Today marks the 10th anniversary of when I met Lucy. When I awoke this morning, I went to her bed, bent down, gave her a kiss on her head and whispered “Happy anniversary. I love you,” in her ear. She responded with wet licks across my nose.
I’m not quite sure how we’ll honor this day. I wanted to have a party tonight to celebrate our decade together and the launch of my new luxury pet travel site, The Jet Set Pets, but the site isn’t quite ready. Maybe we’ll go to a dog bakery though Lucy never seems to enjoy anything from dog bakeries. Now, real bakeries are a different subject. She’ll gobble up anything.
I still remember the day when I picked her up. The night before our first meeting I interviewed the cast of Ocean’s 11 together for USA Today. I sat at a round table with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia and director Steven Soderbergh. As much fun as it was to chat with that gang all at once (I gained a great deal of respect for Brad when he offered to get me something when somebody mentioned liquor), the real treat in my life was the next day when I flew to Pasco, Wash., to pick up my baby.
She was eight months old and her name was Wendy. She had been living with the Chihuahua breeder, who for reasons unbeknownst to me, was willing to part with the dog she had made her pet. But who was I to question it? I was happy to get Wendy. The breeder asked if I wanted to come to see the place where Wendy was born but I wasn’t interested. I planned to hop the next flight back to L.A. with my precious little package.
Who knew what was in store for the two of us? I knew we would travel together, which is why I chose a tiny dog. But I didn’t know what a terrific little pal she would become. Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs as anyone who knows us knows. There was a time early on when I thought I would have to get rid of her because of her diva attitude. But a behavior specialist stepped in and salvaged our relationship. And there was a stretch in Italy when her name became Lucifer because she had turned into such a devil. And there are many moments when she lives up to the name on her dog dish, which read “Bitch Bowl.” I can count the times on one hand when she’s greeted me at the door. She prefers that I come and greet her when I come home. That’s typical of longhair Chihuahuas, who have high opinions of themselves.
Despite all that, I love my little Lucy something fierce. I spend countless hours in my office pecking away at the keyboard and she’s right with me, curled up in a ball surrounded by magazines.
She follows me from room to room, running up and down the stairs behind me, the bell dangling from her collar clinging against a darling Swarovski crystal charm to play a musical tune that I adore hearing. When I take a rare break and retreat to the living room with a glass of wine and package of raw almonds, she’s comes along with me. When I’m in the kitchen cooking, she watches intently though I know she’s waiting for a piece of 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano to drop on the floor. When I pull an occasional all-nighter, she tries to do the same, struggling to keep her eyes open and on me. After 10 years together she knows my every move and can predict what I’m going to do before I do it. I can look at her cute, little face and tell what she’s thinking, know whether she’s happy or sad.
On the rare occasions when she’s not home with me, the house feels incredibly empty and silent without her. She may only stand four inches off the ground but she has a huge personality that fills several rooms. I often wonder what she thinks when she looks at me with those big, black eyes of hers. I’m sure every pet parent would love to know the same! I depend on her to let me know whether a guy is right or wrong. Her instincts are incredible! When she’s been indifferent to someone, it’s for good reason as I later find out. I’m sure she looks at me and thinks, “What took you so long to figure that out?”
Lucy and I certainly have figured each other out. Here’s to hoping we have several more wonderful and memorable years together.