In the New York Times bestselling "Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog" (Simon & Schuster), Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry writes about his faithful dog getting up in years, as he is, too, and offers advice about navigating the rocky shoals of retirement-age living.
Read an excerpt below, and don't miss Dave Barry on "CBS Sunday Morning" June 23!
People often ask what kind of dog Lucy is. For years we didn't know. We assumed there was some Labrador retriever in her, because Labs are super-friendly dogs that will mate with anything. There's probably Lab DNA in the British royal family.
Lucy does look vaguely Lab-ish, but not like a purebred Lab. She's a big, muscular, short-haired, long-tailed, floppy-eared dog. Before her face started turning white, she was jet-black except for white patches on her throat and feet.
After years of speculating, I finally decided to find out exactly what Lucy is, so I ordered a genetic testing kit from a company called Wisdom Panel. Their motto is "Dogs can't talk, but their DNA can." For the record, this is a lie: Lucy can talk. If we ever attempt to sleep past approximately 7:14 a.m., even on a weekend, Lucy barges into our bedroom, paws the bed and says, "Wake up! It's time to feed me and then take me outside to make an absurd number of separate weewees!" The way she pronounces this, it sounds like "Arrrooooowwwwrrr!" But there is no question what she means.
Anyway, the DNA testing kit was basically two swabs, which, following instructions, I rubbed against the insides of Lucy's cheeks, then mailed back to Wisdom Panel, which conducts laboratory analyses of dog DNA. As you know, "DNA" stands for "Deoxyribobananafanafofafeefimoramalamadingdong acid," which is a kind of molecule that is found inside every single cell of every single living criminal, which is why they are always leaving samples of it behind at crime scenes. It is also found in all living plants and animals except Madonna, who had all hers surgically removed in an effort to maintain a more youthful appearance.
About a month later, I received the Wisdom Panel report on Lucy's DNA. It begins:
Congratulations! Lucy is a Boxer, Dalmatian, Chow Chow, Golden Retriever Cross.
According to the DNA analysis, one of Lucy's parents was a boxer; the other was half-dalmatian and one-quarter each chow chow and golden retriever. So Lucy is half boxer, a quarter dalmatian, one-eighth chow chow and one-eighth golden retriever. Or, to put it in technical dog-breeder terms, she's a BoxMatianChowTriever.
From "Lessons From Lucy" by Dave Barry. Copyright © 2019 by Dave Barry. Excerpted with permission by Simon & Schuster, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
For more info:"Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog" by Dave Barry (Simon & Schuster), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon davebarry.com Following Dave Barry on Twitter Facebook and Instagram