lucy peach

Yesterday afternoon, we made it official. Lucy Peach Ariel Hannah is now a member of our family.

When we first met her, she was terrified. She cowered behind Mrs S, the woman who has been fostering her for the last three weeks. She had her tail between her legs, her head down, her little body shaking ever so slightly.

Winston wanted to play. He was trembling with excitement. Luau had to hold him back. Lucy wasn’t ready.

Katie made the first move. She sat on the floor with Mrs S and Lucy. She stroked her gently. “It’s ok, sweetie. It’s ok,” she said softly.

Brooke squealed. “It’s Winston’s best friend,” but she made no move toward her. They both needed the same thing. Just a little time.

Lucy’s story is in her eyes. It’s also in the way that she avoids stairs and drops to the ground in a lump when anyone approaches her. It’s in the long scar along her back leg – the one that had to be repaired when her first owner kicked her so hard that it broke in two places. It’s in the stiffness of her gait.

Katie saw it all. “How, Mama?” she asked plaintively. “How could anyone do this?” I didn’t have an answer. “People can be cruel, baby.” I said. ” I’ll never understand why.”

When she was ready, Brooke came to sit down with Katie and Mrs S. She reached out and patted Lucy’s head, then kissed her back. And then she walked away.

Mrs S told us Β that when they’d come to rescue her, she’d been so frightened that no one could get near her. They had tried desperately to collar her, but she’d run away each time. It was a five year-old little girl who finally managed it. She was the only one of whom she wasn’t afraid. With the little girl, she knew she was safe.

There was no question that we would take her home.


We knew.

When I spoke last week with the woman down in Louisiana who was responsible for her, she said the following. “I’ve seen a lot of applications for this dog and I didn’t know why none of them felt right. Then I got yours. And I knew. We’d been waiting for you. Yours is the family that this dog deserves.” It gave me chills when she said it. Still does.

Mrs S had a hard time leaving her. She had planned to help us bring her into the car, but she couldn’t do it. We thanked her for taking such good care of her and she left without another word.

We were concerned that Lucy would be nervous in the car. Mrs S had told us that she didn’t like car rides so much – that she might be scared.

Um. Nope.

Just to be extra safe, we crated Winston in the back of the car and put Lucy between the girls. She plopped herself down like she’d been there all her life. I snapped a picture before we even left the parking lot.

And kept snapping as we drove.

And my heart nearly exploded as I took the pictures. Because my God, you see it. Don’t you?

Do you see what I saw?

Look at Brooke.

Really, really look.

Her posture, her face – her hands.

It’s all in her hands, really.

Do you see it?


My girl is absolutely, positively AT EASE with this dog. This dog that she laid eyes on for the first time some half hour before these pictures were taken.

My girl.

A dog.

A SECOND dog in our family.

I’m still scratching my head.

I need you to understand this. I really do. It’s important.

My girl wasn’t afraid of dogs. She didn’t dislike them. She wasn’t uneasy around them. No, what she was was TERRIFIED. Truly, completely, absolutely morbidly TERRIFIED.

She shook like a leaf when a dog came onto her radar. It could be across the street – if she could see it, she was shaking. Her hands turned into tight claws. Her entire body tensed for flight. She made a noise that can only be described as hooting. She scrambled up the body of the nearest human. Her fear was visceral, overwhelming and heartbreaking.

Any new home, it was the first question. Visiting friends, relatives, my dad. Either the dogs were cordoned off or she was. There was no choice.

But then there was THIS. And then THIS. Then there was THIS. And then THIS.

Now, there’s this.

Welcome to the family, Lucy Peach. It’s been quite a journey for all of us, hasn’t it?

But the past is the past.

And I can say without a doubt that right now, you are in exactly the right place, little girl.

And so are we.Β 

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart to all those involved in bringing Lucy to us. I’m not an overly religious person, but there is no doubt in my mind that what you’re doing is God’s work.

Please, if you are thinking about a pet, please consider a rescue. Lucy’s story is heartbreaking, but not unique.

34 thoughts on “lucy peach

  1. I have enjoyed reading all of your stories about Brooke and all her progress and especially the ones recently about Lucy. I have a 3 year old who was diagnosed this year with Autism and in September we found a stray kitten that we took in that has become Chloes best friend. Hes taught Chloe so much in his time here and is so good to her and for her. Ive enjoyed reading about all of Brookes changes this year and it gives me hope for Chloes future. Thanks for putting your families story out there for all of us to see.

  2. Aw, poor sweet Lucy Peach; what a history. 😦 But what a bright, shining future she has with a family full of love. And those photos of the girls with her? The connection with Brooke? *swoon!* Congratulations on your new family member.

  3. I’m so thrilled for Lucy and the family. As I saw the pictures yesterday, I knew that she and the family were so perfect for each other. It was incredible to see.

    Love you,

  4. Oh! I love this story.

    And you are totally a religious God girl, you know it.
    YOU are doing Her work, too…in this blog, in your life, in who you are.

    The animal people–they are total angels, right?

    Yay for Lucy Peach, and Winston and all of y’all!

