July With Lucy

This is Lucy, the Magical Dog, leaping, running free, ears flapping, tail wagging – Run Lucy Run!! 5 pure joy - Copy Well, this is a photo of Lucy, which really doesn’t give you a feeling of her beautiful spirit. If you know Lucy, you will know what I am talking about. She is little and she is big, all at once. She has a love of life that is contagious. She is willful, confident and very clear about what her needs are (one merely needs to pay attention). Lucy definitely lives life to the fullest. Five or so years ago, Lucy showed up at a farm in Medanales, north of Santa Fe.  Lucy was pregnant, quite bedraggled, and quite alive. She obviously had gained survival skills living out there on her own, and was clearly ready to face whatever came her way. Foremost, Lucy is a very wise teacher. Here are some of the moments with Lucy and some of the lessons I have learned from her.

Lucy and I have been friends for almost a year, and while I know that she loves me, when her primary people (Gina and Maia) are around, Lucy looks to them for everything, of course! With her primary people out of town, I had the honor of being Lucy’s best buddy for the month of July. Lucy and I spent a great deal of time together and definitely bonded. And we had the opportunity to get to know each other’s rituals…. some that are not so cute, and some absolutely endearing and hilarious (Well, at least this is how I feel about Lucy’s rituals…. You will have to ask her how she feels about mine). For example, when getting ready to go for a walk, Lucy has this ritual of grabbing pant legs or shoe laces with her teeth, then running in circles making her ‘let’s go’ sound, which is a funny grunting/barking combo. Now this is CUTE -and it makes me laugh every single time! She has always done this with her primary people, and I have felt very much honored to be the recipient of this wacky little accolade for the month of July. Be goofy and laugh a lot…

One day a new friend of Lucy’s came to see about going for a walk. I was in the middle of something and not available. In my mind it seemed totally fine for Lucy to go for a walk with her new friend, but Lucy would have nothing to do with it – she would not leave without me. Outside the door, I could hear Lucy’s friend coaxing, pleading, and then giving up and bringing Lucy back inside. Perhaps some ego (really??) going on here, but it felt good to be loved and needed!! Keep your ego in check and at the same time, know it is okay to be needed… lucy Many evenings Lucy and I would sit out on the stoop, experiencing twilight together–so sweet to just sit with her. Sometimes she would sit in my lap and I would look out over her head; her ears and nose twitching – responding to things I couldn’t hear or smell. And sometimes she would sit beside me – companions, enjoying each other’s company and the beauty all around. Embrace each moment…

I get such delight when I drive up to the casita where Lucy lives and see her cute face in the window sill, ears perked, her whole body vibrating with excitement and then her exuberant greeting at the door. Show your friends how much you love them….

Lucy wears a harness when going for a walk, and she has this little game she plays when it’s time to put the harness on, she runs around the room, barking (laughing??!!) For whatever reason, I don’t find this game particularly funny or fun, which I am sure, is rather confusing for Lucy. It is just one of those games we ended up agreeing not to play (most of the time!). Sometimes we have to compromise…

Another ritual that Lucy has is that while we are walking on the road, she wants to ferociously attack cars driving past. She doesn’t choose every car, and there doesn’t seem to be any particular pattern as to which ones she chooses. There are speculations re the reasoning behind this ritual (the sound of the car, the speed of the car, the make/model of the car…) Perhaps one day we will know, but for the time being, hold on to the leash tightly! Sometimes we do things that no one really understands. Acceptance…

One day Lucy and I were running around the casita together, playing with her squeaky toy – first she would chase me, then I would chase her. We were having so much fun that I didn’t even care that I smashed my little baby toe. It really hurt, and I think I might have broken it. But we just kept playing anyway. Play often….

Most of the time, Lucy slept at the foot of my bed, which was comfy and comforting. But the best ritual was in the morning when we were waking up; Lucy would crawl up onto my chest and lay her little head on my shoulder. We would doze together for a sweet moment. There is nothing like a little loving before getting out of bed. Giving and receiving love…

And speaking of sleeping and waking, one of the nighttime rituals that is not so cute is Lucy’s need to protect us from the coyotes who are quite vocal out in the wildness of the night. When Lucy hears the coyotes, she barks abruptly, which is quite startling, and runs to the kitchen window, barking, barking, barking….until she is sure she has chased the coyotes away. As Maia has mentioned, so far in the history of Lucy living at the casita, no coyotes have gotten inside. Watch over your friends…

And speaking of watching over friends…One day Lucy and I were walking on Bunny Lane, enjoying the morning, when all of a sudden a HUGE dog leapt over a HUGE wall – I’m not talking about some little fence, but an adobe wall. At first I thought I had just entered a nightmare as the dog came running towards us. Without even thinking about it, I scooped Lucy up into my arms, my whole body trembling, her whole body trembling. Fortunately, the HUGE dog was distracted by something/someone else, and changed direction. Still holding Lucy, hearts still pounding, I put on a costume of confidence and walked away. Lucy laid her head on my shoulder and I hugged her tight. Friends comfort friends, even when terrified…

Lucy and I went for many walks in the month of July. Sometimes Lucy convinced me to go a certain way, sometimes I convinced her to go a certain way, and sometimes we just totally connected, and with no discussion we both knew which way to go…..together. Sometimes words are not necessary…

Sometimes Lucy would get stubborn, dig her feet into the ground, look at me sideways, saying “we are going this way”, or “I need to smell what’s going on here and it will take a bit of time”. And sometimes I would get stubborn, dig my feet into the ground, look at her sideways, saying, “we are going this way”, or “we are not doing stop and sniff at every single plant we pass, I have things I need to do”. Sometimes friends disagree…

One morning Lucy and I were walking down from the Cerro Gordo bench, and we spotted a big scruffy looking Raven up on a wire – Lucy and I both stopped and watched her, Lucy with her paw up, me with a smile on my face. The three of us stood there for a moment – me and Lucy looking up at Raven, Raven looking down at us. Stop and notice….

When our friend Áine came for a visit one afternoon, Lucy was so excited to see her and was enthusiastically requesting her attention. Áine had greeted Lucy first, which is protocol, and then Áine greeted me. Lucy, clearly not finished with her part of the greeting ritual, whole-heartedly put on the cute and sat up on her back legs with both front paws reaching up towards Áine. Of course Áine, who has a great deal of awareness, returned to Lucy’s greeting ritual. Listen….

And speaking of greeting people, that is one of Lucy’s most precious attributes – she is always so happy to say hello to people. Lucy knows no strangers. When we are on a walk and she sees someone she needs to say hello to, she will stop and refuse to budge, even if the person is halfway down the road. There is no compromising, no discussion – this is a MUST! Tail wagging, eyes sparkling, heart wide open….. Lucy loves everyone. Lucy IS love! Take the time to stop and say hello….me & lucy

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. There will be more in the future! Please click on follow so that you can receive an email whenever I post so you won’t miss anything!!

And a reminder: the fundraising for the End of Life Note Cards will continue through the end of August. For more information and to join the circle of people who are supporting this project, please visit Support Pausing Turtle Your contributions are deeply appreciated. With a big open heart ~ Katya/Kathy

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