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If Charlie Machete was a girl dog in Connecticut

Recently, a new reader reached out with a lot of questions about my foster dog Charlie Machete. She was eager to know anything about him because she has a mystery mutt, too. And they might as well be twins.

black dog with big ears

Spittin’ image of Charlie Machete

Anything is possible, but it’s unlikely that Charlie Machete and Lucy are related, since their stories begin in far-flung locations. However, I loved learning more about this 40-pound female version of Charlie Machete who was also sprung from death row and who has captured the hearts of all who have gotten to know her.

Big thanks to Lucy’s mom Trisha for sharing her tale.

What is Lucy’s story?

We are not entirely sure of her whole story. She was very very sick. She was to be put down on December 1, 2011, and should not be here right now which makes me want to cry because she is just such an amazing dog.

Her story was broadcast all over Facebook and donations came piling in! The day she was to be put down, an amazing group had succeeded in saving her and pulled an all nighter road trip to make sure of it. They went and got her from the kill shelter in North Carolina and brought her back to Baltimore, Maryland, where a vet worked to save her life because she was so sick.

An angel of a woman named Kim Ruark, who was her foster mommy, had a huge part in this and fostered Lucy for three months while she got better. She sold necklaces called “For the Love of Dog” and the proceeds were donated to Lucy and her vet care.

For the Love of Dog necklace

For the Love of Dog necklaces via CocoandCompany.com

One day after suffering a huge family loss, my husband and I weepily looked at puppies on Petfinder because it made us feel better. We came across Lucy and while reading her story and the wonderful description Kim had written about her, my husband and I were crying and looked at each other and said “That is our dog. We have to adopt her.”

We immediately sent an email to Kim and talked to her for more than an hour by phone. A week later we drove towards Maryland from Connecticut and Kim met us halfway with her. We fell in love with her the minute we saw her. We would not have a wonderful little girl right now if it were not for the volunteers of MiddleMutts, Double Dog Rescue, Kim, her husband Ed and son Jack, and their vet named Amy.

They think she was between 7 and 10 months old, but we think she was a little older because she has never changed size/weight since we got her. This is just speculation, but we think in her earlier years before she was in the shelter, something might have happened with a fire. She is terrified when we make a fire in the fireplace, cook on the grill, cook in the kitchen or anything else that has to do with smoke.

We have also heard her howl three times since we have had her…only when a fire truck passes. It is very beautiful to hear her howl but kind of eerie! If we are on our walks and we see a fire truck even just parked, she gets very strange and scared.

black dog on a dog bed

“Do you like my new bed?”

How did you know she was the dog for you?

Kim described her as a wiggle butt which is my favorite thing that dogs do. Kim said she loved to play with her other dogs, snuggle, give kisses, hang out with her son Jack, and she was beautiful to boot! Who wouldn’t want to immediately adopt this dog?!?!

What is a typical day like for Lucy?

Her days are all very different. Some work days, she goes to doggy daycare to play with her friends all day, sometimes she will go to school with my husband who is a teacher at one of the most wonderful private schools where the kids love her, and other work days she holds down the fort at home with our two cats. They try to get her in trouble a lot though. We swear that they inch things off of high places and tell her that it is OK to take whatever it is. She chases the cats, they chase her and her new thing is cornering our black cat and then dropping her bone right on his head. On work days, I try to get her to the dog park as much as I can, and we also try to do a 3-mile walk a day.

black dog in a coat

All dressed up for a hike.

At night she hangs out very close while we eat dinner, gets some wrestle time in the living room, fetch time in the yard, chews her bone, practices her tricks and training, and then usually just wants to snuggle with one of us on the couch while we wind down for the day.

The weekends are all about Lucy. She loves to chase chipmunks around our nice big fenced-in yard, run around with our black cat Duke, then we usually go for a hike. Our latest thing is rollerblading. We do 3-4 miles on the rollerblades and she gets to run really fast with me the whole time.

We also visit our parents a lot on the weekends. She LOVES Grandma and Grandpa Martin and Grandma and Grandpa O’Leary’s houses!! Both mine and my husband’s parents spoil her and love their “grand-dog”, as the four of them call her. Our family parties are filled with dogs, so she has plenty of doggy-cousins to play with. Her favorite is her cousin Joey who is a quite handsome Italian Greyhound.

italian greyhound and black mix dog

Snuggle cousins

What is most challenging about being Lucy’s person?

