Monday, October 19, 2015

Lacey Johnson & Lucy

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Lacey Johnson, and I am a writer living in Nashville, Tennessee. I am the content creator and founder of the online beauty, wellness & personal growth magazine I am also a regular contributor on The Huffington Post.

My silly bundle of joy is a 3-year-old dachshund named Lucy. Most people swear she is my twin. I find it to be the ultimate of compliments, though I could never compare to her level of irresistible beauty and cuteness.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Lucy is always welcome to participate in my coffee indulgences. She is the most obliging of sidekicks.

What's brewing?

Today was not typical for us, though it was delicious. My brew of choice was the vanilla nut blend at Einstein Bagels.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Always. Sometimes it is something of sustenance, however it is most often some type of indulgent confection. It is now fall, therefore various types of pumpkin deliciousness have been enjoyed in between coffee sips as of late. There is such an “aaahh” factor where the sweet meets the bitter.

How were you and Lucy united?

We are approaching the anniversary of our first beloved encounter, actually. It was a typical Saturday in October 2012. My husband and I had just returned from our honeymoon, and I had been promised a dachshund as soon as we were married. He spontaneously found her on the internet, and we immediately made the hour-long drive to see her.

She was one of three puppies remaining from her litter, and we had never seen a creature so effortlessly beautiful and clown-like at the same time. Her delicate markings appeared to have been hand-painted. She rested her tiny 10 week-old head against my neck, and we just “knew”. Also, on the way home, she vomited in my hair. It’s par for the course, I suppose…

Any treat for Lucy on this occasion?

Most of Lucy’s treats are of the healthier variety. Yes, I am one of “those” dog owners. Also, we have to monitor her weight. However, I’m okay with an occasional moment of rebellion. I allow her to indulge in the “pup cup” during our random trips to Starbucks. Her entire body is involved in begging for it each time we approach the drive-thru window. Her eyes greet mine intensely as if to say, “Momma, place with the fluffy stuff that ends up all over my snout.” If we depart Starbucks without being offered a “pup cup”, she whimpers and shakes to such a torturous degree that I typically return to the store and shamefully plead for it.

Does Lucy have any special role at The Daily Doll?

I often refer to her as my “assistant”. She generally prefers to be fur-to-skin with me, so when I’m stuck in a writing rut or dealing with a technical issue, the comfort of her fluffy goodness is a reminder that life is just a celebration. It’s a reminder that the point of my writing and creating something at all is for exactly that - for the mere creation and enjoyment of something. It’s a reminder to not take it all so seriously, and to now allow doubt or negativity to contaminate the process.

How did Lucy get her name?

She just looks like a “Lucy”. Also, my family has long compared my personality to that of Lucille Ball’s. This dog is every bit as entertaining as Lucille Ball in all of her glory. So, her name was an obvious choice.

Does she have any nicknames?

Since I was a child, I have loved to experiment with sounds and “play” with the names of the people and animals I adore. If I have a special fondness for someone, their name is guaranteed to be altered in some way. Lucy’s first nickname was “Lucci”, spoken with a very exaggerated (and likely dreadfully Americanized) Italian accent. “Lucci” became “Doochie”, which eventually evolved into the current “Yooji”. Don’t ask, for I have no adequate explanation for such ridiculousness...

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

Bunnies are her “friends”. She isn’t a typical canine in that regard, though. She has no desire to hurt them, but only to run like the wind with them.

Who is Lucy's best pet-pal?

Probably her Uncle Buddy. She appreciates that he allows her to dominate him despite the fact that he is eight or more times her size. Also, he obliges when she feels like making him her personal pillow. She also gets excited each time she sees her Aunt Sadie (who she secretly refers to as “a crabby old lady”) as well as her cousin Hank, a pit bull who oozes with love and goofiness.

[photo left: Lucy and Hank]

Tennis ball, Frisbee, squeaky-toy...?

Squeaky toys are abundant in our home. Lucy loves tennis balls, but her dainty mouth and paws prevent her from gaining control of them. They always end up under something - a couch, a bed, an end table, a toilet - therefore, it creates little more than repeated episodes of whimpering and hopeless digging. We had to hide all of the tennis balls in our house. I hope she has forgotten about them by now.

What is Lucy's most endearing quality?

Lucy is 12 pounds of spunk, sweetness and manipulation. She considers herself to be the family bodyguard, for she is always eager to defend the safety of our home when threatened by the sound of “intruders”. The problem is, the minute anyone enters the door and pets her, she melts into a puddle of syrupy flirtation, gazing upward and beckoning for belly rubs with her eyes.

Where is Lucy's favorite place for an outing?

Lucy loves to ride. Each time she sees me reach for my car keys, she stands at attention and nervously shifts from paw to paw. Riding is Lucy’s idea of a day at the beach. She doesn’t need the window down, she doesn’t need the wind in her fur, nor the sun on her face. She needs nothing more than a view on the move.

If Lucy could change one thing about you, what would it be?

Lucy would request that I stop moving her from my pillow in the middle of the night because, seriously, who cares if there is no place for me to lay my head? Who cares if I awaken with a stiff neck at 3 a.m. after several hours of having only being granted an inch of pillow space next her “highness” (or, more accurately, “wiener-ness”). I mean, I’m disrupting her sleep.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Lucy could speak, which actor should do her voice?

It would likely be Rachel McAdams for her effortless use of her feminine wiles, but with an occasional splash of Kristin Chenoweth.

If Lucy could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

I’d ask, “Lucy, why are you so adamant in your refusal to ‘go potty’ outside when the ground is wet? Why is it such a miserable task?” of which she would likely reply with something in the realm of, “I don’t ask you to ‘go potty’ outside when it rains, do I?”

Visit The Daily Doll website and read Lacey Johnson's contributions on The Huffington Post, including "Dear Coffee, I Will Forever Be Your Biggest 'Feen'."

--Marshal Zeringue