Hon, you know how much I love Lucy!
She’s my first dog and I think she’s the–umm–cat’s meow. She’s a sweetheart, angel, practically my fifth child. I’ve become one of those people who shows dog photos to just about everyone she meets. She makes me happy and I want to share the joy.
But, one day she was so naughty that I debated a return to my former cats-only status.
Every Sunday that’s not warm enough to bike, I run in the South Mountain Reservation. Lucy is my running partner and she always has the best day running, playing with her doggie friends and swimming in the Rahway river. Click here to see a video of her splashing and swimming with her friends.
I let Lucy off leash so she can run (and, let’s be honest, tire herself out). She can be cagey about returning to me, but when I say, “Bye bye Lucy, Mommy’s leaving the store now,” she usually comes. It may take a few minutes, and bikers may stop to watch and laugh at my attempt to use reverse psychology on a dog, but it’s all in good fun. That was BEFORE THE SNOW.
AFTER THE SNOW, my sweet, little, black dog wasn’t such an angel! One Sunday, we went on our usual run. I let her off leash where the water runs over a dam. Guess what she did next?
She ran far out on the frozen river, jumped off the edge of the ice and plunged into the freezing cold water!
I couldn’t believe it! Horrified, I thought What should I do? Should I go out on the ice? What if its too thin and I fall in? Should I call the fire department? Does anyone have a long rope I can tie around my waist so I can slither over the ice on my belly to rescue my crazy dog?
Then Lucy’s head bobbed up, she hoisted her front paws and torso over the ice, and found the strength to scramble up and out of the water. Boy, was I was relieved! And mad! (Parents, you know how our kids wonder why we yell when they get hurt? I tell my kids it’s because we’re scared, and that’s just how we react.)
Lucy, dripping wet and shivering, stood for a few seconds on the ice. I thought she’d run into my arms but, instead, she seemed to forget the whole “I almost drowned in sub-zero water” incident and bounded down to the snowy rocks below the dam! That naughty dog! I yelled, “Lucy, bye-bye, Mommy’s leaving the store!” No luck. I yelled, “Lucy, yum-yum’s” while holding out dog treats. No luck. I screamed, “Lucy, get over here!” Still no luck. Even though the temperature hovered around 20 degrees, I was steaming!
Twenty minutes later, I caught her and yelled, “That’s it! You’re done!” and “You naughty doggie!”
The next day, my daughter ran into a mom she babysat for and told her about the “Lucy Incident.” That mom said she saw the whole thing from the other side of the river. She saw a dog run out on the ice, recognized my voice, and knew the naughty dog was Lucy.
Lesson Learned: Lucy is not allowed off leash if the river’s turned to ice.
Also: Carry fresh turkey in my pocket; she always comes for that.
Also: My voice carries.
But, how can you stay mad at a sweet angel when she looks at you like this?