Saginaw... AKA... Lucy...

...today after work, I went to get my hair cut... I keep it really short... and, when the hair starts touching my ears, it's time to get scalped again... so, I called up the barber, and set myself up....anyway, I arrive at 4:30 for my trim... and, halfway through the endeavor, I noticed a dog outside the window.... a pretty black and white lab-mix.... lying on the sidewalk across the street... casually watching traffic, and receiving the passing pat of everyone who walked by...

...now, I knew I was in a small town.... so, I asked the barber whose dog that was.... and they replied... "all of ours... it's the City's dog"....

...I couldn't believe it... so, I kept on with it...

"How is it the 'City's Dog'?, I asked...

"Well, when she was a pup, she started hanging out over at the Fire Station across the street.... and, they kinda adopted her... a few months ago, they paid to have her fixed and everything.."

"wow, that's incredible... so, what's her name?

"Well, originally, they called her Saginaw... but, most of us here in town.. we secretly named her "Lucy"... she looks more like a Lucy than a Saginaw... I mean, who ever heard of a dog called Saginaw anyways?"

"I suppose that's true... I certainly haven't.. but, you said she was the City's Dog... so, who feeds her?"

"Aww... we all feed her.... the Firemen feed her mostly... but, the people at the Post Office do as well... hell, they even let her inside the Post Office when it's really cold outside... sometimes, she even comes over here, and I feed her...

"You mean that you have dogfood somewhere in the back? Here in the shop?"

"Oh, no... I just keep a little bag of doggie treats here.... and, when she comes over, I'll give her one or two... hehehe... sometimes, you'll see her over at the BP Station.. sitting and watching people pump their gas... of course, they all give her a pat on the head.... and, whatever is left over from their food court at night gets given to ole Lucy.... yep... we all feed her... she's a good dog..."

.....still unable to totally fathom the situation, I kept right at it...

"So, does this Lucy... does she actually BELONG to anyone?... I mean... what would happen if she bit someone on the street? Is she just like a wild dog, or does the City have some sort of responsibility?"

"Well now... hmmm... I don't know.... that's a good question, I suppose... but, two weeks ago, she had to be locked up... she stayed locked up a whole week.... she'd went over to the Thompson's... they have a ... well, HAD a big beautiful gray cat.... anyway, Lucy went trompin' over there the other day, and killed that gray cat... boy, let me tell ya... Mr. Thompson was as mad as a wet hornet... he came over here to City Hall, and marched right in there and said.... "That damn dog killed my cat...if I see it in my yard again, I'll blow it's damn head off!".... so, the Firemen got all worried about Lucy wandering over there again... so, they locked her up inside the Fire House for two weeks... I suppose they did that to teach her a lesson... and, I think it worked.... because, she hasn't went farther than 50 yds from the front of the Fire House since they let her out...."

"..wow... so, I guess the penalty for Cat Murder here is 2 weeks in jail... looks like she got off easy...."

"yeah, I guess so... she's a good dog, though... and we all love her.."

....after that, I guided the conversation away from cats and dogs... but, it struck my interest... how many small towns have a town mascot like Lucy?.... what does that say about us as a people.... we become insular at the drop of a hat... all it takes is a lack of a phone call.... or a harsh word, and we slink away into our own world.... but, in the world I saw today, people still were a community... people still shared responsibility... I don't know what I'm trying to say here... but, today while I was getting my hair cut, I felt like I was part of something more than a suburb... I was a citizen of a small town... and, Lucy was MY dog too.... and my responsibilty....

...after years of living overseas... I suddenly had the overwhelming feeling.... "I'm Home"....

by Eric on March 12, 2004 | Comments(3) | SWG Stories

Comments so far:

Thanks for giving me hope that I might find a "home" feeling somewhere.

posted by: Jack on March 12, 2004 06:59 PM

good luck, Jack... home is more or less where you make it... today, I just realized that I belong there... you will find a place in Grenoble... if you choose to... every place on Earth has something beautiful about it.. you just have to find it...

posted by: Eric on March 12, 2004 07:04 PM

Great story Eric...

posted by: Sam on March 13, 2004 11:20 AM