I would like to nominate my beautiful Cavalier, Lucy, for the SuperDog Award.
Lucy sadly passed away in December 2016, but in her albeit short life, she achieved so much.
Lucy was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and in early 2013 she was rescued from a puppy farm at approximately 5 years old. She was emaciated, weighing only just over 3kg (the average for her breed is anywhere between 7kg -11kg) she was so thin you could feel her ribs and spine. Lucy had bald patches to her fur and her skin smelt like burning flesh from the urine and faeces she’d been kept in burning her skin. Lucy’s spine was curved from the conditions she had been subjected to for many years, she was blind in one eye and also suffered from epilepsy.
I adopted Lucy in March 2013, she was my first ever rescue dog and truly changed my life. Adopting a dog like Lucy was a learning curve. The simple things that most dogs are familiar with like eating out of a bowl were alien to Lucy even at 5 years old. She ate every meal like it was her last, in her past life she probably didn’t know if/when her next meal was coming. She suffered from severe separation anxiety and on the very rare occasion she was left for a very short period of time, I would come home to find her whimpering behind the door. As soon as I sat down she would then fall asleep next to me, exhausted, safe knowing her human was back. Lucy had no doubt been without simple love and affection for a very long time, she was desperate for a family to call her own.
Over the following months, she was fed small meals little and often and had short walks to build up the muscles in her legs that were so weak from years of neglect. Lucy was only around 5 years old, but she was like a little old lady. Her physical health improved with regular meals, walks and care and we managed to control her epilepsy as much as possible with medication. Some of the emotional scars stayed with her forever but even though she had endured years of neglect, she was the happiest little girl, wagging her tail at everyone she met and it was that cheeky, resilient personality that made so many fall in love with her.
I set up social media pages for Lucy to document her progress, all of which snowballed, with people wanting to see how she was getting on and wanting to tune into her daily antics. Lucy’s beautiful character and cheeky nature really captured the hearts of many around the world, she was finally able to live the life she was deprived of for so long. Lucy wasn’t just my little soulmate, she was a part of many, many families who had taken her into their hearts. They wanted to see Lucy flourish and enjoy every moment of her newfound freedom.
Together we attended events from dog shows to rallies, to red carpet events, educating people about the truly life-changing impact of adopting and showing so many just how AMAZING rescue dogs are, all they need is a chance. Lucy had many celebrity cuddles but took it all in her stride, quite the difference for a little dog that had endured so much. As long as I was by her side (with plenty of snacks, of course, she was happy) Lucy shared the message that rescue dogs just needed a chance, a family to call their own. She shone a light on those dogs that were very often invisible and gave them a voice.
In December 2016 Lucy suddenly fell poorly. She fought so hard to get better but her body, after so many years of neglect, just wasn’t strong enough and devastatingly she passed away. My heart shattered that day, Lucy was my little soul mate, the bravest, most courageous little girl who left tiny paw prints on the hearts of many, many people.
Lucy’s legacy is Lucy’s Law, named in her honour which will help stop other dogs from suffering as she did. Lucy was special, she was tiny, frail, vulnerable but she was a courageous, magnificent force for good and I’m so proud of the ripples of change she created.
Lucy may be gone but I will be forever proud of all she achieved and I’m sure she will be looking down with a big smile on her face, knowing her life made a difference and continues to make a difference each and every day. I’m also sure she’ll be enjoying cake too, which was always one of her favourite things!
Lucy, I’m so proud and I will love and miss you forever xx
Lucy received another nomination for a Naturo SuperDog Award: “Bravery. Determination. Loving. Beautiful dog”