DAVE BARRY LOVES LUCY

April 10, 2019 at 4:45 am

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and best-selling author Dave Barry shares valuable life lessons taught by his beloved 10-year-old dog Lucy.

For more information on “Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog,” click here. 

Aired on April 9, 2019. 

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>> BIG BEAR RELATIVE DECIDED TO
BECOME A PROFESSIONAL HUMORIST
WHEN HE SAID IT WAS A LOT EASIER
THAN WORKING.
IT IS SAFE TO SAY A CAREER THAT
SPANNED FIVE DECADES HAS BEEN
PRETTY SUCCESSFUL AT THIS NOT SO
EASY PROFESSION.
>> WITH OVER 30 BOOKS, PULITZER
PRIZE AND WILDLY POPULAR
SYNDICATED COLUMN FOR THE "MIAMI
HERALD", THE "NEW YORK TIMES"
HAS CALLED BARRY THE FUNNIEST
MAN IN AMERICA.
THE 71-YEAR-OLD WRITER IS AIMING
HIS SARCASM AND BIT TO THE
YOUEST CONUNDRUM AT ALL, HOW TO
AGE GRACEFULLY.
HE HAS BEEN CONSULTING HIS
WISEST FRIEND, HIS DOG LUCY.
"LESSONS FROM LUCY," THE SIMPLE
JOYS OF AN OLD HAPPY DOG.
AND HE JOINS US NOW.
DAVE, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> GOOD TO BE HERE.
THANK YOU.
>> FIRST OF ALL, YOU KNOW YOU
DON'T CARE FOR SELF-HELP BOOKS.
THAT IS MOSTLY BECAUSE YOU DON'T
CARRY FOR SELF-HELP AUTHORS OF
WHOM YOU WRITE IN THE BOOK, A
REMARKABLY HIGH PERCENTAGE OF
THE ONES I MET DID NOT STRIKE ME
AS COMPETENT, GOOD OR EVEN
NECESSARILY SANE.
YET, YOU WROTE A SELF-HELP BOOK.
>> YEAH.
I'M NOT KNOWN FOR SELF-HELP
BOOK.
USUALLY WHEN PEOPLE READ MY
BOOKS THEY SAY, THAT DIDN'T HELP
ME AT ALL.
OR I'M ACTUALLY STUPIDER HAVING
READ THIS BOOK.
YET OVER THE YEARS, I HAVE BEEN
ON A MILLION BOOK TOURS.
I FOUND AS A RULE THE SELF-HELP
AUTHORS THAT WERE TELLING
EVERYBODY HOW TO BEHAVE WERE NOT
TOGETHER PEOPLE.
>> THAT'S MY EXPERIENCE AS WELL.
>> THEY WOULD BE CALM ON AIR.
AS SOON AS THEY'RE OFF, THEY'RE
SCREAMING AT THE PUBLICIST.
IT'S A DEPARTURE FOR ME TO WRITE
A BOOK.
AND I LIKE TO STRESS THERE ISN'T
ANYTHING I SAY IN THIS BOOK THAT
EVERYBODY DOESN'T ALREADY KNOW.
I'M NOT BREAKING NEW -- TELLING
YOU AMAZING THINGS.
>> THAT IS THE THING ABOUT LIFE
LEARNING STORIES.
YOU HAVE TO BE REMINDED OF.
IT REALLY WORKS.
>> THANK YOU.
THE IDEA IT'S NOT THAT WE DON'T
KNOW THINGS.
WE KNOW PLENTY OF THINGS.
DOGS ALSO KNOW.
DOGS, THEY JUST KNOW HOW TO LIVE
THEIR LIVES IN A WAY THAT MAKES
THEM HAPPY, WHICH HAPPENS TO BE
KIND OF A WONDERFUL WAY.
AND THEY DON'T CHANGE.
THEY CONTINUE TO DO THOSE THINGS
THAT WORK FOR THEM AND HAVE
WORKED FOR THEM FOR THOUSANDS
AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS.
PEOPLE, WITH HE START OUT
KNOWING A LOT OF THESE THINGS, I
THINK.
WHEN YOU'RE A KID, YOU KNOW HOW
TO HAVE FUN, HAVE FRIENDS,
SPONTANEOUS.
GRADUALLY YOU LOSE THOSE THINGS.
YOU BURY THEM UNDER A PILE OF
DAILY MINUTE UNUSUAL THAT.
IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO READ
THIS PARTICULAR TEXT THAN TO
NOTICE MY KID WHO IS RIGHT NEXT
TO ME WHO IS ASKING ME A
QUESTION.
>> YOU NAMED A COUPLE OF
LESSONS.
I WANT TO GO THROUGH THEM ONE BY
ONE.
HOW DID YOU REALIZE THAT LUCY,
GREATEST DOG EVER, WAS ABLE TO
GIVE YOU THOSE LESSONS?
