Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lucy Seifert 1997 - 2012

I am very saddened to report the death of Lucy the wiener dog.

Lucy was not my dog, she belonged to my pal KW Monster. Nevertheless I knew her for fifteen long years. I saw her every time I went to KW's house and I would occasionally babysit her in my home. In a way I felt like she was partly my dog. She was personable, playful, very intelligent and up for anything. Most of all she was a fun little furry pal.

"Hey Big-Head, I need to go outside, NOW."
I remember the first time I ever saw Lucy. I went to KW's house and sat down on his couch. Lucy came barreling into the room, heading right toward me. I chuckled to myself a bit, figuring there was no way a dog with such tiny legs would ever be able to jump up onto the couch with me. When she was about ten feet away she literally flew across the room and landed beside me on the couch, eager to see who I was and what was going on. Bear in mind that when I say she flew, that's exactly what I mean. Her stubby legs lifted from the ground and she sailed upward into the air like a missile. I was absolutely gobsmacked. Astonished even. I'd never seen anything like that before.

I used to babysit Lucy when KW would go out of town; often for two or three weeks at a time. She never made much of a fuss about it; she seemed to accept her new situation and environment without any trouble and quickly fell into the routine of my household. 

I always wondered what she thought of this arrangement. Did she just think that KW was at work for an exceptionally long time (three weeks!) and would eventually come back? I can't see how she could possibly know that. Did she think, "Well, I guess that other guy's gone and I live with this guy now?" Too bad we'll never know.

I remember the first time KW took a trip and was separated from Lucy for an extended period. She was apparently greatly offended by his absence and when he returned, she wouldn't "speak" to him for about a week. She wouldn't even look at him and when he'd try to pet her she'd pull away. It was exactly like watching a petulant child. She was most definitely punishing him for leaving her. After about a week she got over it and forgave him.

"Hulk smash! Ride War Steed into battle!"
Amazingly Lucy never bothered anything that didn't belong to her. KW would leave DVDs, books and shoes lying on the floor, as well as several expensive guitars resting on stands, all well within her reach. Lucy never once bothered any of that stuff. She had her own toys and never touched any of KW's. This discipline carried over to my house as well. In all the times I watched her she never bothered any of my stuff either. Her one weakness: the trash. Occasionally the siren's call of the trash can would overpower her and she'd knock it over and spread the contents all over KW's kitchen floor. But it didn't happen very often.

Lucy's main hobby over the years was licking her paws. Her delicious, succulent paws. She spent most of her waking time lying down and licking her front paws. It's a wonder she didn't lick them off. Her vet suggested it was an allergy, but I wonder if it was a habit, like a human constantly cracking their knuckles or clearing their throat.

Baby got back! Lucy during her "chunky" period.
Lucy was a very intelligent dog and I truly believe she had the ability to think. One day KW came home from work and noticed that the kitchen rug was lying out in the middle of the floor, instead of by the door as it should have been. He picked up the rug to move it and saw that there were a couple of Lucy's poops underneath. Apparently earlier in the day Lucy just couldn't hold it any longer and pooped on the floor. Panicked, she realized she'd done a Bad Thing and would be punished for it. So she walked over to the rug, grabbed it in her teeth and dragged it out to the middle of the floor and covered her poops with it. The perfect crime!

That right there showed me that she had the capacity for abstract thought. She was able to think ahead several hours and recognize that punishment would be forthcoming. She then formulated a plan to hide the evidence, thereby avoiding said punishment. That's chimp or toddler level thinking right there. By the way, KW was so impressed with her quick thinking that he didn't have the heart to punish her for pooping on the floor (that time).

Lucy could understand many words as well. Included in her vocabulary: she knew the difference between "bone" (her rawhide chew) and "ball," and would pick up whichever one you called out to her. She also understood the difference between "eat," "drink" and "get in your bed." And of course, "potty."

Lucy was broke when she first started out so she was forced to pose nude for Playmutt magazine.
Speaking of potty, the one thing I did not enjoy about watching Lucy: letting her out to poop and pee. KW would just let her out and go about his business inside while she went about hers outside. I never did that when I watched her as I was afraid she might run off. So I would stay outside and keep an eye on her while she went.

She would slowly and deliberately make her way around my backyard, sniffing the ground intently as she searched for just the Right Spot in which to relieve herself. Apparently in the world of dogs, this is a Big Deal. She'd sometimes wander around for ten to fifteen minutes before finding the optimum spot to take a crap. Once I sat out there for twenty interminable minutes waiting on her. I was pleading with her, saying, "Please Lucy, I'm begging you. POOP ALREADY so I can go to bed!" She sniffed around some more, stopped, sniffed more intently and then finally screwed herself up and got into the "position." "Thank Thor," I thought, near tears. Then at the last second she aborted the mission and started sniffing around again, to my groaning vexation.

I can't say for sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion that she was playing me; deliberately drawing out these poop sessions just to spend more time outside.

Whenever I babysat Lucy she would spend most of her time dozing (or licking her paws) at my feet while I sat at the computer and drew. She would follow me from room to room, unwilling to let me out of her site, lest I disappear as KW apparently had. A few years ago I painted my kitchen and she spent the whole weekend keeping me company, sitting in the doorway intently watching my every move.

Like most dogs, Lucy was terrified of the vacuum cleaner. I tried not to use it if she was around (I can go a lonnnnng time without vacuuming if I have to), but sometimes I had no choice. Whenever I would use it, afterward it'd take me a while to find her again. Usually I'd find her hiding way back under my bed, safe from the hideous shrieking vacuum demon.

Ever vigilant: Lucy protecting my porch from the dreaded squirrel menace.
Lucy was of course a dachshund and had the breed's characteristic elongated torso. When something spooked her and she took off running for her bed, hilariously her back end was faster than her front end. Her butt would actually overtake her front half until she was running virtually sideways. Made me laugh every time I saw it.

I liked to play the Security Game with her when she stayed at my house. KW trained Lucy to bark whenever he'd say the word "Security" and to stop when he'd say "Safe." So I would see how close I could get to the word "security" before she'd bark. I'd suddenly yell, "Seppepity!" and she'd give me the stink eye, no doubt wondering what the hell was wrong with me. "Segoogidy" didn't work either. But I lost the game when I'd yell "Seckity." Apparently that was too close to "security" and she started barking.

In recent months her age began to catch up with her and her hearing came and went and her vision began to fade. Because she was a dog, she didn't let these maladies get her down though. Unlike most dogs her age she was still playful well into her old age. She was even learning new tricks right up to the end. Just a few months ago she learned to sit up and beg, which is quite a feat for a dachshund.

I'm really going to miss babysitting her and hearing her paddling little feet follow me from room to room.

2 comments:

  1. Awwww poor Lucy. My heart goes out to KW Monster and his family. She was a beautiful fur baby. Your post is a wonderful tribute to her. The captions on the photos are fantastic as well.

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  2. Thanks. Even though she wasn't my dog, I'm going to miss her almost as much as KW.

    Sucks that our pets have such short lives.

    ReplyDelete

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