  5. As I sit here with morning coffee, I am catching up on blogs I missed. I was totally fine, until I got to this one. Moved is not enough to describe how I felt as I was reading about Brooke’s reaction to Lucy Peach and visa-versa. With tears in my eyes I scanned over the pictures.. I too saw what you saw instantly. My heart just melted. By the time I finished, the tears that were in my eyes had covered my face… good tears. Truly a touching story… and what a hurdle for Brooke to have overcome. Thank you so much for sharing! ❀

  6. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face! A story of providence for all of you, and a happy ending! It just overwhelmed me. πŸ™‚

    I love the pics, and aren’t you glad you took them? They are THAT moment, the one when IT happened, and you caught it forever! Congratulations! πŸ™‚

    There is a reason, dog spelled backward spells God. πŸ˜‰

  7. This makes me so happy- you found one another! Perfection.
    I don’t understand the horrific cruelty either. It sickens me.
    Your girls will help Lucy Peach forget her past. Judging from those photos, they already have.

  8. Enjoy the newest member of your family. It was totally meant to be. I’m so happy you’ve all come so far, and that you all feel safe in eachother’s company and comfort! xo

  9. This is just beyond awesome. The pictures say it all. What a great way to start 2012 – for you guys AND for sweet little Lucy. Congrats!

  10. My mom who lives alone decided she wanted a dog. We went through a rescue. There was this little Yorkie who came from a puppy mill. No one wanted her because she went into a corner and shook if you came near. My mom took her home and you should see what has happened. It’s been almost two years and she is a different dog, yet she is the RIGHT dog for my mom. I think they were both waiting for each other. Annie (after little orphan Annie) is not yippy, she has only barked a handful of times and it’s always when she heard someone outside. My girl is a little overwhelming to Annie as she picks her up and carries her around but she has never nipped her or anything. I think it is just amazing how we got the perfect dog and now you did too. I do believe that some things were meant to be and both Annie and Lucy are where they are supposed to be. BE patient, you will not believe how she blossoms!

  11. Wonderful story, but it all works because both the girls and Lucy Peach speak the same language. It is good for the babies to take care of a little dog(s) that need their help.
    Love you all,

  12. What a great post. Our dog Potter was similarly mistreated and very timid especially around men. It took her about 3 weeks to warm up to my husband but now she gazes at him with love and has stoped shrinking back from men we see in the neighborhood on her walks. She was the right dog for our family and I’m so glad that Lucy has found the right home too.

  13. it makes me cry to see how dogs are so cruelly treated at times. She deserved this. Our rescue pug spent much of her life crated in a kennel on concrete – now in our family, a couch isn’t good enough; she has to find a pillow on TOP of a pillow on top of the couch. I like to think she’s making up for lost time. A rescue is the way to go for sure. There’s so much love out there. Congrats to your family – as I saw on a rescue bumper sticker this morning: “Who saved who?” XO

  14. I am in awe. My son has that same visceral fear of dogs. I always know when he hears a dog bark or senses one is near – he heads for the hills. I have an understanding of how huge it is for Brooke to be in the same room – nevermind touching a dog. Wow!

  15. I do see ! That dog is intended for your Family & no other. You will all love & help each-other…….a blessing for all. In your home, Lucy will slowly begin to relax & trust again. I’m not surprised at the special tenderness both girls feel for the dog & especially Brooke. This is good news…….& know there will be much mutual enjoyment & healing.

  16. My Nephew has the same terror of Dogs. However he and my Scruffy (Giant Schnauzer) somehow get each other. Our furry friends truly make a difference in our lives. I wish all of you the best and Happy New Year!

  17. I have a nephew who has autism and is terrified of dogs. When he was a teenager he walked through a plate glass window to get away from a dog. I have two cats and Ithought he would be afraid of them. Not so; he loves the cats and displays an ear to ear smile whenever he sees them. I would love to get a small dog, but I am afraid of his reaction. Any suggestions?

  18. I can’t tell you how much I love this! First rescuing a dog is awesome. But you’re description of Brooke and her ways of reacting to dogs is so similar to my son. We had a medium sized dog when he and his twin sister were born. He was always tolerant and showed no fear of our first dog. Once he became a toddler, and was diagnosed on the spectrum, we noticed that he panicked – scrambling up any adult nearby – anytime he saw a dog (big or little) no matter how far away it was.
    Last summer (the twins were 7 and our first dog was now 12) we found the most adorable beagle/basset puppy (5 months old) at the shelter. We brought dog #1 and both kids to meet him. My son was interested but standoff-ish. Gradually he warmed to the puppy and wanted to throw a ball for him. Eventually he sat and let the puppy get close. We all went home together.
    Within 2 days, my son was wrestling on the floor with the puppy. Seeking him out to snuggle. He loves this dog!
    Now, there are days that the puppy drives me crazy – chewing things, making messes, generally making life more complicated – but then I see him with my son and it’s all worth it. They are connected. And, my son no longer fears all dogs. Therapeutic, I’d say!
    As always, thank you for sharing your family with us. I always look forward to checking your blog to see what’s new. You’ve helped me in so many ways to become a better mother to both of my children, and really opened my eyes to keeping in mind how my son would/will feel about what I share on social media. Wish I could sit and share a glass of wine with you! πŸ™‚

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