The following lovely article about Miss Lucy, from the Thursday, December 8, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette presents a great opportunity for letters on the joys of adoption. The Gazette takes letters at firstname.lastname@example.org
Include your name, address, and phone number for verification. Name and city will be printed.
There is a nice photo of Miss Lucy at this link:
December 8, 2005 Thursday
SECTION: D; Pg. 1
Katrina canine's new home;
Stormswept dog's fragile life turns with local family's love
Dell Ford, For The Journal Gazette
There's something about Lucy.
It's the eyes. Sad. Wary. Little brown pools holding dark secrets she never will be able to share.
But one day she found someone ... or someone found her ... or they found each other. It doesn't matter how it happened, only that it did one hot September day at Pet Playground on Lima Road. That's when Lucy's life went from chancy to charmed.
Cindy Roethele and her husband, Terry, responding to a newspaper notice asking for donations of food, blankets, bowls and towels for dogs rescued from Hurricane Katrina, went to Pet Playground with some of the requested items "and to see what else they might need," Cindy recalls. Miss Lucy is held by her adoptive mom, Cindy Roethele.
Miss Lucy, a survivor of Hurricane Katrina, has gone from being "very sick" to making progress every day in her new surroundings.
The notice also said survivor dogs would be available for adoption.
Five years cancer-free (as of April 2006) after surgery at Mayo Clinic for progressive malignant melanoma, Cindy was not looking for a dog to adopt. Mugz, her beloved Australian shepherd, had gone through the cancer with Cindy. And the recuperation.
"She was my motivation, my love. She was very patient with me. We walked together, short distances at first, then through the addition. Mugz was about 13 then," Cindy says.
The shepherd died in July 2002 and Cindy "closed the book on dogs ... I thought I'd never love another dog like that."
Then came the hot day in September.
The Roetheles had not intended to walk through the back of Pet Playground where dogs, transported by Pet Jamboree from a shelter in Alabama after Hurricane Katrina, were housed in cages. Didn't intend to, but did.
"I went past the row where this little dog was huddled in the back of her cage." All the others, Cindy remembers, "were up front (in their cages) saying, 'Look at me! Look at me!' "
When Cindy saw the little dog huddled at the back of her cage, "there was a strong pull. I couldn't get past her. She seemed lost ..."
A volunteer took the dog from the cage and placed her on a towel on Cindy's lap.
"Her heart was racing and she was trembling," Cindy recalls. "I stroked her ..."
The Roetheles left and went for breakfast at Bob Evans.
Cindy "sat there and cried and I said, 'I need to go back and see this dog.' I took her out of her cage and looked at her again and that was it ... for me."
Adoption papers were signed Sept. 12 but the little hurricane survivor did not go to her new home until Sept. 17, after she'd been spayed.
A reddish-brown, short-haired dog with a large splash of white on her chest, the new member of the Roethele family was given the name Lucy, reflecting Cindy's fondness for another redhead Lucille Ball in "I Love Lucy." More recently, the word "Miss" was added because, Cindy explains, "Lucy is a southern lady. Genteel."
Her breed is a question (Cindy sees a little spaniel) as is her age, probably 1 or 2 years old.
"She still has a little puppy in her. She'll try to catch a ball in midair, and she loves to run and chase squirrels," Cindy says.
In the company of strangers, Miss Lucy hangs back, still shy and more than a little leery. She utters a soft, barely audible "Grrr ... woof ... grrr" that seems to say, "I don't know you ... can I trust you? ... can I?"
Cindy scoops the dog up in her arms and the "Grrr" goes away, but the look in the brown eyes remains extremely suspicious. Overcoming the trauma she most certainly experienced in the hurricane and its aftermath will take time. And large doses of love.
Settling on a family room sofa with Miss Lucy in her lap, Cindy says the dog doesn't like rain, wind or storms.
She does like TJ (for Tiger Joe) the cat, once best buddy of Mugz, now Miss Lucy's pal.
"They play together, sleep together," Cindy says.
And she likes to ride in the car to McDonald's to watch people and to the bank where she knows she'll get a Milk Bone treat.
The Miss Lucy resting, paws crossed, in Cindy's lap is not the same dog the Roetheles brought home in September.
Wanting their little red-haired pet looked over from "every angle," Cindy took her to Dr. Steven S. Harry at Dupont Veterinary Clinic.
Dr. Harry found many things about Lucy to be "very."
"She was very thin and emaciated," he says, adding, "very scared, shy, lethargic, very weak. She had a severe cough, nasal discharge and sneezing. She was very sick. We weren't sure at that point she would make it."
Dr. Harry put his patient on an antibiotic and cough suppressant, but "she continued to go down hill." He then ordered blood work, a radiograph and tracheal wash to determine the bacteria he was dealing with and the antibiotic to best treat it. The diagnosis was bronchitis and pneumonia. On one visit it was determined Miss Lucy had an intestinal parasite (coccidia) and hookworm. Both were treated with drugs. Lucy's heartworm test was negative, but she will be rested in March.
Underscoring Dr. Harry's bleak assessment, Cindy says "when we brought Lucy home she was so weak we had to pick her up and put her on the grass to piddle. I slept on the (family room) sofa three nights. Lucy was on a pillow on the floor. I listened to her breathe. She'd cry the first week when we'd leave her at night and go upstairs to bed."
A combination of medical treatment provided by Dr. Harry and love and care provided by Cindy have done wonders for Miss Lucy.
When the veterinarian saw Lucy Nov. 3 "she had gained about 5 pounds (going from 13 to 18 pounds), and she looked great. Her heart and lungs sounded fine."
For her part, Cindy is "so thrilled and proud of Lucy. She makes progress every day."
One question about Lucy's behavior was put to the test when the Roetheles' granddaughters, Alexandra, 3, and Ainsley, 16 months, visited during Thanksgiving.
"She was really good with them ... gentle ... no snapping, no aggression. She followed them around watched them play," Cindy says.
Since September, Pet Jamboree has made four trips to bring about 250 hurricane survivors from animal shelters in the south to Fort Wayne for adoption. Christi Pelz, Pet Jamboree president, says all but about 10 have been adopted.
None could be more lucky than Miss Lucy.
"No regrets," says Cindy Roethele gently stroking Miss Lucy's back. "I'd do it again in a heartbeat."
(END OF JOURNAL GAZETTE STORY)
(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. To unsubscribe, go to www.DawnWatch.com/unsubscribe.php. If you forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts please leave DawnWatch in the title and include this tag line.)
You are subscribed to DawnWatch Indiana using the following address:
Date: Thu Dec 8 10:55:04 2005