Jekyll and Hyde Doggie

Lucy hypnotizes us with her “people eyes.”

Don’y let Lucy’s cutie cuteness fool you.

I am an accessory to aggravated assault and I blame Lucy!

My former sweet, little angel has never shown an interest in birds. Chipmunks? Yes. Squirrels? Definitely. Groundhogs? Think fatality. In the animal kingdom-also-known-as-my-backyard, she saves growling and running around the yard 30 mph for small, skittish mammals. Birds are barely worth a low huff, wet nose, or tail twitch.

Our vet thinks Lucy is a part Border Collie, part Black-Lab (aka. Labracollie), which explains why she loves to retrieve tennis balls and herd young children. When Lucy herds, she uses a “soft mouth” and wet nose, bonking and nipping as if to say, “Hey, you sheep, you cows, cluster!”

When Lucy’s outside, she surveys the meadow (umm, yard) from the porch, alerting us to cars and passersby. I’ve read that Border Collies hypnotize herds with their intense, brown eyes, and I believe it. Lucy stares at us intensely with her “people eyes,” hypnotizing us with her inner thoughts. (“Give me meat.” or “Play ball with me.”)

A few days ago, we spotted a Blue Jay fledgling on our driveway. It was all fuzzy down and short feathers. I was fascinated. (Hon, do you know me at all?) I squatted down. It stared at me. I inched closer. It squeaked. I came a little closer. It hop hop hopped down the driveway. Adorable! Lucy was indifferent. Since birds were never a cause for maniacal barking or hypnotism, how was I to know she was secretly Jekyll and Hyde?

The next day, Lucy and I spotted the fledgling on the sidewalk. “There you are,” I said. “Aren’t you cute?” I said. “We won’t hurt you,” I said. Lucy lowered her head as if to sniff the bird, so I let her get a bit closer. All of a sudden, she lunged and grabbed the bird!

After yanking Lucy’s collar while screaming, “Bad dog!”, I picked up the baby bird* who wasn’t bitten or bleeding but limp-ish. Oh no! Did Lucy break its neck or pick it up with a “soft mouth?” Was the bird was just shaken up, stunned and going to come-to later? I searched the internet to find out if birds play dead, and found that some people witnessed this phenomenon, but without confirmation by an expert, it seemed like a wish.

When I returned to the scene of the crime later that day, the baby bird was gone. Did a cat find it? Or a fox? Or–maybe, just maybe–as soon as we left, it perked its little head up and hopped away?

One can only hope.

Adorable Baby Jay.

* It’s a myth that if you touch a baby bird, the mommy won’t take care of it anymore. Click here to read more.

Source: Live Science

I’d love to hear if your “sweet little angels” are harboring killer instincts.


Top Ten Reasons Why Lucy Is My Inspiration Puppy

Inspiration Puppy
Inspiration Puppy.

Lucy is my Inspiration Puppy.

Lucy is my chapter book’s muse. She and my main character both have silky fur, flappy ears, round, brown eyes and a fluffy tail. My muse shows me how a dog behaves, and my uncanny ability to translate WOOF adds to my main character’s authenticity. Writers are advised to “write what you know,” and I know Lucy. You know?

Top Ten Reasons Why Lucy Is My Inspiration Puppy

(with commentary from Lucy)

Lucy is not just a dog, she’s also a:

1. LEG BONKER. Lucy gets attention is by bonking her wet, black nose into legs. Again and again. “What do you want, Lucy?”

Lucy asks, “Do I have your attention now?”

2. VACUUM CLEANER.  Lucy finds the messiest eater and places herself under his/her chair.  If it falls on the floor, it’s hers.

Lucy says, “I’ll eat whatever YOU are eating!”

Hiking Bear Mountain with a stand-in for a mountain goat.
Hiking Bear Mountain.

3.  FOOT WARMER.  This canine is hot, and I don’t mean that in an inappropriate way. Got cold toes? Get a dog!

Lucy says, “Feet schmeet. It’s still petting.”

Pooch Pillow.
Pooch Pillow.

4.  POOCH PILLOW. Need a cuddle or a cry? Tired? Bury your head in a Pooch Pillow and you’ll feel better immediately.

Lucy says, “I’m an affectionate girl.”

Intelligent eyes.
Intelligent eyes.

5.  SMARTYPANTS. Maybe its the Border Collie in her or maybe I’m just bragging, but that dog knows a lot of words.

Lucy says, “First of all, I don’t wear pants and, second of all, of course I’m smart.  I watch your every move.”

