Don’t let her diminutive stature fool you. She may only weigh two and a half pounds at three years old, but Lucy is a veritable giant in personality. Though, as you would expect of a tiny Yorkie, Lucy is gentle and sweet and draws attention wherever she goes. Especially when she is working. Yes, you read that right. Lucy’s got a job to do, and a pretty important one at that.
Lucy is a therapy dog. She and her owner, Sally, travel to hospitals, schools, and nursing homes in South Jersey, among other places, to provide animal assisted therapy. “Animal assisted therapy (AAT) uses trained animals to enhance an individual’s physical, emotional and social well-being, thus improving self-esteem, reducing anxiety and facilitating healing,” says Dr. Andrew Weil, an expert in the field of integrative medicine. AAT is usually directed towards people who are ill, who have disabilities, or are in need of rehabilitation.
But Lucy is not just a therapy dog. She and Sally also advocate for animal rescue. Lucy herself was rescued by Sally when she discovered Lucy’s previous owner was on the way to drop her off at the shelter. Lucy was a year old and not in the best medical condition, but Sally took her home and nursed her back to health. Once she was feeling well again, Lucy showed Sally just how much love and sweetness can be squeezed into such a tiny body. It brought new meaning to the saying, “Good things come in small packages.”
Sally began sharing Lucy’s love as a certified therapy dog in October 2010, and people took notice. They commented on her size, and many suggested she may be the smallest dog ever. Although Sally knew she wasn’t, she thought it might be possible that Lucy was the smallest working dog ever. After verifying Lucy’s size with the Guinness World Book, Sally was notified in late 2011 that Lucy was indeed the new record holder for world’s smallest working dog. She still holds the record today.
Despite her dog being a celebrity, Sally is quite humble about it. She admires and honors all working dogs and their owners. She uses Lucy’s stature and world record title to promote the cause and bring awareness to the importance of animal assisted therapy, as well as animal rescue.
In her spare time, Lucy enjoys chasing cats, snuggling, eating, twirling (but only for treats), and dressing up (but has a firm no-bows policy). For more information about Lucy and Sally, you can visit their website, Lucy the Smallest Working Dog, or Lucy’s facebook page. There you can learn more about Lucy’s appearances and how to book one for your group. Lucy also makes individual appointments by request.