As I was motorvating over the hill, literally, there she was in the middle of the four lanes, lying flat. I hoped that it was just a paper bag but I knew better. I stopped in the middle of the road, jumped out of the car and swooped her up into my arms. I was too worried about keeping me and her alive to take much notice of the fact that she was mostly bald and smelled to high heaven.
There were packs of wild dogs at that time that roamed the area around the overpass in Tampa on North Boulevard between Ybor City and Tampa Heights. I guess Lucy had been born four or five weeks earlier into one of them.
First I got her home and fed her and scrubbed her down. I've never seen an eating machine like that. She would eat for as long as I put food in front of her. She would drink until she emptied the bowl and then do it again.
When I got her to the vet, Chad took one look and laughed until he cried.
"You realize that nothing has gotten her through except for the incredible desire to survive," he preached. "She has mange and every parasite there is."
Well, I loved that little puppy with all my heart. I nursed her to health and got her to smelling okay. She never got over her eating habits. When the family came to pick her up from the newspaper ad she was perfectly happy to leave me. She had no concept of love. It was an alien concept to her. Survival was her only goal. I'll always wonder if that made me love her more.
Boy, can I pick 'em!