Guarding from the front porch.
Front porch perch. 

6.  SECURITY GUARD. Lucy announces strange cars parked in front of our house (or anywhere up and down the street), men walking up the driveway, and delivery trucks–especially the mail truck–by barking her head off, ripping up up her doggie bed, jumping on the front door, growling like a psycho doggie and bolting down the yard at 30 mph.

Lucy says, “Don’t complain. I’m just doing my job!”

7.  TENNIS BALL CATCHER. Lucy LOVES tennis balls so much, she could play ball all day. I throw it and she catches it mid-air.  When I toss the ball up a hill and say, “Roll it,” Lucy nudges it with her nose so it rolls back down to me. See? Smartypants!

Lucy says, “Tennis balls are chewy, bouncy and roll-y. And you’re playing with me. What’s not to love?”

Teen daughter pets Lucy. Lucy reaches out and touches back.
Pet Lucy, and she reaches out and touches back.
"Who wants to scratch my belly?"
“Who wants to scratch my belly?”

8.  LOVER GIRL.  Pet Lucy and she reaches out to touch you back. Want to be greeted in the morning? Get ready for lots of licks. Trying to leave the house? Have work to do?  Too bad.  Lucy the Lover Girl will flop on her back and beg for a belly scratch. She’s very distracting!

Lucy says, “I give what I get.”

Those eyes!
Those eyes!

9.  HYPNOTIST.  Seriously! She hypnotizes us with her eyes. She stares into our souls. I read that Border Collies hypnotize their flocks of sheep or cows with their eyes, and we think Lucy’s part Border Collie. I dare you to look away when she stares at you.

Lucy says, “What’s a soul?”

Such a silly girl!
Such a silly girl!

10.  COMEDIAN.  True, I DON’T laugh when Lucy rolls in…shall I…say disgusting things? But, most of the time she’s a comedian.  Like when we put her outside to get some “fresh air” (see #6) and she stares at us through glass doors. Or when she rests her head our laps during dinner. Reaching for a napkin, instead you find a Lucy’s head on your lap and  she’s begging for people food with her hypnotizing eyes.

Lucy says, “Glad you find my begging amusing.”

Sweet Angel!
Sweet Angel!

 Hon, do you have a pet? How does he or she inspire you?


Lucky Lucy

Lucy loves water.
Lucy loves water.

One of my favorite things to do is to spend Sunday mornings in the South Mountain Reservation. Whether I’m biking, hiking, running or taking Lucy for a walk, I alway feel energized and happy.

I hope you enjoy this 1minute, 46 second video of my favorite furry, four-legged companion, Lucky Lucy.  Lucy had the best time playing with her friends Tucker the Black Lab, Max the German Shepherd, Ace, the Rottweiler mix and even Dexter, a Pointer mix.  Guess what?  Lucy’s tail stayed fluffy the whole time.  Watching Lucy play is sheer joy.

There’s just something about the air on Sunday mornings that clears my head.

What clears your head?

Fluffy Father’s Day

Know my full name?  It's Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.
Hi!  I’m Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.

Guess what?  I’m the Guest Blogger today.  Me!  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds!  You can call me Lucy for short.

I had the best day on Father’s Day!  My sisters invited me to hop in the car after they packed up bikes, blankets and food.  I didn’t know where we were going but I knew it would be fun.  Yippee!  I love cars!

We went to Liberty State Park.  It’s a big park on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River.  It was my first time seeing the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.  I could even see the Freedom Tower.

Here’s my day in pictures.

I jumped up on a ledge to get a better view of the river.  The Freedom Tower is in the background.
I jumped up on a ledge to get a better view of the river. The Freedom Tower is in the background.
I love to be picked up.
I love to be picked up.
seeking shade under a bike
seeking shade under a bike
picnicking with my family
picnicking with my family
Do you like my personalized water bowl?
Do you like my personalized water bowl?
"C'mon!  Let's go in the water!"
“C’mon! Let’s go in the water!”
Jumped in the water!
Jumped in the water!
Sooo tired on the ride home!
Sooo tired on the ride home!

What a great day!  You know what else?  Yesterday was my 2nd birthday.

Happy birthday to me!  Woof!

That's me yesterday, on my 2nd birthday.  (taken by my redheaded sister)
My redheaded sister took my birthday photo. Then she gave me a Happy Birthday biscuit. Yum!

