Lucy, the dog and the saint

13 December 2012

To commemorate Saint Lucy's feast I thought I would type about a former member of the Camp .... Lucy the canine.

I think someone asked on the vlog post (the vlog that I am stilllll working on Simon to finish ... ) if we were planning on getting any pets. Either someone asked or I dreamt that someone asked but I'll give the person or the phantom in my dream a long answer right here, right now (running the risk of being judged harshly for being an animal not-liker).

If you've been kind and generous enough with your spare time and have been reading the blog for more than a year you'll know that we did have a dog.

When Simon started his residency ... the long lonely days with a non-verbal nine-month-old and the up-all-night nights were a bit of a shock to my scaredy pants system and I assumed a large guard dog would solve all of my woes and worries. Simon talked me down to a mediumish sized animal so I scoured Craigslist and emailed lots of people and got lots of no replies back but Lucy's owner was VERY eager to have me meet her so before I knew it ... Julia and I were at the park down the street meeting Lucy and her soon to be former owner. Lucy was a super sweet Cockapoo and definitely fell in the small dog category and oh .. something the owner had failed to mention in the ad and in our frenzy of emails .... she only had one eye .... (you should read if only to see Simon's charitable name suggestions for Lucy)
oh, hello elephant at the park.

She finally addressed the cyclops situation and said Lucy had lost it to a cat in a fight ... which, of course, really did a lot to bolster my already high hopes of having a guard dog in the house when Simon was working overnight ...

We brought her home and Julia loved her and we loved her and all was well. She refused to be outside for more than a few minutes at a time which was sort of frustrating but fine and she slept under our bed like a scaredy cat but was quick to bark at a stray piece of lint and I was confident she would most certainly sniff out any predatory activity that might occur in Simon's absence ....
Fast forward a few months to the infantdom of Sebastian. Lucy was great with Sebastian but Julia started walking and hit the hair pulling milestone with a vengeance and Lucy fell victim on multiple occasions. She only snapped at Julia twice (miracle) and of course we couldn't blame Lucy but with Sebastian having the normal needs of a newborn and Julia having the normal needs of a Julia I just couldn't be on Julia-Lucy hair pulling watch duty all day long. This is already too long - forgive me. (And ready-set-cue longest run-on pitiful sentence of excuses ever ....) Combine this sad fact with the Christmas season bringing multiple large UPS trucks down the street several times a day and sending Lucy into a fit of barks that woke both (finallllllly) sleeping children multiple times a day and the nagging guilt I felt for never ever ever taking Lucy on walks (that she loved and desperately needed) because the stroller and the Sebastian on my person and the pully Lucy in the middle of winter just wasn't a fun party to attend ... and Simon was on one of his 40 days in a row rotations that never ever ended soooooo because I was still in the 5 month window of not-leaving-the-house-with-both-kids-yet .... back on Craigslist Lucy went.

I know. I'm terrible. I know!

We got lots of calls but you know who the first interested person to show up was? A person from a rescue. A rescue that saved poor animals from being sold into pet slavery on Craigslist.


He questioned the food we were giving Lucy (um ... Iams? which is apparently poison ... ) and by the time he left from the big rescue with Lucy in tow ... we were feeling like the worst former pet owners on the planet. He was fairly certain that one of his fellow rescuers would want to keep Lucy for herself so ... after we gave him some money for his trouble (what? his guilt trip was very effective) ... we were confident Lucy went to live in a better Julia-less bark-friendly place. We sort of miss her.

So ... that's that. Judge away.

Now that I've got big bad Bash on the premises and Julia talks more than an army of professional talkers ... I think we'll stick to animal-less living for now. Judge some more.

And now for the better stuff .... Bonnie is running a brilliant series over at her awesome blog on Advent traditions and super generously let me take part. So ... I'm over there today talking about Santa Lucia saffron buns and how to make them without saffron. It's all very complicated and excitig and you don't want to miss it.


and ... Happy feast of Saint Lucy!!


  1. Grace, I think you deserve a medal of honor for the bravery involved in having two nonverbals and a dog at the same time with Simon working all those hours. I cannot commit to a dog - and probably never will unless we move out to the country and I don't have to pick up after the said imaginary dog.

  2. No judgment here! We had a cat pre-kids, and when baby was around 9 months old, I realized kitty was spending most of her time locked in the bathroom of our tiny apartment to keep her from pouncing on my son. Back to the Humane Society she went. They gave us a number to call to find out if she ended up adopted or euthanized, but we never called, just hoped for the best. We got guinea pigs years later, and (sorry) I am looking forward to the last one dying. If we ever get another pet (big IF) it WILL NOT require litter or bedding!

  3. No judgment here from the resident crazy dog lady!

    What you did was the best option you had. Thank you for not killing the dog or just leaving Lucy somewhere out in woods. Shelters are happy to take dogs (especially housebroken dogs)into shelters and match them up with a family that's fit for them. :)

  4. Lucy! I'm so glad the mystery is finally solved! She was like the older brother on Happy Days who went to basketball practice one day and then never came back on the show and was never spoken of again. No judgment here. That story is hilarious.

  5. oh my gosh. you can't make this stuff up. I did check out the name suggestions and got a good ab work out, thanks Simon

  6. Ah, I can sooo relate to this post! We got a dog (coincidentally also named Lucy) when my oldest was a toddler and I was pregnant with #2. Our Lucy, although being 2-eyed, was neither housebroken, nor used to walking on a leash. After one too many incidents of pooping in the house the minute after coming in from being outside for hours, and a lovely walk where she wrapped her leash around the stroller and knocked it over with my daughter inside, I confessed to my husband that I wasnt capable of properly caring for a dog and we promptly put an ad on Craigslist to find her a new home. Luckily, an older man who had been battling cancer and was looking for a canine companion took her and all was right with the world.

