Lucy

Love dogs?  Be a hero.  Save a life.  Go to your local shelter for your four legged bundle of joy.  Or don’t save a life.  Don’t be a hero.  And go to a breeder.  The choice is yours. WBG

“Lucy smashed the wall around my heart with her tail wagging and her eyes loving and I don’t want to build that wall again”  WBG

Cycling through my tenth country of Turkey, a street dog joins the journey of World Bike Girl. Through our time together I experience for the first time an animal’s power of pure, unconditional and absolute love.  
Lucy has 31 shot gun pellets scattered throughout her body.  She limps from old fractures, a broken hip and one of her paws is destroyed.  I watch her lie down in submission as four dogs attack her at the same time on the road biting at the injured parts of her body.
I stop cycling, throwing down my bicycle and running in a Braveheart of emotion to pull the dogs from her. She lies still, moving only her head to lick my hand, her big chocolate eyes melting my heart.
I have 300 miles to travel to get Lucy to safety.  I plead for help but no one cares about a street dog.   Most people in Turkey think of dogs as dirty, impure creatures not to be touched.  They believe dogs get in the way of the relationship between humans and Allah when prayng.  I’m on my own and the only thing I can do is attach a vegetable crate to the front of my bicycle and attempt to pedal her the 300 miles.
Cycling an injured dog through foreign territories belonging to packs of wild dogs is terrifying.  I have to act beyond my fear to protect Lucy.  The dogs attack time and time again and I put my bicycle down and walk towards the charging dogs shouting I will not let you hurt Lucy.  As long as the Alpha dog of the pack is scared they will retreat and we are safe.  Two hundred miles of cycling like this and my legs and nerves are destroyed.  Lucy is a 20 kg dog.  In the midst of tears I post on World Bike Girl´s Facebook Page Lucy¨s story pleading for anyone passing in a car to stop and help.  An act of desperation as I´m in a foreign land far from my home and friends.  I cycle on unknowing the post is going viral on the internet.  Help is coming.
It´s 3 am and a news channel arrives outside my tent with cameras and gigantic fuzzy microphones calling my name.  They only go and drive us the rest of the way!  
A home of love is offered to Lucy by an amazing family in the UK.  Lucy begins the quarantine procedure to allow her entry into the UK and after some months we can fly to her happy ever after family.

Lucy 7

Dales Cycles in Glasgow, Scotland, www.dalescycles.com donates a luxury dog trailer.  Attaching it to the back of my bicycle, Lucy and I are able to cycle another 700 miles through Turkey.  Educating children, students and everyone else who crosses our path about the value of street dogs and treating them with love and respect.  But most of all enjoying life, each other and having fun!
We give talks about animal rights to a top university in Adana where Lucy is awarded a diploma for being such a good girl in class.  I am so proud of her!  Lucy is changing so perceptions of the street dog across Turkey.

This street dog teaches me more about love, life and living than anyone else in my life has.  One dog.  A street dog.  A soul no-one had cared enough about to be her family.  A dog who receives an abundance of love from all around the world in the last months of her life.

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Lucy unexpectedly dies in my arms at 8.50 am on the 26th March 2015 in Hatay, Turkey.  It is her last day of quarantine.  A day that should have been happy messages to people that Lucy was now free to go to the UK. A shock to me and to everyone following our journey.  Only the day before the Head Vet and the Director of the Hatay University Vetinary Department assures me she has just a cold, a reaction to the change in weather.  The next morning I’m carrying Lucy through the streets of Hatay covered in the blood she was coughing up again crying for help.  Lucy suffered a gastrointestinal rupture, common yet devastating to both humans and dogs. The autopsy reveals that Lucy had advanced heart worm also and all along she was never going to live very long.  I had been Lucy’s Happy Ever After.

me and lucy new year photo

There is a special bond between those around the world who shared in the life and death of Lucy.
World Bike Girl followers continue to use social media to help street dogs around the world which is wonderful and I thank each and every one of you.  Dogs are enjoying happy ever after lives with wonderful families because you care.
This video is made in memory of Lucy by James Gasko in the USA.
Lucy I hope you’re running on a beach somewhere in doggy heaven.  In the meantime I wait for you to come back to me. Somehow.  Somewhere.  Thanks for being the best thing that ever happened to me.  Miss you like crazy. Your best friend Ishbel x

Pedalling on Lucy’s book shall be written at the side of the road, in my tent, or on the crest of mountains. Perhaps Lucy’s life will help raise more human kindness and respect towards street dogs around the world. What will be will be.

