I would like to introduce you to Lacey, my new puppy.

Here are her stats: She is a Jack Tzu, as her mother is a Jack Russell Terrier and her father is a Shih Tzu; she was born on March 4 and came to live with me on April 24; at last check she is about 11 pounds and losing her baby teeth; and she is full of energy and incredibly cute.

Lacey has certainly helped brighten my days, especially considering the last five years have been pretty tough on numerous levels.

She greets me with excitement at the top of the stairs each time I return home.

Her happiness when she sees me is something that only a dog can offer.

As many of you know, last December my previous furry friend, Rocky, went to doggy heaven. She was my little girl — a constant companion for 16½ years. My heart broke when she went to the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

Where Rocky was once frail at the end of her time on earth, she is now young again and made whole. She plays with the other dogs in a grassy field with the unfettered joy that only man’s best friend has been given by God. When our eyes meet again someday we will embrace and hug again and again.

I had Rocky cremated and set up a memorial for her on an oak chest in the living room of our home. Lacey, interestingly enough, seems to know not to touch any of Rocky’s things that are on display.

When Rocky died I thought I would never get another dog. At least not for a long time. I was not about to replace her, and the thought of a new dog roaming the hallways of our home and cuddling next to me in bed was not appealing.

Then I met Lacey.

I bought her from a private breeder in Widefield when she was short of 8 weeks old.

She was cute as a button and her personality was infectious. It didn’t take me long to realize that she going to be my new companion.

I slowly introduced Lacey to her new world. I gave her free reign of our home. She took full advantage.

I wasn’t sure what to name for a week or two, then it became obvious. Her favorite things to chew are my shoes. The laces, especially, are most appealing to her. Somehow, even at less than 2 months old, she was able to pull the laces out of holes and chew them into pieces.

As Lacey gets older, we go on more and more adventures. Walks around our neighborhood consist of her chasing every rabbit she sees.

She loves going to the park and meeting other dogs and people of all ages.

She especially loves children.

Recently we went on a hike at Ute Valley Park and in my attempt to keep up with her I took a nasty spill, but she was there to lick my wounds and make me feel better.

So far, there doesn’t seem to be any object that Lacey won’t fetch: tennis balls, frisbees, stuffed animals, socks, sticks. When I’m out in the yard pruning my trees she views that as a great opportunity to drag the branches all over our yard.

I did not get Lacey to replace Rocky.

No dog ever will replace my “little girl.”

But I can’t begin to tell you just how awesome it is to have a new companion around to share life.

Many of you reading this column are animal lovers and have experienced similar joy of having a loving friend as a constant companion.

Thank you for allowing me to share a little bit about Lacey.

Perhaps you’ll get the chance to meet her someday. I guarantee she will bring a smile to your face and you will walk away feeling better about your day.

Danny Summers has been covering sports at all levels in the Pikes Peak region since 2001. Send your story ideas and feedback to danny.summers@pikespeaknewspapers.com.

Pikes Peak Newspapers Sports Reporter

Pikes Peak Newspapers Sports Reporter

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