>> WELL, WE BOTH GOT OLD.
LAST YEAR I TURNED 70 YEARS OLD.
NOW I'M 71.
THAT'S HOW IT WORKS.
EVERY YEAR YOU ADD ANOTHER ONE.
LUCY TURNED 10.
SO IN DOG YEARS SHE ALSO TURNED
70.
WHEN YOU TURN 70, THAT'S A BIG
ONE.
YOU ARE REALLY THINKING, HUH,
WE'RE DEFINITELY IN THE FOURTH
QUARTER HERE.
AND ON REFLECTION, THERE ARE A
LOT OF THINGS I WASN'T CRAZY
ABOUT THAT I WAS DOING THAT
TURNED INTO WITHOUT REALIZING
BECAUSE IT HAPPENED SO
GRADUALLY.
LUCY, WHO IS WITH ME ALL DAY
EVERY DAY BECAUSE SHE'S A DOG
WASN'T DOING ANYTHING
DIFFERENTLY.
SLEEPING A LITTLE MORE.
BUT OTHER THAN THAT, SHE WAS
STILL EXACTLY THE SAME DOG SHE
HAD ALWAYS BEEN.
AND THE SAME THINGS MADE HER
HAPPY.
SHE WAS LIVING HER LIFE IN A WAY
THAT MADE HER VERY HAPPY
WITHOUT -- SEEMINGLY EFFORTLY
ALMOST.
I THOUGHT IF SHE COULD DO THAT,
I COULD DO THAT.
NOT DRINK FROM THE TOILET.
YOU GET TO BE MY AGE, YOU WILL
TRY -- NO, I HAVEN'T TRIED THAT
YET.
>> SHE TAUGHT YOU SEVEN LESSONS.
THE EIGHTH YOU LEARNED YOURSELF
IN A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE WITH
YOUR FAMILY.
WE'LL GET TO THAT.
LET ME SEE HOW MANY OF THE SEVEN
OF THEM I CAN GET.
SO THE FIRST ONE OF THOSE
LESSONS IS MAKING NEW FRIENDS
AND KEEP THE ONES YOU HAVE.
HOW DID LUCY TEACH YOU THAT?
>> LUCY IS A VERY FRIENDLY DOG.
WHENEVER ANYBODY OR ANY DOG
COMES INTO HER SIGHT, SHE WANTS
TO MEET THAT PERSON OR DOG.
LOVES THAT PERSON OR DOG VERY
MUCH.
ESPECIALLY A DOG IF THEY SMELL
RIGHT.
SHE'S VERY OUTGOING.
SHE SEES SOMEBODY SHE KNOWS,
SHE'S WILDLY EXCITED.
AND I DON'T DO THAT ANYMORE.
I THINK ALL MY OLD DEAR GOOD
FRIENDS, I DON'T KNOW IF THEY'RE
ALL STILL ALIVE.
I WOULD HAVE TO CALL THEM UP.
I DON'T DO THAT.
AS YOU GET OLDER, YOU GET MORE
ISOLATED.
IT'S TOO MUCH TROUBLE.
AND YOU BEGIN TO DISMISS WHAT
ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT
RELATIONSHIPS YOU HAVE IN YOUR
LIFE.
AT LEAST I WAS DOING THAT.
SO THAT WAS THE FIRST THING.
TO TRY TO GET BACK IN TOUCH WITH
PEOPLE AND TO BE OPEN TO NEW
FRIENDSHIPS, WHICH IS HARD TO DO
WHEN YOU GET OLDER.
YOUR STANDARDS GET HIGHER.
I DON'T NEED FRIENDS!
>> BUT, IN FACT, IN THE MIDDLE
OF WRITING THE CHAPTER ON THIS,
YOU STOPPED AND YOU CALLED A
FRIEND.
>> YEAH, YEAH.
I WAS FEELING SO GUILTY.
ROB WAS MY COLLEGE ROOMMATE.
I HADN'T SEEN HIM AND TALKED TO
HIM IN A LONG, LONG TIME.
I SAID I'M GOING TO CALL ROB
RIGHT NOW WHILE I'M WRITING
THIS.
WE HAD A GREAT LONG
CONVERSATION.
WE'VE BEEN TALKING MUCH MORE
SINCE THEN.
>> I WAS INSPIRED BY THAT.
IN THE MIDDLE OF MY READING THAT
CHAPTER, I STOPPED AND CALLED.
>> DID YOU CALL ROB?
>> YEAH, YEAH.
>> HE'S MY FRIEND.
GET YOUR OWN.
>> BUT THE FRIEND I DID CALL,
THE CONVERSATION WENT
DIFFERENTLY THAN YOURS.
I SUDDENLY REALIZED WHY I HADN'T
CALLED HIM IN A WHILE.
