Lucy hits all right notes

All of us who have children and pets feel that within them lies greatness, but Carnegie Hall? One might think (quietly) "Yeah right, in your dreams."

But if you're a Chihuahua Rat Terrier like Lucy, with a dad like Isaac Kramer, the chances for Carnegie Hall success may be within reach.

Kramer began his music career at age six, and was accepted into the Orange County High School for the Arts where he helped create the Young Artists Philharmonic, then was presiding conductor and music director fresh out of high school while a full-time freshman at the New England Conservatory. He was then hired on as the music director for the Boston Metro Opera for its inaugural season.

Says Lucy: "My Dad has already performed at Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House and directed at the Orange County Performing Arts Center and that was just the first 18 years of his life — just give some thought to my opportunity."

Lucy's first opportunity was her rescue from the Laguna Beach Animal shelter. Her busy dad, who had no time for pets in the past, requested special assistance from the shelter staff. He asked for a good dog for a home that had never had a dog before.

Lucy stood out quickly as the one for the job. She had that magic look, you know the one, eyes wider than her head, a tilted head with that "pick me, please" look written all over her.

Lucy is 2 ½ years young but it is doubtful her black and white markings will change, and because of them and their configuration she acquired the nickname "Cow." She may require a doggy manicure to cover up those funny looking black and white nails.

She was small so Isaac thought she would be manageable — small feces, not much food, and quiet, leaving him time to pursue his dream to be the music director of a major symphony orchestra. He would also have the time he needed to pursue his master's in Orchestral Conducting. But at this point he is picking up much more poop that expected, and going through more food than he ever imagined, especially for a 11.2-pound pooch. And the word "quiet" definitely does not describe what he and the neighbors hear on his walks with Lucy or around the house. She barks at all that scares her — barking can be quite a defense. The louder you bark the bigger you are, right?

Isaac, in planning Lucy's musical education, was quick to note that Lucy, with her black and white patches in all the right places, had her own built-in fur tux. After watching her chase Jasper, the cat, around, around and around the house, he determined that she obviously had rhythm.

Now what to do with the baton? After pawing it around the floor for a while, Isaac showed her that the baton was not a toy but rather a tool, just one of the many needed for her future endeavor.

One day while Isaac was at the piano, Lucy hopped up on his lap after an exhausting around-the-house Jasper chase. Lucy attacked the keys and was showing a keen interest in banging on the piano with her paws. Isaac helped with her paw positions on the keyboard and history was in the making.

Lucy has been a tiring, exhilarating experience for Isaac — but what a kick — the first doggy conductor!

Lucy has been playing the piano and conducting tirelessly for some time now and making very good progress.

One of Isaac's motivating quotes is one from the man he most admires — Leonard Bernstein. "To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan and not quite enough time." That is something Isaac lives by, and Lucy never plans anything and always has enough time to eat, sleep and play — so it's a match.

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