Of Dogs and Men

July 16, 2015

Blind Dog

July 16, 2015
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Let me get this out of the way: my rescue puppy Lulu‐Belle is not completely blind. It turns out that her left eye can detect light. Dr. Jay Harrington, a veterinary ophthalmologist practicing in Brooklyn, confirmed this after a thorough examination. But I adopted Lulu‐Belle believing that she was totally blind.

“Blind Dog” was the only description beside the photo of the cute but forlorn looking puppy featured on Second Chance Rescue’s website. That description alone made me want to take her in—not only because she was blind but also because her description was so pitifully spare. Where all the other dogs were paired with paragraphs of robust, upbeat descriptions written by those fostering them—loves kids, tolerates cats, if I didn’t already have a dog I’d never part with Misti—Lulu‐Belle somehow warranted only those two words. I motored through other listings but my heart was already parked back on “Blind dog.”

This was in early March. Back in October, my longtime relationship had ended one week shy of seventeen years. Its demise was of my doing but not my choosing if that makes any sense. In retrospect I see that I’d invited it but wasn’t the one to make the call. So when my partner said done, I was caught oddly unawares. Besides being stunned I was hurt and scared.

My friend Rick happened to be in town at the time. Even though he lives in Malibu he somehow always manages to be here in New York City when I need him most. He took me out to dinner and—among other things—told me: “Some good will come of this.” From that night on I looked hard to see what that good might be.

A year before I’d gotten Hazel, the sweetest, silliest French bulldog on the planet. I’d secretly hoped to get a second Frenchie but my ex doesn’t care for dogs. It was a miracle that he’d agreed to Hazel. So maybe the good that Rick had so confidently predicted would come in the form of a puppy, something that could never have happened if I was still with my ex. The new dog would be my silver lining. My lemonade from lemons. Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.

I talked about getting a new puppy with Hazel’s breeder but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I already had the world’s best French bulldog. Why try to duplicate that experience? And I’d always had a niggling feeling of guilt that I hadn’t first chosen a rescue when there are so many dogs out there needing “forever” homes. So I began searching for a rescue online. The listing for Lulu‐Belle was the very first one I spotted.

She wasn’t Lulu-Belle at the time. She’d been christened “Arabella” by the volunteer from Second Chance Rescue who’d pulled her from a high-kill shelter in San Antonio. She’d wound up there as the runt of a litter abandoned in a local field. With that provenance in mind, the shelter listed her as “Meadow.” I’d intended to call her “Lulu” but added “Belle” from “Arabella” in deference to her Second Chance Rescue name. Without Second Chance Rescue she never would have come into my life.

So a lot of lucky timing was involved in her surviving let alone our connecting. I guess life is always about timing but in our case it seemed especially so.

But some critically unlucky timing lay almost immediately ahead.


  1. Your blog looks great! I’m so happy to be able to care for Lulu-Belle during the day. She has come such a long way and brings so much happiness to our lives. Thank you Stacey for being the Angel that you are.

  2. You are both blessed. Looking forward to reading more inspiring stories about LuluB. So happy Rick was there for you too. Another inspiring person who helped me put my own life into perspective with his words.

  3. What a great story so far! I look forward to reading more of Lulu Belle and your story! Thanks for sharing!

  4. You are the best Stacy. You have such an incredible heart. You know how much I’m pulling for LB. A treat to follow the travels and adventures of H & LB.

  5. Hello Miss Lulu-Belle

    It was lovely to meet you and your mom today. Your story is so beautiful and I hope it will inspire many people to give dogs with perceived imperfections a chance. My little Dreidel had eye problems too when I got him. He’s since recovered and has been my great blessing for 3.5 years now.

    Hope to see you around the neighborhood!!

  6. This is a wonderful beginning to a heartwarming story of a dog that a whole group of people who never actually got to meet her in person fell in love with and the person who picked her. I look forward to the upcoming chapters.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I have from a young age was taught to always go with a rescue. My life has been fulfilled many times over. I just loved when jill Shaprio told me this story and loved even more your followup. Thanks. xo

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