Nice Dog vs Mean Dog

Lucy so comfortable.
Lucy so comfortable.
Lucy so sweet.
Lucy so sweet.

Lucy loves our daily walks.  She is fascinated by what she sees and smells especially if another dog is involved.  That’s the best.  (“Another dog?  Yippee!”)  I’ve discovered that on the leash, Lucy is friendly and submissive, albeit a bit jumpy, but that’s the Black Lab/ Border Collie in her. Her body language says, “Let’s get to know each other,” with ears all floppy and tail all wagging.  Off the leash is another story. (Have I mentioned her herding tendencies?)

Whenever we approach a dog and his/her owner, I ask, “Is your dog friendly?”  Usually, the answer is yes, the dogs greet each other and we’re on our way.  But, the other day, when I asked an approaching man walking three small, hound-type dogs, I got an emphatic, “NO!!”  No problem.  He stayed on his side of the road and I stayed on mine.  His three dogs growled, snarled, and strained at their leashes as we passed for good measure.

I explained to Lucy that not everyone is as open and friendly as she is (she understood, trust me).  And it got me thinking…

Is a dog’s ability to greet other dogs a reflection of his/her owner?

I wondered what made the three hound dogs unfriendly and aggressive. Maybe they’re guard dogs.  Then I thought about my friend’s dog who was injured by another dog at a dog park.  My friend’s dog is nervous but not aggressive. We have met other aggressive dogs and Lucy’s body language says it all—tail between the legs, slightly hunched back and ears all flat on the head.

Some dogs are shy, sadly some have a rough start to life and some may have behavior issues.  Lucy is my first dog so I’m learning as I go.  But we had never met a person who so emphatically said, “NO!!” when we asked the question.

It’s certainly the man’s prerogative to have whatever kind of dogs he wants. And he has no obligation to stop and say hi if he doesn’t want to.  I don’t know what his dogs say about him or themselves.  And I don’t know what Lucy says about me.

But, hon, I do know what her ability to greet other dogs says about her.

Lucy’s 1 Year Anniversary (Four Season Puppy)

Lucy joins our family.
Spring–Porch Puppy.
Summer–Shady Puppy (under the car’s open back hatch).
Fall–Autumn Leaves Puppy.
Fall–Halloween Puppy.
Winter–Snow Puppy.

Happy One Year Anniversary to our adorable, sock-eating, shoe-stealing Border Collie/ Black Lab mutt (uh, I mean “mixed breed”) who joined our family last November!  She’s our very own brown-eyed, soulful sweetheart.  Sure she’s a lot of work, but she shows us how to enjoy the simple things like a belly rub and a nap.  She makes us laugh with her games of “Rip Around the Dining Room Table”, “Hide the Ball Under the Couch” and “Watch Mommy Fetch The Ball.”

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Diamonds for her white markings/ Lucy for short) wouldn’t have joined our household if it weren’t for Daughter Number Three’s Girl Scout troop volunteering at a shelter.  I tagged along with the troop and was smitten by the puppies.

Allergic hubby and two allergic teens officially “allergy tested” a bunch of pups (they rubbed different sections of their arms on different dogs until, lo and behold, one dog didn’t require an immediate dose of Benadryl to halt hives).

Hon, I was always a “cat-person.”  Truth-be-told, I still am.  But now I’m a dog lover, too.

Top ten reasons why I love Lucy:

1. She’s my running partner.

2. A furry dog makes a great personal foot warmer.

3. To her, every day is a great day.

4. She accepts herself for who she is.

5. She looks at the world like a toddler; everything’s new and interesting.

6. I don’t have to fix the broken doorbell.  Lucy announces all visitors.

7. She still believes she will be friends with our 13-year old cat.

8. I have a reason to imitate Ricky Ricardo on a daily basis. (“Lucy, you have some esplainin’ to do!”)

9. My three college freshmen say they miss Lucy more than they miss me, hubby and little sister.

10. Daughter Number Three, who was terrified of dogs for the first 10 years of her life has been transformed!  She said, “Mom, I never realized dogs had personalities.  I was just afraid because they were dogs.”


Weekly Photo Challenge–Soulful Lucy


One of my daughter’s took this picture of Lucy, our approximately 16 month-old Black Lab/ Border Collie shelter puppy.  Hon, isn’t she soulful?

The Weekly Photo Challenge on the blog, A Word In Your Ear, is “Dog,”, so this is my submission to the challenge.