Hi, friends at APRA! – I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful care you gave Lucy before she became mine, and to update you on her transition into her new home. She seems so joyful and so at ease here! I saw firsthand how much your volunteers and staff love each animal that you shelter, and one very sweet volunteer shed a tear or two when I took Lucy home. As a thanks for all you do, I will keep you updated on Lucy’s Happy Tale. She sends her love.
I came to APRA to visit a dog I’d seen on the website, and Lucy had just arrived at the shelter when I did. Animal Control had just picked her up and she hadn’t fully completed intake or gone up on the website yet. It really was love at first sight. We immediately bonded and I initiated an adoption, but I knew I’d have to wait several weeks before taking her home, so that she could be spayed and treated for heartworms. Poor kid.
I visited her on weekends in the hopes that she’d recognize me, and that would make her transition into my home easier. I think it worked. By my third visit, she seemed to know me and feel at ease, plopping down in my lap and nudging my hand for more petting each time I stopped.
I finally took her home last Wednesday. She did incredibly well! Much to my surprise, she was already housebroken, leash trained, crate trained, and could sit and stay. Talk about easy! She paced around a bit at first, but one good meal and a few good toys later, she was curling up on the couch with me and making that contented puppy sigh each time she rolled over, or snuggled deeper into my lap. We made our first vet visit to Banfield, where we ran into an APRA volunteer! Lucy gave her kisses and was happy to see her.
We took our first walk on the Atlanta Beltline and met some canine friends in Inman Park. We also took our first trip to the lake, where Lucy took her first boat ride (loved it) and met her labrador cousins. As it turns out, Lucy is a super playful girl with big dogs! She crouches like a lion – on her haunches, flat against the ground, ears back, nose pointed, alert – and waits for her friends to wander by, and then she pounces! It’s one of the funniest behaviors I’ve seen, I assume borne of having to hunt and survive on her own as a stray. Once her friends get over the shock of Lucy shooting up like a barking bullet, they dive in to play. We’re going to have to be careful with that behavior with strangers… I’m not sure others immediately recognize being “hunted” as play.
I do think that there were darker chapters in Lucy’s young life. She’s terrified of shoes, and when anyone raises a hand swiftly, she whimpers, cowers and rolls onto her back, exposing her soft belly as if to say, “Please don’t hit me!” We’re working through that, and anytime she cowers that way, I give her hugs and hold her until she’s happily wagging her tail again. The good news for all of us is that those days are over for Lucy, and a brighter lifetime of new adventures is just beginning.
Thank you to everyone at APRA for caring for my wonderful girl before she was mine. She sends happy puppy kisses to all of you! Especially the wonderful volunteer who shed a tear to see her go. ~ Tiffany & Lucy