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I Love Lucy (or Lusi, or Luci)

February 24, 2011

I’m back in Sant’Ilario now, and happily reunited with kids and dogs.  Yes, some days it feels like I have four charges: the two Italian kids, their Parisian dog Lola, and her one-month-old puppy, Lucy.

I like to think that Lucy and I have a special bond.  She was born a few days after I arrived, and I thought she was the ugliest thing I had ever seen.  She looked like a palm-sized brown blind rat.  But then I touched her–and I had never touched anything softer than her fur.

None of the kids could decide what to name her.  Claire, Vittoria, Fufu, Spike?  I came up with the name Lucy.  For some reason I had been thinking about the name for a while.  Maybe because it derives from the Latin root for light.  Maybe because I am nostalgic for Nick At Night reruns.

Everyone liked that name, so Lucy she was.  I was so proud to have named her.

For the first few weeks she did nothing but drink milk and sleep.  As my time here in Italy progressed, I saw her get bigger and bigger.  Sometimes I thought she was growing so fast that it felt like watching one of those fast-forwarded videos of how a flower blooms.  Every day when I came to work she was a little bigger.  And if I didn’t see her for a few days, I couldn’t believe the change when I came back!

The kids LOVE Lucy.  They run to her basked and cuddle with her the second they get home from school.  But who am I kidding?  I run and cuddle her the second that I get to work.

For a while, D and I and Lola and Lucy took afternoon walks together.  Seven-year-old D on her pink roller blades (i roller), holding my hand and cradling Lucy in her other arm.  I had Lola’s leash in my other arm.  “Run, Beth!”  D shouted.  Lola and I would take off, dragging D and Lucy behind us.

Lola was supposed to have four puppies, but according to the vet, two were reabsorbed.  (?)  One was stillborn.  So Lucy is an only child, which means that she got fat.  No other puppies to play with, and all of mama’s milk to herself. If you put her on the floor, she swam along it rather than walk.

One day I decided to teach her to walk.  So I straightened out her spindly legs and supported her giant tummy with my hand.  I was shocked to see that she got it!  From that day forward she loved walking.  But she hasn’t quite mastered turning yet–she can only go forward or backwards.

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