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Love dogs?  Be a hero.  Safe a life.  Go to your local shelter for your four legged bundle of joy.  Or don’t save a life.  Don’t be a hero.  And go to a breeder. The choice is yours.  WBG xxx

Lucy 10

The End.

31 thoughts on “Lucy

  1. hola i finally meet lucy in this wonderfull page … i imagine she is flying shinning in the sky with the stars … lucy in the sky with diamonds

    • Hey Pauline! I think that will be the name of her book – Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds …. thank you … much love xxx

  2. One of the things that’s almost putting me off setting of on my own grand adventure of cycling around the world (staring April Fool’s Day) is meeting up with lost dogs. Not the ones that gang up and chase you. The lost ones that I could lose my heart to. I’m a big softy when it comes to animals – and especially dogs. Seeing this story of your Lucy makes me even MORE worried that I will want to adopt every stray I come across. Brought tears to my eyes. I’m glad you were her ‘forever’.

    • Why worry about things that have not happened? Just go and see what happens and remember you can always stop just as quickly as you started. You will fall in love with animals along your way for sure and many will be fine just where they are. Remember in most countries of the world dogs have not been bred for generations to live indoors so adjust your perception to that. I was told by other world cyclists you must learn to cycle past the dogs in need but I myself cannot do that. If any animal or human for that matter is in need of medical attention I’ll deal with it and make sure they are safe before pedalling on. You won’t adopt every stray dog you come across because many are fine just where they are. The ones that are not you could help find a home in the local area for sure – use social media. I’m on Skype so if this is something you have difficulties with on your trip chat it over with me – I’ve worn the t-shirt! You have the experience of a life time coming up there really is no place for worry about anything xxx

  3. Nichola Stanton says:

    During your time with Lucy I was checking almost every day to see what new adventure the two of you had found yourselves in. I was late for work many times because of that too! Lol..
    I was in awe of your courage and self assuredness biking in foreign countries like that. I saw your relationship with Lucy as fate and I knew there was so much more to your story than any of us could see. You made me smile and feel the warmth of love while I watched the two of you get to know each other. I laughed a lot too. And when I cried, I knew many others were crying with me. We all felt your pain.
    But such pain only comes because there has been such joy. Always hard to accept that one.
    I continue to feel gifted and honored to know yours and Lucy’s story. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    I look forward to the book for sure. Safe and happy travels to you. I’ll watch from here in Texas where I’m relatively safe. 😉

  4. This is so beautiful….I’m in tears! You’re an excellent writer too. I am always looking to read more. Lori

  5. This is a wonderful video it was an emotional one too. You should keep writing ur journal and good luck with the rest of your world tour will miss you take care x x x

  6. Awe Ishbel, what a lovely video, I have tears in my eyes watching lovely Lucy and seeing the bond you had with her. You did such an amazing deed of kindness when you took Lucy into your life and your heart and I am sure she is watching over you from Rainbow Bridge. I look forward to your book and I wish you all the best for your future travels. Stay safe. June xxx

  7. I read this with tears in my eyes, you gave Lucy so much love in the last few months of her life that when she comes to visit you, as she will, she will only remember the good times and not the bad times she endured. I never had the privilege of meeting either you or Lucy which is my loss but I did meet Lucky when up in Calis visiting my sister, Jo and her husband Duke and they told me about the time they went on the beach with both you and Lucky. RIP Lucy your memory will live on. Sue xx

  8. Oh IshbeL I’m so happy Lucy found you and she managed to spend the last few months of her short life in your care. I cried (tears of joy) the day I read your story about finding Lucy, I cried when she passed in your arms and I still cry today everytime I read about your story with her. God may she be at peace now and thank you for doing what you did to make her happy in her last few months on earth. Keep going and keep doing what you do…your a star, love Shirley xx

  9. When I read how many bullet pellets were in her body, I knew for sure that she endured life so she could spend the beauty of it with you. Her life force was and remains strong, Ishbel, and energy never dies. This meeting and true love is a gift from God. I looked up her name, Lucy, for its meaning this morning, and it is “as of light.” So, I know, little As of Light is here and now, but free from the constraints of the body. May her kisses lift you for the rest of your life, Ishbel. Love, Patricia

  10. Yours and Lucy’s journey touched my heart so much. We all miss Lucy, she was a special girl and I’m so happy you found each other. It was written in the stars. Xx

  11. Isabel , bella Isabel !! tu alma es hermosa!! Lucy tuvo tremenda suerte al encontrarte !! nada es casual , todo llega en el momento justo , y en ese momento se encontraron . Te ganaste el cielo !!

