Lucy saves the day

Splinters from the weather-worn planks scrape my knees as they thump to the dock. The thud echoes down to where the fires are still burning from my desperate last stand, homemade molotov cocktails and boobytraps with last summer’s fireworks. But it was all for naught.

The setting sun is warm on my back, casting my shadow forward to the evil drug lord who aims his shotgun Uzi at me. He smirks below a sleazy mustache. “It’s over. Put your hands up. Then I kill you.”

I watch my reflection in his aviator sunglasses as my hands rise, then form the letter O in the air. He scoffs, “What are you doing?” He thinks nothing of it as the shadow of my hands creates a circle on his forehead.

Lucy plays catch 09Suddenly! A blur of tawny fur as the sleek German shepherd leaps out of nowhere, sails over my head, and pounces on the evil man. She knocks him to the burning dock, where she digs his brains out where the circle had been.

Ha HA, triumph!

Lucy plays catch 1

Waiting patiently…

That’s the epic conclusion to my brother’s screenplay. Lucy saves the day through her neurotic obsession with shadows, and digging at circles. The first time I came here, hoping to move in a week later, we stood in the kitchen talking, and I watched Lucy staring at the floor, her head tracing from one side to the other.


I thought she’d given away the presence of rats running around below the floorboards. But no, she was watching our shadows. And if you make anything like a circle? Wham! Full-grown shepherd pounce. Think arctic fox, but bigger. We take care not to cast circular shadows anywhere else in the house, since she’d dig through the hardwood floor like stale crackers.

She takes her job very seriously. (Triangles? No deal. Squares? Quit wasting her time.)




Lulu’s a hardworking sort, and is also an expert reflection-chaser (from wine glasses, phone screens, angled knives, or her favorite, the dishwasher door as it opens). Not sure what she thinks the little white pieces of light are. Insolent insects? Alien invaders? Malevolent faeries? She doesn’t know, but she’ll damn well do the diligence to find out.


Lucy plays catch 3

Get it, Lu!

Few things are as delightful as taking Lou in the front yard for a match on a sunny afternoon. Chip her big blue ball into the air, and she’s got about an 85% chance of catching it on the way down. We have shoot-outs, where I try to get the ball past her to the fence. Final score is often 10-9, but it can go either way.


Last week we had some thunder and lightning, a rare occurrence in this land whose storms normally come down from too-cold-for-such-friction-tomfoolery Alaska. Lookoovore wasn’t super keen on that racket. I calmed her down and she spent the rest of the day within a few yards of my side. I thought I had consoled her, until I told a friend that Loopers brought me one of her bones. “She was taking care of YOU!” she crowed.


Good dog.Lucy plays catch 4


And walking her! I had heard that we walk our dogs wrong. You’re not supposed to let them walk ahead of you, much less pull you, or they are walking you. That’s not just a cute joke among dog-walkers, it’s actually a dominance issue. But how to change it? Try walking my parents’ beagles like that? Fuggedaboudit. But Lupinatrix? She stayed right by my side, occasionally sneaking forward, but falling in next to me at a yank on the leash.


In one of his books, Kurt Vonnegut decried training the personality right out of a dog, but that is not the case with Lucifress. Well behaved, but a lover, she has come in twice during the course of typing this blog, just to say hi and see if I’m up for some luvin.


Lucy plays catch 5I am.


Now. The sun is warm outside, no sign of rain. I think it’s time for a pbj sandwich, bag of chips, and game of catch with canus Lucious.