THE MAN HAS GONE COMPLETELY NUTS
POLITICALLY.
AND THAT IS ALL HE TALKS ABOUT.
AND THAT'S PARTLY WHAT I DO FOR
A LIVING.
SO I DON'T WANT TO DO IT.
WHAT DOES LUCY HAVE TO SAY ABOUT
THAT?
>> THAT'S A REALLY GOOD POINT.
WE ARE, AS A NATION, WE HAVE ALL
GONE KIND OF NUTS.
IT HAS BECOME MORE AND MORE
DIFFICULT TO TALK ABOUT
ANYTHING.
I MEAN, POLITICAL, WITH ANYBODY.
YOU HAVE TO FIND OUT FIRST WHOSE
SIDE ARE YOU ON?
IS IT THE SAME SIDE I'M ON?
WHICH IS A SHAME.
THERE WAS A TIME WE WERE MUCH
BETTER DISAGREEING LIPOLITICALL.
WE WANT THE BEST FOR THE COUNTRY
EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE AN IDIOT AND
WRONG.
WE USED TO BE BETTER AT ALLOWING
THE POSSIBILITY THAT SOMEBODY
COULD DISAGREE WITH US AND STILL
BE AN OKAY PERSON.
DOGS, FOR ONE THING, DON'T TALK
ABOUT POLITICS.
BUT FOR ANOTHER THING, THEY
VALUE RELATIONSHIPS OVER
EVERYTHING ELSE.
THEY WOULDN'T ALLOW AN
EXTRANEOUS THING LIKE YOUR
POLITICAL VIEWS TO GET IN THE
WAY OF A RELATIONSHIP.
>> DON'T STOP HAVING FUN.
AND IF YOU STOP, START HAVING
FUN AGAIN.
>> WHEN YOU GET OLDER, YOU BEGIN
TO THINK CERTAIN THINGS ARE
BENEATH YOU.
YOU ARE TOO OLD FOR THAT.
THINGS MIGHT BE PERCEIVED AS
SILLY OR STUPID OR WHATEVER.
MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T DO THAT
BECAUSE YOU ARE NOW OLD.
DOGS OF COURSE DON'T DO THAT.
LUCY LIKED TO PLAY BALL WHEN SHE
WAS A PUPPY.
SHE LIKES TO PLAY BALL NOW.
IT DOESN'T SEEM WEIRD TO GO PICK
UP THE SPIT-COVERED BALL AND
TRYING TO GET IT FROM ME.
>> THE THIRD LESSON IS
PRACTICING MINDFULNESS, WHICH
HAS BECOME SO POPULAR.
>> YEAH.
>> CORPORATIONS ARE PUTTING IT
ON THEIR EMPLOYEES, WHICH IS
ALWAYS A BAD SIGN.
THE LESSON IS PAY ATTENTION TO
THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE, NOT LATER
BUT NOT RIGHT NOW.
TALK ABOUT THAT.
>> THIS IS ONE OF THE MORE
IMPORTANT LESSONS THAT DOGS CAN
TEACH US.
THERE IS NO CREATURE ON EARTH
MORE MINDFUL THAN A DOG.
IF YOU'RE IN A ROOM WITH YOUR
DOG, YOUR DOG IS THINKING ABOUT
YOU.
EVERY MOVEMENT YOU MAKE, EVERY
SOUND YOU MAKE.
IF YOU GET UP, THE DOG IS UP AND
INSTANTLY READY TO DO.
WHATEVER YOU WANT, THE DOG
WANTS.
IT REALLY, REALLY LOVES YOU AND
REALLY WANTS TO BE WITH YOU.
WE START OUT THAT WAY I THINK
MORE AWARE OF THE PEOPLE AROUND
US.
THEN WE END UP ON OUR PHONES.
YOU HAVE SEEN IT.
A COUPLE AT A RESTAURANT.
>> I DO IT.
>> THEY'RE IN A RESTAURANT
SITTING AT A TABLE ACROSS FROM
EACH OTHER, THREE FEET APART.
WHY ARE THEY IN THE RESTAURANT?
STAY HOME AND EAT PIZZA IN THE
CLOSET.
AND DOGS ARE SO, SO GOOD ABOUT
THAT.
HAVING A DOG IS A CONSTANT
REMINDER OF THAT.
IF YOU'RE IN A ROOM WITH YOUR
LOVED ONES AND YOU'RE ON YOUR
PHONE, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN AND
GO LOOK AT THEIR PHONE.
NO.
TALK TO THEM.
IT'S A TOUGH ONE.
BUT YOU'RE REALLY REMINDED WHEN
YOU GO TO A FUNERAL AND THINK
I'M NEVER GOING TO HAVE A
CONVERSATION WITH THAT PERSON
AGAIN.