  12. Ishbel that is so beautifully written x and we were lucky enough to see the love you had for Lucy and that Lucy had for you too x x run free Lucy x x x love you Ishbel xx

  13. Lucy left a stamp on your heart and so many happy memories of your adventures together. I was lucky to meet you several times when you came to Marmaris Dog Shelter, particularly on the occasion shortly after Lucy’s death. That was very difficult for you and emotional. Your book will be amazing, looking forward to it. Xx

  14. Yes Ishbell let another animal into your heart you were made for this, and you should write a book I loved reading all the updates of you and Lucy Enjoy your next adventure and safe travels.x

  15. Lucy knew real love the day you saved her. God bless you both. X

  16. I feel proud to know you. You brought a lot of happiness to Lucy. I believe, and have proved that ‘ What you sow you reap’ in other words what goes round comes round. I like, thousands of others wish you all the best and please let another animal ‘break that wall down to your heart’ They deserve you. Tony Dray,
    UK.

  17. WOW !!! just WOW!!! what more can be said R.I.P. lucy. xxx

  18. Having adopted a dog on our cycle journeys whom the owner couldnt care for and having adopted another one abandoned, and being so attached to both of them and not being able to imagine my life without both, my warmest thoughts go out to you and to your amazing and brave pal. May Lucy rest in peace in a wonderful place. Sending you hugs and admiration for your worthy cause and strenght in such sad day. Very, very sad for your loss.

  19. Your last sentence says it all for me:

    ‘Love dogs? Be a hero. Save a life. Go to your local shelter for your four legged bundle of joy. Or don’t save a life. Don’t be a hero. And go to a breeder. The choice is yours. WBG xxx’

    There are too many dogs in the world already in need of a good home but breeders don’t care and ignore this in order to make a profit – shame on them!

  20. Sjanet de Jong says:

    Dear Ishbel, your words have touched me (again)……I cried the day Lucy died, she was lovely and so full of life……..You gave her the best, with all your heart, so much love for Lucy…………….And keep writing about your journey, you are a nice woman with a very big heart …

  21. I never met you both physically but feel as though we are friends. Lucy was loved by all and we are all as devastated as you when we learnt she passed away. Please know you will meet again xxxxxx Karen, South wales

  22. Silvana Taylor says:

    I went for a bite to eat with a friend and she told meabout this nice girl that was cycling Turkey and how wonderful but difficult was until she mention Lucy. I went home and inmeadiatly looked your facebook page to read more from you, I saw you and Lucy and thought: How wonderful and happy you two were together. Everytime you updated your profile with a story and a picture either of you both or Lucy it made my day, I kept thinking how hard must be for you one day give Lucy away but how happy and proud you’ll be for being able to find her a home. I work in one of the biggest charities to help animals in Scotland and I know the rewarding feeling when your angels go to a forever home, I have cried of anger when an animals comes to the rescue in horrible conditions, I smiled seing animals gain trust again, I have cried when they leave and I can no longer see their faves but my heart fill with a warm feeling because they have the home they deserve and I have cried when the sudden death takes them from me. I feel what you went through and the morning I saw Lucy s picture with your announcent of her death I cried a lot, I could not believe it; I felt your pain and I felt her loss. Keep doing what you are doing, animals are amazing creatures and teach us so much. My heart goes to you and beautiful missed Lucy. Xxx

  23. Something beautiful happened when you found Lucy. And it remain beautiful for ever. No-one can take that away from you. It will be with you forever. And it will be with us all forever. I go on holiday shortly to Greece. My first priority will be finding the nearest Animal Care/Rescue Centre so I can spend an hour or 2 per day just helping. Enough said. You have my utmost respect !

  24. My life is so much richer, because of Lucy and you. You have taught me, that no matter how small a difference we think our impact is on others, it may mean the whole world to them. I am honored to call you friend.
    All Our Best,
    L’il Bits and James
    .

    “Each smallest act of kindness, reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one who’s generous spirit, was the source of this good echo. Because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage, years later, and far away. Likewise, each small meanness, each expression of hatred, each act of evil.”
    -Dean Koontz

    Ride Bikes……..Travel………..Do Good

  25. Love, ultimately that is what life is about. I’m so glad you gave love and were loved in return. What a beautiful story. I look forward to the story of Lucy and Ishbel xx

  26. Isabel, this was the most wonderful description you have added to your page of Lucy and the time of her life spent with you. I look forward to reading more of Lucy’s story with your adventure in your book. You have done much justice for street dogs all over the world. Love unconditionally from these humble creatures that we so often neglect and abuse. They are our lives and teach us so much of love. May your heart find peace in your future travels and writing.

  27. Lori Ann Cook-Lloyd says:

    You should write a book……it would be a best seller! My heart goes out to you!

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