Welcoming Lucy

My daughter has a heart for animals.

And when I say that, I don’t mean oh, she’s a little girl, so of course she likes ponies and kitties.

I mean that on a spiritual level, my daughter has a heart for animals. She wants to take care of them. She relates to them. Her demeanor becomes calmer when she is with animals. She knows what they eat. She knows where they live. She knows what they need- both from things she has learned and things she seems to know instinctually. Her favorite shows are “Wild Kratts” and “Aquanauts.” Her favorite place in the world is the Bronx Zoo.

Every year the kids at our church share their passions at an event called Passion Sunday. Lily has visited the Bronx Zoo and then spoken- in front of the entire church- about the animals she visited. Both years.

My kid. Loves. Animals.

It comes as no surprise, then, that her heart’s desire for quite a long time has been to have her own dog. Since we recently moved into an apartment that allows them (not just with the rules, but with the space. We have enough room inside to house a dog. We also have a yard with a fenced-in area.) it has been on our radar. A few weeks ago we told her that she could start working towards one. She got a sticker every time she went to bed without a fuss, got dressed for school without a fuss, or let Mommy do her hair for ten minutes. (Only one sticker was ever earned in by hair time. Baby steps.) She was doing pretty well with 25 stickers on her chart. So we decided to start a little research. We were looking at breeds, area shelters, that kind of thing.

And then on Saturday morning, I saw an announcement in my twitter feed.

It was Broadway Barks day.

I’ve always known about Broadway Barks. But not being as dog-obsessed as my daughter, I never paid much attention. Sure, gathering Broadway stars and adoptable dogs is an awesome idea. But it was never enough of a draw for me to get in the car. This Saturday was different though. We were looking for something to do with our Saturday. We were in the market, at least preliminarily, for a furever friend. Once I read on the website that most of the shelters that participate in the event don’t do same-day adoptions anyway, it seemed like a safe bet.

We would go to Broadway Barks with our animal-loving girl “just to look.”

Yeah, yeah. I hear you laughing.

Lily and I took the train in while Ryan finished up some business at home. We were excited to see the doggies. You know. Just to look.

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We walked up to Shubert Ally and I was immediately overwhelmed. So many people. So many dogs. So much Broadway. Lily glanced casually at many of the dogs, stopping to pat one occasionally. She spent some time with this little lady, asking her handler what happened.

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The handler told me that people stop to look at the sweetie, but don’t necessarily interact with her. My Lily knows what doggies need attention.

But she soon grew bored. She literally said “these dogs are boring to me.” And we spent some time with the cats. We already have two cats. We weren’t looking for cats. But she wanted to hang with the cats.

I was beginning to think the event would be a bit of a bust for us; I started wondering if we should find someplace fun to have lunch instead. That’s when Lily saw this face.

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She looked up at me and said “I need to adopt that dog.” Without waiting for my reply, she called to the woman behind the table. “Excuse me? I need to adopt this dog!”

I asked the woman if we could spend a little time with her and if she could tell me about “Walinda.” She told me she had been a stray, was probably around two years old, and was both very sweet and housebroken.

Housebroken? I’m listening.

Meanwhile, Lily and Walinda bonded. Except that Walinda was now named Lucy. Lily told every passerby “This is my dog. Her name is Lucy. You can say hi to her and pet her but she’s going home with me.”

I sent Ryan the picture of Walinda (Lucy?) nervously waiting for him to tell me we had decided not to get a dog yet. Lily started to cry when she was waiting for Daddy to answer. She thoughts she was losing her heart’s desire. But his response: I’m in love. Do what you need to do.

And the adoption process began. Of course, we found one of the shelters who did same-day adoptions. We were getting a dog today.

This was not our family’s first adoption rodeo. And I found the process strikingly similar. Before anyone gets all up in arms thinking I’m comparing the life implications of adopting a child to those of adopting a dog- relax, people. I am clearly not even kind of saying that. But the process itself brought up a lot of similar emotions and thoughts. What if I fill out the paperwork incorrectly? What if they don’t like us? What if our references say something awful? What if they say no?

It didn’t happen with Lily. And it didn’t happen with Lucy. All the fears were for nothing. She was ours.

Lucy had to stick around for the celebrity presentations. Lily hung out with a bit of the cast of Rescue Rue while we waited for Lucy to shared the stage with Bernadette Peters.

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Then we walked to the car, and we drove Lucy home.

And it really does seem to be her home. Lucy is indeed housebroken. To our surprise, she is also crate trained. She is an easy addition to our family- getting along with even our two 14-year-old cats. (Who would have rolled their eyes at me if cats could do that.) Lucy snuggles on the couch with us, goes to her crate when she needs a break, and hasn't had a single accident. She plays nicely with the other dogs at the dog park, is learning to sit, and stops when we say no.

She is the perfect dog.

I like to end my blog posts with a lesson, or some connection to things I've been writing about. But today, I'll just end with a thank
you to Broadway Barks for bringing us our furever family member.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Erin
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 11:05:37

    Oh I love this! She’s gorgeous! I love how Lily told everyone it was her dog

    Reply

  2. pinkcanuck
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 12:19:21

    gah! I get choked up by people choosing to adopt a rescue/shelter dog and it turning out perfectly. I love this. So happy for you guys! She’s really cute too!

    Reply

  3. Trackback: The Countdown Begins | Thoroughly Modern Mommy

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