Walking With Lucy

These days I should be walking Lucy before the sun rises. By the time it’s 8 a.m., the temperature has climbed to the uncomfortable level. By 10 a.m. it’s unbearable. And yet, even when my morning activities mean a walk at 8 or 9 a.m., Lucy still wants to go. That’s the great thing about dogs. They never say no.

Yesterday on our walk we had two people encounters. A older white-haired man rode by on a bike and then, about 20 yards away, he seemed to change his mind about riding by. He turned his bike around and pedaled back toward us. I have to admit that I instinctively tensed. He slowed down and stopped in front of us. I unlocked my phone in case I needed to call 9-1-1.

“That’s a beautiful dog,” he said.

“Thank you,” I replied. Lucy wandered over to him.

“I had to put my dog down a month ago,” he said, rubbing his hand over Lucy’s back.  The man’s lips were quivering.

“I’m so sorry,” I said.

“She was a Lab, too. My best friend for 13 years.”

“I bet she was,” I said. I was totally tongue-tied by this emotional outpouring from a perfect stranger. And a man, no less. But that’s the power of dogs.

Abruptly, he turned his bike around, waved, and pedaled away, too choked up to speak anymore.

Lucy and I continued up the street, pausing only at the brick base of a mailbox that must have held hundreds of “messages” left by other animals.

When we were almost home, a woman jogged by. Her arms and chest glistened with sweat. Her face was scarlet, her breathing raspy, her gait awkward. You could tell she was suffering. And yet, she took a moment to say, “You’ve got a great walking partner there.”

“Yes I do,” I said. “Thank you.”

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8 thoughts on “Walking With Lucy

  1. This story just made me smile, thank you for sharing… I am hoping to someday live in a house that will allow for me to have a dog (the last several I was not able to have pets). Dogs are such wonderful companions 🙂

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  2. It has been said that strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet. Dogs instinctively know this. An approaching person means someone to play with, not a potential danger. Dogs simply do not have the fears that we do. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from this.

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  3. Walking my dogs is one of my favorite things to do. They’re not calm and well-behaved like your Lucy; unfortunately I didn’t train them well. What they lack in manners, they make up for in interest and gratitude. Walks are their favorite things to do too.

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    • Actually, Lucy is only well behaved when we encounter humans. Any dogs that cross our paths fear for their lives! We have worked on it for nearly 12 years but since she was attacked by a couple of dogs one time, she has decided she has no use for dogs. I’m glad you have a few dogs to keep you company on your walks! Thanks for reading. 🙂

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  4. Pingback: The Leibster Award | So many right ways

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