There are celebrities aplenty. Anyone with a Youtube channel can now be considered a “celeb”. And there are actors and singers who are well known and respected for their craft….but a star? That is something different. Something rare nowadays. That being said, anyone who has ever had the pleasure of meeting Lucy, one of Dublin’s two education dogs (alongside Ollie) will know that she is most definitely a star in the traditional sense of the word.
And just as a star is born, sometimes these stars know when it is time to bow wow..sorry, bow out. When it is time to step down from the limelight, and retreat from the spotlight. For Lucy, that time is now.
Yes folks, we are sad to inform you that Lucy has decided to retire from her role as education dog.
We were lucky enough to nab her for this rare interview, as she reflects on the highs (there were no lows) of her illustrious career. Enjoy.
Seeming very relaxed, Lucy reclined on her sofa to conduct our interview
Hi Lucy, Congratulations on your retirement, and on your years of service to Dog Trust. How do you feel about stepping down from your role?
I’m very sad that I won’t be visiting schools anymore, but I’m 63 in human years can you believe that! So its time I put my paws up and hung up my lead!
Can you tell us some highlights from your distinguished career?
There plenty I can tell you! I have visited many schools over my 3 years and educated countless children on how to be safe and responsible around dogs. Sometimes I would meet children who are scared of dogs and even having me in their classroom helped with their confidence. Myself and Audrey (my owner and the Dublin Education Officer) visited lots of libraries around the Leinster every Summer and I will miss these visits too. Did you know I even made the pages of a National Newspaper – that’s my claim to fame and I even have my own stickers that Audrey has given to many school children to remind them of my visit.
One from the archives, Lucy provided this vintage photograph from her first day as an education dog
You’ve built quite the fanbase over the years, Have you received any fanmail, or fan art of particular note?
Oh yes, I’ve gotten so many letters, drawings, cards, it is hard to keep track.
What memories of your time as an education dog stand out?
Well there was that time when I managed to get my nose into a schoolbag and guess what was there? A sausage sandwich! Well I thought all my birthdays had come together as I munched my way through it. Audrey was very unhappy with me, and so was the little boy who owned the schoolbag. It was his lunch! I would have given him some of my food to make up, but he didn’t seem to pleased by that offer.
There were some rumours in the press that you were caught sleeping on the job on occasion. Even snoring. Do you have any comments on this?
Me sleep? Never!! Well…ok, it has been known that I do like to snooze on the job occasionally, especially after my yummy kongs that Audrey brings to school for me. They are soooo tasty. I’m always tired after eating them though. Audrey says sometimes I snore so loud she can’t hear herself think. Sometimes the classes I visit find this really funny.
You are famously one of the members of The Mighty Madraí. Will you retain this position after your retirement, or will you be replaced?
I am one in a million and far as I’m concerned I will always be a member of the Mighty Madraí. I think I’m totally irreplaceable! I’m just too cute!
Despite rumours of a rift, the Mighty Madraí have remained a close-knit group, and have continue to educate children across the country
So where does this leave Audrey, your owner and the Education Officer you accompanied to schools across Dublin and the East. Will she get a new dog, or visit schools without one?
Audrey will be bringing her teddy dog along with her (he’s very lifelike I thought he was real when I met him the first time!). Even though I won’t be with Audrey, her workshops won’t be impacted. She will still be spreading the messages of safety and responsible dog ownership and I’m sure they will still be fun even without me.
And now that you are retired, how will you spend your days Lucy?
I’m looking forward to long, peaceful snoozes and walks on the beach with Audrey. My favourite place is on the couch on my pink rug so that’s where you will find me now every morning when Audrey goes to visit schools.
Lucy, we wish to thank you for your time, and we wish you a long and happy retirement.
But we have a little surprise for you (and our readers). Your owner Audrey has written a little tribute for you…
I am really going to miss you Lulu coming to schools with me from your excitable barking when we stop the car at school, keeping me company on the journeys there and your impatience to get your kong when we start our workshop. You are the sweetest, most loyal doggie and it has been amazing having you by my side every day. I can’t believe how lucky we are to have such lovely jobs that we can bring our best friend and companion to work everyday. I will be lonely returning back to school with my sidekick at home relaxing and enjoying retirement. I know Lucy will enjoy every minute of her retirement snoozing, playing and going for walks.
Isn’t that gorgeous! Congratulations on your retirement Lucy. We wish you many happy afternoons snoozing in the sunspot