I had just flown back from a trip to San Francisco and was sprawled on the floor reading the Sunday paper. Lucy was getting some exercise in the apartment and while I was reading, he walked up to me, sat on the spot where I was reading. looked up and gave me a long, slow staredown. A lonnnnnng stare. He wasn't going to move until I figured out what he was trying to say. I told him that by this time next year, he would have his house, I promised. He kept staring, that wasn't the exact answer he wanted. I then remembered I made the same promise to him a YEAR before so I looked back down at the newspaper to see if there was anything worth looking at (I just so happened to have the real estate page open). There was a listing of a Tudor style stucco house with a pond and lots of trees and a garden, etc. etc. etc. What the heck. It was not the neighborhood I wanted but I went to look at it anyway. I had been looking off and on for a house for about a year and really wasn't expecting much but when I walked through the front door, I knew it was the one.
When I delivered the bid on the house, Lucy came with me for "his" house inspection (I know that sounds darn peculiar, even for me, but I think I told the owners of the house all about Lucy and they wanted to meet him). So Lucy was set down on the floor and allowed to explore the layout of the house. When finished, he walked through the kitchen, went to the back screen door and started pushing until he figured out which side had the hinges and then started pressing on the opposite side. Once he got the door open he walked out on the deck, looked at the backyard, then returned to inside the house and settled down behind a chair in the living room, one foot out and one foot under. It had been approved. The owners were very impressed because their own dog couldn't figure out how to open that door.
I wish I had made more little drawings in that journal because they're so funny to me today. Here's a drawing of Lucy trying to get up one step into the bathroom. My old apartment had a peculiar layout. The building was built in the 20s and on one side of the apartment, the kitchen, dining room, bathroom and bedroom were all lined up together. On the other side was the living room. There was no hallway. To get to the dining room from the bedroom you had the option to walk through the bathroom to get there. Odd. And it was one step up too (probably some old plumbing below). This step presented problems for Lucy because he liked to follow the cats into the kitchen when everyone woke up in the morning and wanted breakfast. Turtles don't bend. Lucy could get on his hind legs but he couldn't lift off from the back legs or pull himself up with the front ones so what I would wake up to would be this, usually with his head turned around looking at me with a pleading for help expression on it..
If you look at the first drawing, you'll see the turtle ramp I made of books covered in towels. That ramp made things a lot easier for Lucy and me. Lucy could follow the cats whenever he needed to......and I could sleep in.