My best friend is currently licking her butt while sitting next to me. I guess you could say she is flexible, but every time I have asked her about it, she has given me the silent treatment. We must be close because, after that intensive cavity cleaning, she licked my elbow to say hi. My best friend is a mini-poodle who looks like an Ewok named Lucy Mae. She is two years old today and is everyone’s favorite member of the McMahon family. I doubt I am the only person to think of their dog as their best friend, but Lucy completely changed our lives.
Everyone could use a dog
My wife, Maria, grew up with a toy poodle, Lili, and has nothing but fond childhood memories of a tiny fluff ball, who would jump into your arms when you came home. Unfortunately, Lili passed away a few years ago. If she could speak, she would have told you we had an odd relationship; after all, Lili was fourteen, blind, and boney. I didn’t grow up with a dog, so I wasn’t sure how to play with or take care of Lili. I was afraid to carry her because she was so frail in my arms. Also, fun fact, did you know you shouldn’t leave an elderly blind dog on a bed? I certainly didn’t know that. Even though we were like Devito and Schwarzenegger in “Twins,” we became fast friends. I miss her, and although she couldn’t see, she could still comfort. She would lay by Maria or her sister Marisa while we watched TV or fall asleep in my Mother-In-Laws lap. Dogs are better than people – they love unconditionally.
Every year on my birthday I asked for a dog and my parents would always tell me I could get a dog when I was married and had my own home. Fast forward to 2016, I was married and had a home, and yet, I was still begging for a dog. By the summer of 2017, I had worn down Maria, and she told me we could start looking for a puppy. I don’t think she thought I would do all the research or reading on the subject, but oh how wrong she was. (This is one of the few times I can say my wife was incorrect. Let the tally show Chris: 1 – Maria: 1.2 billion)
We brought Lucy home on August 17th, 2017 and by the end of the day something inside Maria and I clicked. There was a little fur baby with short limbs and a long body who didn’t know what anything was, wandering around our living room, and I had no idea what I was doing. I slept on the floor by her tiny pink crate, listening to the soothing sounds of Jack Johnson, as she finally fell asleep. I knew that there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do for Lucy Mae, and I would soon find out she felt the same way.
Earlier that year, I had discovered I suffered from a particular kind of Depression called “Dysthymia.” Most days, I found I could barely get myself out of bed, and the thought of going outside crippled me with fear. I was quick to get angry for no apparent reason, and I just felt so hopeless. On top of all of these feelings, I was traveling a lot for work and auditioning, basically just going through the motions to make it through the day. There would be random moments when I would break down and cry for no reason, and it crippled me. I felt emasculated, alone, and like I was letting everyone down. There were days when I sat on the computer and never stepped outside; my caring, beautiful wife, Maria, knew I needed help. She convinced me to start going to therapy, and most importantly, she brought Lucy into our home.
Lucy tricked me into becoming a social butterfly. She loves everyone, which means I spend most of our walks talking to neighbors and letting little kids pet her. Everyone knows me by my name now, and they all know Lucy around Montclair, NJ. Exercise is an integral part of my daily routine, and Lucy loves to join in. You can find us trail running, working on hand balancing or stretching.
When I find myself at the beginning of a break down, Lucy’s right there. She sits by my side when I work and follows me into the kitchen hoping I’ll drop something on the floor. She’s my best friend because she does all of this and never asks for anything other than a belly scratch or an ice cube to chase.
Happy Birthday, Lucy! I love you, bud.