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Backup Pack
Baby, Lucy and Misty

BabyShe showed up one snowy morning curled up against our warm brick fireplace. We were on our way out and couldn't leave the "Poor BABY" in the weather. We put her in our shower enclosure on a warm baby blanket with food and water. She didn't move for two days.

We tried to find her owner to no avail. So we took her to the vet and decided she would be a good playmate for our older dog, Doc. Baby had all kinds of parasites—inside and out—was pregnant, had been injured prior to our rescue and could not deliver naturally. In comes the Million Dollar part, she had a cesarean, the puppies were put on respirators, and she was neutered at the same time.

All this was going on while my husband was out of town at a conference and I was interrupting the meeting to keep him posted as to her progress and let him know this was going to be expensive. All in his meeting were saddened when they learned the trauma was too much for the puppies and we lost them.

The only time in my life we had ever had a female and we all wanted her puppies. She had been abused by someone using a broom. Whenever I would sweep Baby would run, try to crawl under something and cry. Then we would cry. She eventually got over the fear but she would not come to us when we had any type of stick. Yard work was out if she was close. It put her into fits.

Doc passed away and we were left with ONE, that's right, ONE dog. Along came Misty, a huge reg. Black Lab who was twice Baby's size as a pup. Right away you knew Baby was in charge. They became fast friends and Misty acted like her protector. If it stormed the two of them would huddle together, Baby curled up inside Misty's long legs. Every night this is how they slept together. One would not go to bed without the other. Baby would even follow Mis to their spot when they were boarded at the vets. No leashes, just let them go, they would both just go and wait for someone to let them in their room. Up to the day Baby died, she and Misty would go outside together, Mis would lead and Baby, blind and deaf, would follow Mis out into the yard and back up on the porch to the door. One night she didn't. She was a good, faithful pet and loyal friend for 13 years.

We let Misty see Baby,and we told her that Baby was going away and not coming back. Mis looked in her basket and looked at us. I knew she knew how bad it was. Mis nuzzled her face. We took Baby to the vets for the last time.

The next morning Mis looked and looked, she didn't want to come in. She would be in for two minutes and have to go out again. She went and sat in the boat. I coaxed and called. Nothing worked. I took her for a ride in the boat and we looked for Baby. I knew we would not find her but we looked. Finally Mis gave me a look. It was time to go home. We got out and went in the house. Misty went into a deep depression. She lost her appetite. She gradually got a little better. This was October. Then came January and LUCY. AND Misty didn't know what hit her.

LucyThis is Lucy. She weighed 2 pounds when she arrived with her REAL PARENTS, our grand daughters. Unfortunately, she terrified our little one. Lucy would stiffen up, curl her lip, hiss, show her sharp, very sharp teeth and GROWL. If you can call the noise she made a growl. Dan and I would get hysterical every time Lucy put on this show. How could you not love a face like that. We were instantly hooked. We have had large dogs, very large dogs, and here was this tiny little ball of white fur putting the "hurt" on our grand daughters.

The girls came to spend a week with us and had just got Lucy. Dan and I agree to help them teach the poor little thing manners, she had none. We kept Misty—our huge old black lab—and Lucy totally separated during the week. Misty was an old grouch and gave me that "whatever it is, leave me alone look." So we did.

LucyThe end of the week the girls left. So did Lucy.The stillness of the house was deafening. Little did we know our lives would be interrupted in the night by an SOS from our daughter. "Mom," she said, "I am bringing you Lucy, we can't have a dog, Mom she growls, and snaps, and bites, and growls, and grabs the girls socks and legs. I will be there in a couple of hours." Hang up phone. What, what did she say?

In a couple of hours here was our grown daughter with the teeny tiny INTIMIDATOR, all three pounds of her, her blankets, her bowl, her bones, her food. Dan and I could not keep a straight face. We were rolling with laughter.

She explained. They had given it a lot of thought, researched breeds, talked to animal people, thought this would be perfect. A small dog for two small girls, 6 and 9. Well ...

Needless to say an agreement was reached where Lucy would live with us But she would still be their dog. If we couldn't keep her they would have to return her to the Kennel. So now, we train, feed, care for, take to Vets and travel back and forth to their house so they can visit. AND WE WILL HAVE TWO DOGS AGAIN.

Lucy and MistyAfter Lucy had been here for another week we let the gate down between the pup and Misty. I told Mis, "This is a baby, you have to be gentle." On some days when Lucy was way overactive, Mis would come, sit at my feet, put her paw on my leg and BEG me to put Lucy in her box. Which I totally understood and obeyed promptly. But Mis is a GREAT babysitter.

We have had Lucy since February. I swore up and down and all over after Baby died there would not be another dog. But you know what? That little stick of dynamite has brought a new joy to our house. She and Mis play. Mis never played with toys when she was little, now she PLAYS. They run through the house chasing each other. Get out of the way. Lucy will go through your legs and Mis runs over you. Lucy greets us with a frenetic happy body and jumps into our arms with such vigor we are overjoyed to have her there.

We check in often with her REAL parents and tell them of her accomplishments—"She hasn't had an accident in weeks"—and her misdeeds—"Girls, your dog just ate the wallpaper in the utility room."

Strange as it seems this arrangement has worked our REAL well for all of us.

—Judi Felkner



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