The mission of National Dog Day (from nationaldogday.com) is to encourage adoption and to celebrate all dogs.
The website recommends giving your dog a hug, adopting a rescue, and generally celebrating all things canine.
This isn’t just a holiday for purebreds (like Guinness the Therapy Dog) or for mixed breeds (like Lucy the Wonder Dog). It’s for all breeds, of all sizes and parentage.
Both Guinness the Therapy Dog and Lucy the Wonder Dog are rescues. Guinness was an owner release; and Lucy was adopted from a rescue organization. They’re both family dogs, with Guinness working as a therapy dog.
Guinness came to us when he was almost two years old and has worked his way into our family seamlessly. We went to dog school together and learned how to behave around people, how to walk on a leash, and how to be a good dog-human team.
Lucy was a stray. That’s why she’s so broken: she was on her own during her formative puppy months. I think she was abused because she was a stray. Judging from her fears, Lucy was hungry a lot and was likely chased from places where she felt safe. She also has a fear of boots, so it’s likely she was chased off by someone who wore them.
It’s also why she’s able to catch birds as they fly through our backyard.
Both of these dogs deserve to be honored for all they bring to our family. So, happy Dog Day, Guinness and Lucy.
Much of the focus of the Guinness the Therapy Dog series is on–Guinness the Therapy Dog. As it should be. But did you know that he has a companion/older sister?
She is Lucy the Wonder Dog. She is very shy and is happy to leave the spotlight to Guinness.
Lucy lives with us, too. She was, I think, significantly abused when she was a puppy and bears the emotional scars to this day. Lucy has lived with us for seven years, but cannot move past her suspicion of everyone and everything. She is on anti-anxiety medication (CBD tincture), which does a tolerable job but doesn’t completely eliminate her fears.
She is also a genetic mess. She suffers from permanent dislocations of both back kneecaps, her front legs are shorter than her back legs, and one of her front legs is shorter than the other causing a limp. She also has an impressive underbite. Even bulldogs are, like, “DUDE!”
But Lucy is a sweet girl and asks for attention-but, only from me. She doesn’t like men, hats, or loud noises.
Guinness loves her and they rely on each other for support. When I take Guinness for a walk (not her, she can’t go on walks longer than 50 yards because of pain), she waits by the door and talks to him when he returns. It’s a sweet relationship.
So, when you look at Lucy’s expression do you see the impending eye roll?
What was happening was this:
She was in a highly anxious mood and wouldn’t come out from under the table. I didn’t want a picture of her with her ears laid flat against her head (her typical ‘I’m anxious’ look), so I was squeaking a high-pitched tone to get her ears to perk up.
It worked but, clearly, she thinks I’m insane.
Well, her ears are perked but the expression doesn’t make for a great picture.
Today is the day to celebrate your furry friends and I’m so excited to have Guinness the Therapy Dog and Lucy the Wonder Dog in my life.
I write about them in the Guinness the Therapy Dog series, where you can read about Guinness’s adventures.
The relationship he has with Lucy in the books is the same in real life. She is his moral compass and keeps him in line, which can be hard. Sometimes, Guinness is a little too enthusiastic–about everything. Lucy lets him know, in no uncertain terms, that he needs to calm down.
It’s fun to write about their relationship and Guinness’s zest for life. He’s good to have around!