Lucy teaches me forbearance. Underneath soft, gentle, wordless eloquence, there is a strength of tolerant composure, like a determined, relentless spring, flowing inexorable. How much or little cognisant she may be about the goings on of my humanity? Her demeanour remains steadfast in graceful and gracious equanimity. Upon what is based such sangfroid? I have little intellectual grasp, despite musing endlessly upon this pulchritude.

No matter where I go with her. She remains Lucy Like-a-Charm.

Rushing to an appointment at the UNSW Galleries. In our Uber ride, she lies beside me all the way. At the cafe, a hurried lunch. Lucy waits on her rug, her eyes focused on me, despite the busy feet walking back and forth around her. The cafe owner, wonderful kind Massimo, offers us a quieter space, but I am in a hurry, so I decline. I’ll just gobble down my food pronto! When I have finished, her eyes tell me she is ready and waiting. How is this so?


A confronting experience at an art exhibition and subsequent discussion session. There she is, by my side, Being. There was one particular space that she would not allow me into, she stood firm, unrelenting. It was important that I entered, for purpose of discussion, thus I had to leave her outside and venture in on my own. According to the people in the room, Lucy never took her eyes off the doorway – until I returned. I understood why she was adamant that I should not go there. It was indeed a challenging instalment. But in its interactive component. The physical space did not seem more or less different from the others. How did she know?


Lucy keeping watch.


An advocacy event. In support of an imminent ban on greyhound racing. On 2 August, Lucy was invited into Parliament House by the Humane Society and Greens MP Dr. Mehreen Faruqi. A Greyhound – rescued from the ravages of racing life, survivor of unspoken stories – now an assistance dog. Lucy Like-a-Charm: from mere commodity for barbaric human entertainment, so easily discarded once past her money-churning potential, to becoming the most important sentient companion in the life of one obscure, autistic human being. Press photographers with flashing lights and clicking cameras. Human voices humming, stirring the buzzing air. It was sensory confusion for me. Yet, Lucy remained calm and collected on her mat, though alert to my every move, her eyes never left me. She was watching over me even when her own comfort was challenged – photographers demanding that she pose this way and that.I was asked to kneel on the hard, cold concrete next to Lucy. Ouch. Lucy sensed me well, and at the end, she called it a day. With quiet, genteel firmness. That was that. No more. And so it was. Perhaps nobody noticed. It was between a Greyhound and her human. That was good enough for me. Lucy knows what she knows. And I am honoured to be owned by her. How did this come about?

It is difficult. This stretch of the tumultuous and winding path. Being in-between adventures is a roller coaster, anxiety-bursting, excruciating and perilous exploit in itself. Forbearance. I need much of it. Patience in the midst of empty bedlam. Lucy shows the way.

No frills. Just bare necessity. Lucy Like-a-Charm is by me. A Gift of Grace.


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