I thought I’d try something a little different today and go with a funny story so that you could start your weekend with a smile. And after telling a somewhat sad story about our dog Lucy the other day, all her crazy adventures came into my mind as well, So, for your Friday pleasure I give you my favorite funny Lucy story. Enjoy.
During my second year serving as associate minister at a United Methodist church in Savannah, we chaperoned a youth group camping trip to Fort McAllister. I wasn’t in charge of the youth group, but the youth minister was a buddy of ours and invited my husband and I to come along. We are outdoorsy folk in general, so the promise of sleeping next to a beautiful salt marsh and playing on the river the next day with the youth seemed like a great idea. So we loaded up the car with a tent, our sleeping bags, and our basset mix Lucy and then headed for the campground.
A word about Lucy. If you read the earlier blog about her, you know that she came to us in pretty bad shape. She was very overweight, fearful and unsure about the whole pet/owner relationship in general. Fast forward a couple of years to the time period of this story and you find a different dog. She had dropped 10-15 pounds (credit the doggy Crossfit 😉 ), decided we were pretty good people, and in general had learned to love life again. She especially loved going camping. I’m thinking it was because of all the dropped hotdog pieces and good smells to sniff.
So here on this youth camping trip, Lucy was in her element. All the youth were petting her, the ground was covered in stray food and there were smells everywhere. She sniffed at the marsh, she sniffed at the tents, and then she sniffed the ground where all the animals had left their scent. Good Lord, did she sniff the ground. As I mentioned before, Lucy did have a lot of basset hound in her. I would have never guessed that suburban Fort McAllister would be covered in wild animals, but it was. There were squirrels and possums and a small army of raccoons. I guess the word had spread in the animal kingdom about all the dropped hotdog and graham cracker bits.
It had been a while since I had chaperoned a youth trip, so I guess I had forgotten how teenagers basically forsake sleep so they can stay up all night and do crazy things. It was around three in the morning before we got everyone quieted down in their tents so at least the chaperons could get some sleep (and I love my sleep). One scout youth and his dad had elected to sleep outside under the stars and keep and eye on things. And then there was Lucy. Lucy also didn’t sleep much on camping trips, but her intent was not to party the night away. This mixed up hound kept one ear cocked all night so that she could protect us from all impending dangers. And around four o’clock that morning danger hit.
A stealthy raccoon had been watching our camp and waiting for things to quiet down. Now that we all seemed asleep the raccoon skulked its way into our camp. With no one watching it aimed to pillage through our food. But wrong were you, skulky raccoon. For about twenty second after that raccoon’s paws entered our camp Lucydog bolted her way to the front of the tent, placed her large nose in the spot where the zipper reached the bottom of the tent, and charged out into the night barking and baying as loud as she could. One doesn’t have to read Where the Red Fern Grows to know a hound dog would rather die than miss a chance to chase a raccoon, so off she went fulfilling her hound destiny.
I on the other hand was not impressed. I opened my eyes just in time to see her nose her way out of the tent and then heard her bays followed by some wild animal scream. I jumped up half ticked off at my stubborn dog and half scared she was going to get bit by a rabid animal. My calm, quiet center was long gone as I climbed my way out of my sleeping bag and screamed into the quiet night, “DAMN YOU LUCY, GET BACK IN HERE.” Yeah… that echoed around in the darkness for a while. After I got out of the tent I saw Lucy not attacked by a rabid animal nor missing in the woods, by seated by the campfire receiving love and praise from our two outside scouts. Apparently she had chased the coon away and then they’d quickly called her back to tell her what a good and brave girl she was for protecting them. She pranced proudly as I ushered her back into the tent and then she shot me a look with indignant eyes. Who knew a dog could experience a feeling of moral superiority?
The next morning was a rude wake-up to say the least. The tale of Lucy’s valiance spread. No one had to spread tale of what I had done, since I yelled so loud. All the youth rubbed Lucy’s head and gave her nibbles from their breakfast as they told her over and over again what a good girl she was. So brave, so protective. I on the other hand, was met with silence and more than a few stink eyes.
I guess it all goes to show you a few things. A dog really is (hu)man’s best friend. Also, as my nephew warned me long ago “preachers aren’t supposed to cuss.” But more than that I think people just love a hero, someone who’s not afraid to risk themselves for a worthy reason. And cranky, angry people? Not so much.
Care to share your story of when you got shown up by a dog? Or a funny story in general?