College of Veterinary Medicine

In Memory of Our Beloved...



A Girl and Her Dog
The Story of Lacy

Lacy was a five year old pound dog. Dalmatian and Healer was my best
guess. She entered my life by accident due to unpleasant circumstances,
which I will not recount here. So, as far as anyone's
concerned, she's a pound dog. When I went to get Lacy out of the cage
at the pound, she flew right past me and started down the road
exploring. She had no interest in allowing me to put the leash on! I
followed her for a while and finally got my car and drove up to her with
the window down and said "Lacy, would you like to go home with me?" She
jumped right through the window into the front seat and the rest is
history. A girl and her new dog.

From very early on, it was very obvious I had an energetic dog on my
hands. She could and would pull your shoulder right out of the socket
while on a leash. She'd take your hand off if you went near her food.
She became fiercely devoted to me and she wouldn't let any other dog
near me. She would cower and hide at the site of a large man. The list
of her behavioral issues was daunting. I didn't know much about
correcting behavioral issues at the time but I accepted full
responsibility of her care and welfare and the challenges that came with
it. A few months after I rescued her, I found myself driving a U-Haul
truck and towing my car with Lacy riding shotgun to a new home out of
state. A girl and her dog on the road (she barked the whole trip).

Over the next few years, I worked with her extensively to train her to a
leash and rectify her food aggression problem. She became my constant
companion. Together, we hiked, camped and backpacked every weekend. She
lived for the Jeep ride so she could bark her head off at other cars...I
took a lot of aspirin in those days...many a trip I came back with
ringing in my ears from her barking. And the slobber! She would stick
her head out the window over my shoulder and bark and the slobber would
cover my face. For some unknown reason the passenger side window was not
acceptable to bark out of. More than once she dove over the seat to
bark at an oncoming car thus almost causing her and I to die young! She
was an excellent boyfriend screener. A girl and her dog became best

The first thunder storm we experienced together had her so scared she'd
run one direction, smack into something and go the opposite direction
until she smacked into something else. She kept going, even while she
was tranquilized, I had to put her on a leash. There were many nights I
was up with her until the storm passed. She experienced cacti for the
first time, which wasn't a pleasant experience for her. I found she had
a passion for digging after anything that could be in a hole. She'd
dig with such dedication she'd come out covered with dirt and sneezing
her head off! Sometimes she came out with a prize. I'll never forget
the day she caught a pigeon while we were walking in a park and drooped
it at my feet like a present! A family with young children watching this
was horrified. I fed my turtles goldfish and would let her catch them
out of a deep bowl before the turtles got them. I think that was her
favorite game. A girl and her dog having fun together.

Lacy and I had some trying times. I lived in a small apartment and
worked the swing shift. Prior to work, I'd take her for 2-3 hour walks
and she'd still be raring to go. After I would get home, I'd take her
out for another hour. By 5am she was in my face whining to go out. This
went on until I rented a house with a dog door and a yard! During this
time, I learned to function on little sleep and it really hit home about
how much responsibility it can be to assume ownership of an animal. A
girl and her dog learning to live with one another.

Lacy and I moved two more times before our current abode, only now with
cats, another dog, more turtles, and a husband. Lacy accepted the cats
and husband fine but sharing her girl with another dog took a long time.
Toby, another pound dog, graced our presence in 2003. It took six months
for Lacy to accept a new dog in her house. By this time Lacy qualified
for senior discounts. Her hearing was the first thing to go and, I must
admit, it was kind of a relief to sleep through the night when there was
a storm, fireworks, or any other loud noise she'd blow a gasket at. The
next causality of age was her sight. If she smelled food anywhere near
her humans (by now, my husband was one of her humans) she'd start
snapping at everything until she landed her teeth on the food. If we
weren't careful, our hands became targets. A girl and her dog getting
older together.

Lacy developed arthritis and it progressed over the next several years.
Her lust for life never wavered. She never stopped following me around
and protecting me. She never let a hole to dig in or something to chase pass her by.
She still tried to catch goldfish and her drive to eat never ceased to amaze
me. Unfortunately, time was against her and I had to start thinking
about quality of life vs. longevity. A girl has to make tough decisions
for the welfare of her dog.

Recently, arthritis overcame her body and I was forced to make to final
decision to say goodbye to her. It was one of the hardest things I've
ever done. I miss her terribly. She was 18 years old. I'd like to think
I gave her a good life. A girl mourning her dog.

Note: I cannot end this without thanking Dr.  Batdorf, Vista
Veternary Hospital for her excellent care and extreme dedication to her
patients and their humans. Dr. Batdorf worked tirelessly to do
everything possible to give Lacy an excellent quality of life during her
last few years. I cannot thank her enough.

Lacy was my dog and I was her girl.


Terese M.




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