Lessons from Lucy

dave barry

I turned 70 in the same year that my dog, Lucy, turned 10—or, in dog years, 70. So we’re basically at the same stage of life, namely, Getting Old.

Lucy is handling it a lot better than I am.

I’m not complaining: I’ve had a good life, and I’m content. But Lucy is more than content: She’s happy, often exuberantly happy, constantly finding excitement and joy in everyday events. It occurred to me that maybe I could learn some life lessons from her—that I could find more happiness in my own life by doing the things Lucy does, except of course for drinking from the toilet.

One thing Lucy does is love people. She is extremely friendly. Even though, as a puppy, she was abandoned to the streets, where she probably had some unpleasant experiences, she shows no fear of strangers, human or canine. She is determined to shower love upon everybody she gets anywhere near. And she is always making new friends.

Pretty much everybody loves Lucy. It’s hard not to: She greets all visitors, whether or not she’s ever met them before, by running up to them, tail wagging, and expressing her love for them with every inch of her quivering-with-happiness body. She is ecstatic when, for example, the bug man comes. Every South Florida household has a bug man who comes once a month to spray deadly carcinogens around as part of the ongoing battle between humans and what we call “Palmetto bugs,” which are cockroaches the size of mature squirrels.

The bug man is Lucy’s best friend. She follows him from room to room, ready and eager to assist in the event that he needs to be licked. She’s like this with all visitors to our house; every one of them is her best friend. So is everybody she meets when we’re out walking around. She has many, many best friends. She is 75 pounds of pure, unstoppable affection, a powerful groin-seeking missile of love.

~ Dave Barry, from “Learning a New Trick From My Old Dog: Friendship” (wsj.com, March 15, 2019)

Dave Barry is the author of the forthcoming “Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog” (April 2, 2019)


  1. I love Lucy…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Dogs are like that, except the ones who don’t like anyone. Our dog loves making friends too but she is selective and prefers us best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nothing wrong with that!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Darlene, she may be like:

      I am, through death and distance, losing and drifting apart from my friends. And what bothers me about this, when I stop to think about it, is that it doesn’t really bother me. The older I get, the more accustomed I am to solitude. When my family is off doing things, I can spend an entire weekend alone—making no effort to see or talk to anybody—and be perfectly content.

      That’s me: content. No complaints.

      ~ David Barry, from “Learning a New Trick From My Old Dog: Friendship”(wsj.com, March 16, 2019)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “75 lbs. of pure, unstoppable affection…” I can relate. Beau is now 8…my husband told me he would settle down at age 2, well maybe 3, no, definitely 4, and now he just says, ‘He’s just so happy!’ There’s nothing like the love and joy that a dog brings to one’s life…at any age.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The highlight of my day few days ago was a customer’s dog. Not my customer. Her owner was busy looking at designer handbags and I walked by. She was bored and acting like she was sleeping. Then she looked at me with the corner of her eye for a second, and jumped. She decided my hands were a bone, licking and nibbling. She was the happiest one around. She maybe was the highlight of my week.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. i love this so much. if only we all could greet each person, each day, with as much excitement – every encounter is a new adventure or new friend

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Relax... says:

    Dave Barry is 70??? Gawd. People never age in my mind! We had a Lucy-type Springer spaniel. So blessed. I’m happy whenever anyone has a love-bug of a pet. There’s joy for everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lessons from Lucy, Dave, and David. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Those of us lucky enough to have a good dog (or several) know how true this is. One bit of advice though for those who aspire to assume a dog’s exuberance. . . You might just want to hold off on sniffing butts in the beginning. Learn from my mistakes. 🤔

    Liked by 2 people

  9. What a heart-warming and happiness distributing article – with a gorgeous dog and a super-duper-good-looking guy (I have no idea who he is and anyway, I‘m FAR more interested in his dog!)
    Has anybody else registered that DOG themed posts seem to be a frequently occuring theme on Master David‘s blog?! 🙂

    The part about chemical-spraying-regular-visitors however put me right back on the last bench in the church…. I have visited Florida once (in my former life long before Hero Husband) and even then I had some tiny reservations about that beautiful stretch of land – as already then people started putting up nets around their camping cars (plus someone pretended to pushing me in an alligator ‚infested‘ zone which didn‘t help), I have in-laws who holidayed year after year in Florida but I‘ve never heard about those giant sized roaches – I do however hope that the size is GROSSLY exaggerated in this text!.

    Happy Sunday (as happy as is possible) to you and your readers. A special bone for Lucy 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. AWH I love Dave Barry and Lucy. I have a dog who is 15 so she’s old. I love dogs and love this share. Happy Sunday to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tracey Carnahan says:

    We could all learn from you, Lucy! So glad Dave is your Dad!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. She sounds absolutely wonderful. What a gift our pets are to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lucy is wise

    Liked by 1 person

  14. A groin seeking missile of love. I have one of those too. It’s sometimes embarrassing, but I much prefer it to a yappy ankle biter or a grouchy groin lunging grinch of a dog. Dogs are some of our best ambassadors, don’t you think David?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Reblogged this on Stuff Inside My Head.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: