When I grow up, I want to be like Lucy. Not the famous red-haired comedienne or the freckle-faced know-it-all, thorn in Charlie Brown’s side. The Lucy I’m referring to is my 16 year old Shitzu rescue dog, aka TC, the name given her by the sad people who surrendered her to a high-kill shelter when she became a burden.
Lucky for us, the rescue angels were on it, intervening before that final, fateful transaction that would transfer the “burden” to the county. The adorable little love bug in the photo above was unrecognizable then. (I’m including a “before” photo for you below.) She most certainly would have been swiftly put out of her misery. But despite her horribly matted fur covered in feces, over-grown nails, rotting teeth, fading eyesight and limited hearing, Lucy wasn’t miserable at all!
How many times have I looked at a messy, hopeless, miserable situation and simply decided it’s not worth the effort, only to give up or walk away? How many times have I looked in the mirror and thought, “You are a mess!”
By all appearances life is messy. I do my best to mask that inconvenient fact. What I present to the world is the result of exhaustive intervention, good lighting, smoke and mirrors.
Then I consider Lucy and realize I’ve got it all wrong! Making myself presentable is about as effective as it would have been to put a pink bow on the top of the matted mess that was TC! Until I am willing to peel away the layers, no one, including myself, will ever get to the real me and I’ll certainly not know what true freedom is!
It can be scary getting to the bottom of what’s hidden. We had no idea that there was a delightful little sprite of a dog with a fierce will to live under all that fur. Of course there were a few raw spots that needed healing too. And the revelation that despite clearing the guck from her eyes and the matted fur from her ears, she was indeed almost completely blind and deaf. Not that any of that has stopped her!
After scoping out the lay the the land, she prances about from room to room like the precious princess that she is! And this gives me immense joy and hope.
Yep. I want to be just like Lucy when I grow up. She has shown me that the best is just waiting to be discovered. As long as my heart is beating there is so much life yet to live and that life, precious, messy life, is so worth living!
kat – 2 January 2016
One more thing. I would be remiss if I did not encourage you to find your own Lucy to love! Senior pets are especially vulnerable. After devoting a lifetime of love and loyalty they find themselves abandoned because….well, there is no because…and no excuse…but they are no less deserving of love and a home! Of course you will also find bundles of puppies and kittens this time of year if you prefer a younger pet. For some the blush and excitement of their Christmas surprise will have worn off by now. At any rate, if you have room in your home and heart, there is nothing like the lovely mess of a pet to school us in what is most important in life. 🙂