Luci, half Pitbull and half Siberian husky, was born on May 12, 2015. She spent the first few months of her life in a crowded home, but when her owners (who didn’t get their dogs spayed or neutered) decided that they had “too many” puppies to deal with, they handed Luci and her three older brothers over to a high-kill shelter.
Fast forward about a month or two, my friend and fellow animal lover Dominic and I decided to go to that shelter just to look at all of the precious dogs and cats. At this time in my life, I was going through a lot – fighting my long, difficult battle with depression/anxiety, recently ending a relationship and a few friendships, commuting an hour at 5am to San Francisco every day for two jobs I worked, quitting one job and starting another, and being on bad terms with my dad making my home life seemingly unbearable, I felt alone. Even in a room full of people, I felt completely and utterly alone.
At the shelter, we entered both adoption rooms. The first room was incredibly loud and joyful. We got to the second room and as we walked down the row, there were three male black and white Pitbull/Siberian Huskies (Luci’s brothers) in the first three kennels… a small terrier mix… and that’s when I saw her. Out of all six kennels in that room, Luci, then named Smokey, was the only dog that was not barking and jumping and crying – she was curled up in a tight little ball in the corner of her kennel next to the front gate.
While my friend was playing with the two other dogs in the last kennel next to Luci, I slowly kneeled down, let her sniff me, and stuck my hand under the gate that separated us – she placed her little head in the palm of my hand and looked up at me with her big round eyes. She didn’t jump, she didn’t cry, she just stared at me… and that was the moment I knew I couldn’t leave without her. We found out she was “on sale” due to what I think was an effort for Pitbull Awareness month, so any dog with any Pitbull in them at all was only $69. We went to the front desk, signed paperwork, and they told me to come back in two weeks to pick her up fully spayed and given all her shots.
From the first day she came home with me, I was obsessed. I made it my goal to care for her, see her pant and smile and wag her tail, provide her with a variety of treats and toys, and make sure she has plenty of friends. Ever since I got Luci, I have stopped smoking cigarettes, I have been able to exercise and enjoy the day outdoors with her, and I have been noticeably happier with myself and those surrounding me.
My depression/anxiety very rarely makes an appearance (and when it does, Luci is right there next to me in my lap), I have made new and reliable friendships, I have stopped gossiping (mainly because I find myself talking about Luci 99% of the time), I have learned to focus on my inner happiness and to let go of shallow, material things like makeup and expensive clothing and social media, my new work life is stable and I moved up to being assistant manager, and my relationship with my dad is the best it has ever been in my twenty-one years of life.
I wish Luci could understand just how much genuine happiness she brings into my life every day and how incredibly lucky I am to have her. She is truly my best friend, and everyone who knows me, also knows Luci and her Instagram! I never would have known before, but I am now a firm believer when it comes to the statement, “when you rescue an animal, you’ll soon come to see that they actually rescued you.” -Luci’s Mom