Fayston, Vermont. We celebrate Lucy’s “Gotcha Day” on December 19th. A “Gotcha Day” is more significant to rescue families than a birthday because it’s the day the dog joined it’s forever home. I’ve written stories about how Linus and Charlie Brown came to join our family, but never told Lucy’s story. In honor of her Gotcha Day, here’s Lucy’s tale.
Lucy was a Christmas puppy. I didn’t plan it that way. I didn’t even want a puppy.
Then I saw her picture.
It was the beginning of October when I said goodbye to my sweet Chesapeake Bay Retriever Kona. I wanted another dog – I will always have a dog – and contacted a CBR breeder. Her next litter was about a year away, she informed me. Would I like to be included on The List?
The house was so empty. By November, the emptiness became unbearable when my then high-school-aged son went away on a trip. Kona had lived a good, long life, and was my constant companion. But, her many medical issues were a source of stress for me. I started searching the web for a young, healthy, energetic dog. One that didn’t need to be housebroken and that had too much energy for its owner – one that could hike for miles, then go for a swim, then still wasn’t done playing. On the Golden Huggs website, I saw a young Golden Retriever that seemed perfect. I applied immediately without telling my family.
I quickly received a phone call with the news that the dog I requested was already adopted, but “would you like a puppy?” asked Golden Huggs’ Brigitte Ritchie. I had never met Brigitte, and I was surprised by the question. I replied without hesitation “no, not really,” as I explained Kona. Brigitte didn’t exactly take no for an answer. She described a litter that would soon be up for adoption but told me that she wouldn’t show me a picture yet. That wouldn’t be fair, she explained. Think about it, she advised.
It wasn’t long before my family figured out what I was up to, and, over the phone, I asked my son (who was miles away in Colorado) what kind of dog he wanted, theoretically. He requested “fluffy.” I passed that information on to Brigitte.
Then I saw that first photo.
We had the winter’s first real snowfall on the day before we brought Lucy home. During the 45 minute trip from her foster family, ten-week-old Lucy cried and cried. Then, as soon as we let her out of the car, she happily bounded in the snow for a very long time. Exhausted – finally – she fell asleep in my son’s arms.
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