A mother and her young stopped traffic along Stage Road between Elmore Park and Bartlett Boulevard as they crossed the dangerous street during morning traffic. This event happened more than once. Enough times so that several citizens of Bartlett felt the need to call an authority to step in to help, afraid that the family might get hurt. The authority that the citizens called was the Bartlett Animal Shelter. The young mother and her five pups were Dachshund dogs, after all.
When the animal shelter came to the location where the dogs had been living by visiting business establishments such as Mapco Express, Popeye’s Chicken, the bowling alley, McDonald’s and even the post office, they were able to capture the mother and only four of the pups. An elusive little one with a chocolate colored coat and golden eyes, according Jeanie who works at Mapco and fed the pup daily, avoided capture. Mapco employees dubbed the golden-eyed pup, Baby.
“My co-worker Debbie and I tried to feed Baby dog food,” said Jeanie. “Baby would have none of it. Instead, she preferred Libby’s Vienna sausages. And it had to be Libby’s brand. We would buy them for her and customers bought them for her. It was a community effort.”
Baby was fed two cans of the sausages in the morning and two cans in the afternoon. Coming to the store display windows and peeping between the cracks of cans of soda and signage. That is when the employees knew she was ready to eat. All the while the Mapco employees, especially Jeanie, tried to entice the dog close enough for capture.
“Baby would come up to me, keeping just enough distance where I couldn’t grab her,” said Jeanie. “Finally one day a regular customer was pumping gas into his truck. He had a Great Dane in the truck and Baby came out of hiding to see the dog. The customer snuck up behind Baby and grabbed her. She was not very happy about that and caused quite a fit.”
When Baby finally settled down, she presented another problem. That problem was what to do with her? The first step was to take her to Hillcrest Hospital where the veterinarians decided that Baby was about eight months old and deemed her healthy. The next step was to find her a permanent loving home.
Casey Knight, Bartlett K-9 officer, is a regular at the Mapco Express. When Knight learned that Baby had been captured, he decided that she would be a perfect fit in his home with other pets, a cat and two dogs that would be company for Baby. It seemed that Baby had struck gold with the Knights.
The story of Baby, her rescue and placement would be a wonderful story. But there is one more fact that makes Baby very special indeed. When Knight brought the pup home, he handed Baby to his wife. Knight says that he asked his wife what she wanted to name Baby and his wife said she looked like a “Lucy.”
Officer Knight said that he had one question for his wife, “Why Lucy?”
To which his wife explained that the puppy just looked like a ‘Lucy’ to her. Knight said that he stood there in disbelief until his wife finally asked what was wrong. Knight explained that a long time manager at the Mapco Express where Baby had been rescued was well known and well thought of in the community. The manager had fallen ill suddenly some time last year. After a short illness she passed. Knight explained to his wife that the Mapco manager’s name was, in fact, Lucy.