines I noticed the other people waiting for word on their pets

  • a family consisting of a mom,dad with a young son and daughter
  • a middle-aged couple
  • a single man

While I waited the security guard walked in from the parking lot, helping a frail, elderly woman. He carried her cat carrier and helped her get checked in. She made us all chuckle when asked if she needed help filling out the paperwork.  She said, “I’m slow, but I can do it”. Later, he came back in to check on her because she had left her car window down. He offered to take her keys and roll up her window. Everyone who worked there was so nice!

I listened as the receptionist answered calls. She had two calls about poison and one about negative reactions to vaccines. The most serious conversation seemed to be with someone asking about euthanasia for a dog that had bitten a child. She explained that they did not do behavioral euthanasia, and gave resources that might be helpful. More than once she made sure that the dog had been removed from the home where the child lived.

Finally, I was called back to look at the x-rays. No foreign object showed up in Lucy’s throat, but her stomach was clearly  filled with gas. Although sedating her and inserting a tube down her throat was an option, Dr. Casey didn’t recommend it. Instead, she recommended pain medication, anti-nausea medication and some subcutaneous fluids. I love how the word subcutaneous rolls off my tongue.

I returned to the lobby to wait some more. As I waited, another couple came in with a Yorkie and a woman brought in a pit bull who was going to be a blood donor. She wasn’t giving blood that day, she was an excitable dog, so the owner was training her to be relaxed in the clinic. The family checked out and I learned they were there for their guinea pig. The single man came and went and it looked serious. He was waiting for other family members to come. A woman came in with an old black pomeranian who seemed to have hurt his mouth.

And then I was called for a discharge consultation. Lucy was coming home with no meds, but directions for a bland diet and Gas-X every six hours for two to three days. She had a good sleep once we were home and seems to be healing well. She is almost her perky self again. I worry a little every time I see her tongue come out, fearing that she about to relapse, but, I know I will relax a little more each day.

DoveLewis isn’t a place you ever want to have to visit, but if you do, you and your pet will receive excellent care.

 

 

Coming out from the shadow

15 Nov

It’s been a hard week. Saying goodbye to Fiona left me exhausted.

It’s a good thing Lucy is here.

Lucy_sideview  LucySandwich

She doesn’t seem sad that Fiona is gone and, surprisingly, that doesn’t make me angry. It is actually a relief. I always like to say that Lucy was Laurel to Fiona’s Hardy, and she has continued so. She has been very playful and seems to be coming into her own, now that she’s out from Fiona’s shadow.

It has also been a week where we have ramped up our Morris Committee discussions. ALA will announce our 5 finalists on December 1st, so we have some decisions to make before then. During those discussions, I’d noticed a couple of references to Sarah Dessen. It was usually a comment like “This would be a great book for fans of Sarah Dessen.”

saint_anything-540x822

I’d noticed her latest novel, Saint Anything,  was hugely popular, so I decided to listen to it in the car during my, now longer, commute.

Publisher’s Summary:Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

Just like Lucy, Sydney is a good girl in the shadow of an older sibling who takes up a lot more of her parents’ attention. Saint Anything is a quiet contemporary YA that are about friendships, family and ordinary girls (although Sydney is somewhat affluent). This was the perfect read for this week. If you are looking for a great book to read during a rainy weekend that evolves subtly and creates a rich emotional landscape full of small changes, this would be a good choice.

Waking the Neighbors

14 Jul

sol

My normal summer routine begins by getting up around 4 a. m. to air the house out and cool it down. The girls, Fiona and Lucy, both basset hounds, usually get up with me. They get potted and have breakfast, then go back to sleep while I read or knit and watch the internal temperature of the house drop.

Somewhere between 6 and 7 a.m., the girls will wake up and we go for a walk. Fiona is old,  slow and sometimes tippy, so, depending on how well she is walking that morning, we will either do the one block loop or the two block loop.

We are a comical  sight to behold. Each girl is on 6 foot leash. Lucy, younger by 6 years,  is usually way out front. I call Fiona my back seat driver because she is stretched way out back of me. I am in the middle, arms outstretched, scanning the ground. You would be surprised, and possibly horrified, at what two bassets can find to eat on a walk around one or two blocks.

Last Sunday, we were out for a typical mosey. It was earlier, closer to six that to seven, and we were doing the two block walk. We hadn’t done it for a few days, so I was being very attentive to what was on the ground. Fiona was way back, but Lucy was rather close to me, snuffling along the sidewalk as if she were on the trail of something.

My mind often wanders as I walk, and this morning was no exception, so, when I saw the tabby camouflaged in the brown grass, I was surprised and screamed, “AGH!” It was loud enough to wake neighbors sleeping with their windows open, but not so shrill they would get up and call the police. I pulled the girls hard to the left and we successfully circumnavigated the tabby. The funny thing is, both girls usually go crazy when they see a cat and bark and lunge. This time, I was the only one to react. I guess I was loud enough for the three of  us.

A bassety post today

22 Dec

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Howliday Card Exchange time. I have already received about 40 cards and everyday there seems to be at least one in the mail. The biggest bonanza was a day with 8 cards. A little bit of heaven.  Here is the card I sent out this year:

10_Gillespie_010

One of the Droolers always creates a webpage of the cards they receive, so if you’d like to see what I’ve been getting, click here. It is good for a chuckle.

Lucy had an appointment  Saturday morning for her bordatella vaccine, a nail trim and anal gland expression. As we were waiting to check out they mentioned she was due for a heart worm test and I let the vet tech take her back. She didn’t return for a while and I thought they might be backed up. Then my vet came out and said the tech had done a jugular draw and Lucy had a hematoma. They were keeping her a bit to be sure the bleeding had stopped and that they’d put a note in her chart that she should never again have a jugular draw. When Lucy came out she had zebra wrap around her neck and I was told to take it off in about 30 minutes.

Lucy was exhausted when she got home and slept most of the afternoon and into the evening. By Sunday morning, her chest was swollen and purple. Here are before & after shots:

Lucy_rubenesque IMG_1805

After a moment of panic when I was planning a trip to the emergency vet, I searched about hematomas following a jugular draw. Apparently this is an uncommon, though possible, complication. I relaxed and decided not to go to the emergency vet since Lucy seemed to be her normal, funny self. I called as soon as the vet opened this morning and Lucy had a 9:15 appointment to ease my mind.

We saw the vet and she said it is indeed a hematoma and that Lucy isn’t bleeding to death. However, she is concerned Lucy might have a mild form of Von Willebrand’s Disease, which is a clotting disorder. Some tests are on order for after the holidays.

Randy Ribay

YA author, teacher, nerd

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