All Lucas has left of his tail is about half of it. The rest was “docked” or cut off of him when he was a puppy and I have always hated the idea that butchering a dog makes the animal more aesthetically pleasing. But the same can be said of the surgery humans go through to make themselves fit more firmly into the mold of what we’re been training to consider beautiful. The half tail Lucas has left he does the very most with and when he’s really happy his tail spins at light speed.
Long tailed dogs wag and short tailed dogs seem to have more of a rotating motion to their tail. I started calling Lucas the “Bee Bee Butt Boi” because his tail moves like a bunch of B-B’s shaken up in a steel can. I think he knows when I’m talking about is tail because he wags it even faster. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know why I’m talking about his tail but Lucas is a happy, happy, dog. If I want to talk tail with Lucas then Lucas is all for it. Lucas is pretty much into any sort of conversation I’m up to having with him as long as it’s a happy conversation.
Somewhere I have a photo of a grayish blur running through the weeds and that would be Lucas after a few days with me. He still likes running around in the back acre when I get home and Lillith chases after him. On the straightaway from the house to the woods Lucas can leave her behind but in the woods where there are trees and stuff to dodge Lillith rules. They play as they run with Lillith making wild dog noises at Lucas and Lucas trying to escape her. Bert put up with Sam pulling on him, Sam put up with Lucas pulling on him, and Lucas puts up with Lillith grabbing his neck or face and pulling with all her might.
Lillith has dug a Girl Cave at the base of a small Oak tree. It isn’t big enough for her to crawl into totally but she can get all but her head and shoulders covered. This is the idea, really, because Lillith likes to pester Lucas and Sam until they give chase. Lillith will get into her cave and fend them off while making wild hippo noises at them. She lets Sam chew on her because he’s an old dog and needs to feel like he’s still got it. The tenderness Lillith and Lucas show for Sam, elderly and bitchy that he is, touches me. No matter how he snarls at her, Lillith will kiss Sam’s muzzle and not react to his snapping at her. Lucas will go ears up at Sam if he gets too loud at Lillith but Lucas isn’t serious about hurting Sam or Sam would be dead. Peace has broken out at Hickory Head and no one really gets mad at anyone else for too long.
Sam is dying. At twelve years old his body is beginning to wear out. Once a Black Torpedo Sam is now a hobbled spindly legged former shadow of his once speedy self and as careful as the L Hound are around him, Sam still takes a shot from one or the other or both, and I can tell it hurts him. Years ago, Lucas and Sam slammed into Bert and all Bert could do was fold down on the floor until the ruckus had passed over him. Last night Lillith and Lucas did the same thing to Sam and it was sad to see it happening all over again. I lost Bert nearly a year ago and I think I will lose Sam before this year passes. He really has not been the same since Bert died and deep down inside, I think Sam lost as much as I did that day.
Each dog I have ever shared my life with has had that one thing, that one form of petting that really was that one thing they lived for. With Bert it was his back. Bert’s eyes would roll back into his head when his back was being scratched hard. With Sam it’s his ears; Sam loves to have his ears petted hard. With Lucas it’s that spot between on his neck where the snakebite scar is. But I haven’t been able to figure out Lillith’s spot, at least until last night. Last night I took both of my hands and started rubbing the sides of her head really hard and I thought she was going to go into a Meg Ryan impersonation.
I am tempted to get another puppy. I want to find out what four dogs are like and if it is as much difference between two and three as three and four, because trust me, when there are two it’s not really that weird but with three you have that pack thing kicking. Lillith was such a laid back puppy it wasn’t like having a puppy at all. Lucas, like Bert before him, was demonic, but in his own sweet way. Lucas seemed to know as he grew up what I was looking for, and I didn’t realize it until Bert was dead. Lucas was a replacement dog and who he was and how he was found made him the right dog at the right time.
Maybe I’m projecting here and maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about at all. But I really believe Lucas was meant to be with me, and I think he thinks so too. The odds of me being where I was when I found him were nearly zero and he had to be there too. One car too late and he might have been dead. Someone else might have taken him. But no, Lucas and I were united that day and since then he’s acted like he doesn’t want to leave my side.
Another dog; I really like that idea.