The first week was the most challenging. I am ashamed to admit that I called Kim upset the first day we had her because I thought she was going to kill our cats, and she did not seem to like us very much.

I was scared at the way she would growl at the cats and lunge at them and she would not come near us. I was so upset and thought we had to give her back. Wonderful Kim talked me down and asked that I just try for a week. 8 months later you would never know she tried to eat the cats!

Now she just plays with them and even gets some snuggle action from them. She is now also extremely attached to my husband and me. (I hate to admit that she is a daddy’s girl though!) She sits on my lap like a small dog.

Another challenging thing is that she is very independent and she outsmarts us. She knows her commands very well, but if she is interested in something else, she likes to pretend that she can’t hear us. Also, we can’t trust her off leash still. She is very curious and loves to run. We are working on it though!!

black dog looking out window

“Be there in a minute! I’m watchin’ squirrels!”

How has Lucy changed your life?

Lucy is our baby. She is very intuitive with how you are feeling and her wiggles make the worst day turn into the best. She changed our life because she came into our life at a very tough and sad time, and I think she saved us from a lot of heartache. It was wonderful to have some puppy energy in the house. She is also my outdoors companion. We do everything with her!

What is your best guess of what kind of mix Lucy is?

NO CLUE hahaha We see tons of dogs in her… lab, chow, basenji, pit bull, and my brother Brian and his girlfriend Sarah (parents of Lucy’s cousin Joey) recently brought to my attention that she has tons of Carolina Dingo mannerisms and looks… she may be all of the above hahaha

black dog and black cat snuggle

Cuddle time

How do most people react to Lucy when they meet her?

With high baby voices which makes her butt go crazy. People also comment on how beautiful and unique looking she is!

What advice would you give to someone considering adopting a shelter dog?

There are SO many dogs that need help. There is no reason to spend thousands of dollars on a dog from a breeder when there is perfect dog that needs to be adopted and might be put down tomorrow. When adopting a shelter dog, have patience because a lot of them have never been taught any doggy manners. A lot of love and boundaries goes a long way.

I feel like the dogs know that you helped save them. It is an amazing bond. I can promise you that adopting from a shelter or rescue foundation is one of the best things you will ever do. Not only is Lucy the best decision we have ever made, but we have also kept in touch with her foster mom Kim. I love having her as a contact. You will never know who you will meet and the wonderful people that will come into your lives because of this.

Lucy and cat sleep

“Fine. Just take over my bed.”

You can read more about Lucy at her foster mom’s blog.

Have you ever encountered a dog with an uncanny resemblance to yours? Share your story in the comments!

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About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on November 14, 2012, in Blogging, Dogs, Dogtography, Fostering, Machete, Random Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Great post. Back a few months, I asked my readers the same question: http://dogdaz.com/2012/10/09/10-9-12-virtual-dog-park-ping-back-challenge/. Funny but Lucy resembles Louise, who came from a NC kill shelter situation 3 years ago. I am in the Baltimore area so it may be the same crew. Sometime I wonder if she has Catahoula Leopard in her, but she looks like a lab/hound, and I was thinking Plott hound, because she has brown stripes under the black. Sounds like Lucy is one lucky dog! Thanks for sharing Charlie.

  2. I follow a few people on Instagram who have a dog like our Dante (pug/english bulldog mix). It’s very fun to see the pics they post!

  3. She’s gorgeous! I’m so glad she has a family to love her and take care of her… the deal with fire is a little strange though, I wonder what happened.

    I hope CM has a family waiting right around the corner for him, just like this little one did.

  4. Oh my word, Charlie Machete, Lucy and Litchi – they could all be brothers and sisters. Those pictures of Lucy lying with the cat are Litchi through and through (are you sure you didn’t sneak in here anytime 🙂 ). I love this story. Thanks so much for sharing with us all.

  5. Oh and I forgot – the wiggle butt, definitely Litchi’s trade mark and I see Lucy does it too. What about CM, is he a wiggle butt as well?

  6. What a Great Post – Lucy is a cutie! Have a Great One!

  7. We have never been able to figure out what Toady is. One week though, my husband was out of town for work and noticed a dog that looked a lot like him at a shop. He sent me a picture and the resemblance was very close. On his break, he went over and asked about the dog. We are certain that they are related somehow since that dog also came from the shelter, but they were no closer to knowing his origins than we were of Toady’s. Still, it was interesting to see another since we never had before!

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