  7. Soooo...let me get this straight: you don't like kids OR animals? And you kick mall Santas every chance you get? And you let your kids play in the bathrooms unsupervised?

    Let me give you a paragraph of advice on what you SHOULD have done to train your children to be kind to animals.

    As soon as I get done accepting my "mother/pet owner of the year award".


    1. Cari -- when I first started reading this I was about to go bat-crazy over someone writing this to Grace. Until I saw it was you....! You're hilarious!

  8. I wonder if Lucy-dog knows she's named after the patron saint of eyes? Wowz.

    Simon's names remind me of the three legged cat we found in college and appropriately named Eileen.

  9. Having a very stressful evening over here and that story-that just cracked me up. Thanks for the smile. Couldn't stop thinking about the eye connection-what an appropriately named dog.

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  11. Any judgers win get my foot in their shin. Seriously.

    My mom wouldn't let us get a dog until the youngest was 8...and as much as we haaaated that, it was definitely the right choice for our then, all the kiddos were in school (we're one of those "public school" families...gasp!) and the older ones were able to help out with the responsibility. Not that we did help, but we could have...

  12. Aww, Lucy! I wondered where she'd gone. I think it's safe to say you've had quite a bit on your plate with those two other, adorable, tireless little ones. You're only human!

  13. Pets are only allowed after my children have reached the age of reason AND can clean up after themselves and the pet. Or one day if I get my act together...but I'm guessing the kids will age first!

    And that st Lucy day tradition with the eldest daughter is hilarious, and I'm kinda sad I'm not Swedish and missed out.

  14. no judgements here, our puppy is SO MUCH WORK. i can't imagine having a needy dog and a baby at the same time (we're hoping he outgrows this puppy stage by the time he's 2...PLEASE HENRY!)

  15. Oh my gosh. You decided it was better for a dog to live in peace sans the hair pulling of a toddler and you even PAID a reputable person to take her to a place that would offer her such? Evil! Thou art evil personified!

  16. I actually did wonder why Lucy disappeared... mystery solved. No judgment whatsoever on my part- I like dogs, grew up with one, and always figured I'd have one... then I became an adult in the real world and liked having freedom, no dog to walk, less vacuuming, more money, and not dealing with what is basically a kid that never grows up. Now I just enjoy dogs at other people's houses, and enjoy leaving them there. :) It's funny now to imagine thinking that I'd have a dog and small kids at the same time.

  17. I feel ya. We got a dog from a rescue shelter to prevent our daughter from being an only child, since it seemed more human siblings were not to be forthcoming... Fastforward three years to the Providential and miraculous appearance of Jude-- poor Lucky went to live on a farm. No, for real, he totally did. My in-laws graciously took his couch-lying, food-snarfing, walk-needing, attention-begging, trash-can stealing, finger-snapping self in. To our continual relief. Now we tell the kids, "we are a kid family, not a pet family."

  18. Before we had Josiah, we had a cat that we were OBSESSED WITH. I mean we were ridiculous with how much we loved and babied and fussed over this adorables cat. And then Josiah was born, and suddenly she became, in my crazy-maternal mind, nothing but a germ-infested, flea-bag nuisance. The fact is, she was a very VERY affectionate, but VERY needy cat, and we were no longer giving her the attention she needed. Heck, I was barely tolerating her presence. Eventually, my conscience told me we were not treating her well, and so we found her another home. Now that I am not so psycho, I miss her and regret the way we tossed her aside. But what's done is done. We don't plan on getting another pet for a long time, maybe not ever.

  19. Thank God you were brave enough to blog about this!!! You know how much my husband is gone, and it's been difficult to take care of a toddler and a hyperactive dog who needs attention 24/7. It's manageable now, but I really have been talking about giving him (dog, not child) to someone if we have baby #2. Just can't see how could manage with a husband gone half the year to undisclosed overseas regions and 2 kids with family a 4 hour plane ride away. Haven't been able to voice this since there seem to be so many judgey people out there. I hear you, and ZERO judgment from me!!!

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  21. You really need your own are so hilarious! I'm trying not to laugh out loud so as not to wake the sleeping 10 wk old by my side. One week before she was born we left our dog with my in-laws so they could take care of her while we were in the hospitable. We never picked the dog back up--they've adopted her de facto. Best.decision.ever! With a newborn and a 15 mo old I had enough messes to clean up, I didn't need pounds of dog hair!

  22. Ok somehow I had tooootally forgotten about one-eyed Lucy. For the record, I don't blame you one bit. For a while we had two cats. They lasted just over a year, I think. One started chewing on our cabinets (??) out of boredom I assume, and the other was ridiculously needy but only liked me. Which was exhausting. They regularly destroyed things when we weren't around and were generally smelly and obnoxious. So we found them new homes.

    And then we got a turtle. And the turtle was this crazy escape artist and drove us nuts and we finally released it in the pond by Aaron's work.

    And this was all BEFORE we had kids. So you're good.

  23. I love this post for pictures of Julia, back before she could walk when her cheeks were so round. Oh so CUTE!

  24. We had a very small dog when I was preggo with #5 and she was ancient and pooping and peeing all over the house. She was "helped" to doggie-land in the sky by a very nice vet who assured me that her time was over. And I couldn't deal with a new baby and the dog poo all over the house. We have just ventured back into dog-land after ALL children were potty trained and walking and not hair pulling. And it's STILL a lot of work to have a dog. You totally did the right thing. You should read a post that Rachel Balducci did about having a dog and giving it away post-haste.

  25. No judgment here...I feel evil when I say that I have zero desire to ever own a dog...ever.

    Also, loved the Santa Lucia traditions post over there - so sweet. Would love you to link it up on my holiday traditions post!



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