YOU WALK OUT AND YOU THINK I AM
GOING TO MAKE SURE I DON'T LET
THIS HAPPEN.
AND OF COURSE THE PHONE BEEPS.
JUST THIS ONE TWEET.
>> THE FOURTH LESSON.
BY FAR THE HARDEST FOR ME.
LET GO OF YOUR ANGER UNLESS IT'S
ABOUT SOMETHING REALLY
IMPORTANT, WHICH IT ALMOST NEVER
IS.
>> YES.
.
>> YOU WRITE YOU ARE PRONE TO
INSTANTANEOUSLY HATE PEOPLE YOU
DON'T KNOW.
>> YES.
>> NAME SOME OF THE PEOPLE.
>> THE FIRST EXAMPLE IS IN THE
BOOK.
IF YOU'RE IN LINE, YOU'RE AT ONE
OF THOSE PLACES WITH 57 FLAVORS
OF ICE CREAM.
YOU CAN TAKE A SIMPLE BEFORE YOU
DECIDE WHICH OF THESE YOU WANT.
IT'S A MAJOR DECISION OF COURSE.
I DON'T MIND IF NO ONE IS THERE
IF YOU TAKE A FEW SAMPLES.
IF 25 PEOPLE ARE WAITING TO BUY
ICE CREAM.
AND YOU SAY I WILL TRY THAT.
MM.
TRY THIS ONE.
MM.
AND THEN TO YOUR FRIENDS, CAN I
TRY THE FIRST ONE AGAIN.
I WANT TO SHOOT YOU.
>> IN FLORIDA YOU CAN.
>> LEGALLY YOU SHOULD BE ABLE
TO.
I BECOME ENRAGED ABOUT THAT.
AND THEN THE REAL PROBLEM IS I
KEEP THE RAGE.
I'LL BE SEETHING ABOUT IT FOR A
WHILE.
THAT IS A WASTE OF MY TIME.
IT'S NOT GOING TO MAKE THOSE
PEOPLE -- IT WAS 30 SECONDS.
IT'S NOT THAT IMPORTANT.
LUCY DOES GET ANGRY.
WE HAVE A WINDOW IN OUR OFFICE
THAT LOOKS OUT ON THE DRIVEWAY.
SHE HAS A PERCH TO LOOK OUT THE
WINDOW AND KEEP AN EYE.
ONCE A WEEK MEN COME, YOU'RE NOT
GOING TO BELIEVE THIS.
THEY TAKE OUR GARBAGE.
AND LUCY IS LIKE WHAT?
DO YOU SEE -- YOU'RE GOING TO
LET THEM GET AWAY -- SHE'S
FURIOUS BECAUSE THEY'RE TAKING
OUR GARBAGE.
AS SOON AS THEY GO AROUND THE
CORNER, THE RAGE IS OUT.
SHE'S BACK SLEEPING.
SHE DOESN'T WAKE UP AT 3:00 AND
SAY I CAN'T BELIEVE WE LET THEM
TAKE THE GARBAGE.
SHE IS GOOD AT LETTING IT PASS.
I NEED TO GET BETTER AT NOT
GETTING MAD IN THE FIRST PLACE.
I DRIVE IN MIAMI.
EVERYONE IS MIAMI IS DRIVING
ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF HIS OR
HER COUNTRY OF ORIGIN.
WE ALL HAVE A DIFFERENT
INTERPRETATION OF THE YELLOW
LIGHT.
I NEED A ABOUBAZOOKA ON MY CAR.
>> IT WAS A TERRIBLE EVENT YOU
AND YOUR FAMILY HAD TO ENDURE.
QUICKLY TELL US WHAT IT WAS.
>> THE EVENT WAS -- THE BOOK WAS
D
DONE.
I HAD WRITTEN SEVEN LESSONS.
IT HAD BEEN EDITED.
BOOK TOUR HAD BEEN PLANNED.
THIS WAS LAST YEAR.
I WAS READY TO GO ON A BOOK TOUR
IN OCTOBER.
AUGUST 18th, TWO DAYS BEFORE MY
DAUGHTER SOPHIE WAS SUPPOSED TO
START AT DUKE.
SHE WAS GOING TO BE A FRESHMAN.
VERY EXCITED ABOUT GOING TO BE A
FRESHMAN.
SHE WOKE UP PARALYZED.
SHE HAD TRANSVERSE MILITIS WHERE
YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM ATTACKS YOUR
SPINE.
IT'S RARE.
SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T GO AWAY.
THEY DON'T PREDICT.
THEY DON'T TELL YOU.
SO WE SPENT A HORRIBLE COUPLE OF
WEEKS THERE THINKING OUR
DAUGHTER WAS NEVER GOING TO BE
ABLE TO WALK AGAIN.
ALL OF HER FRIENDS HAD GONE OFF
TO COLLEGE.
SHE'S THERE WITH TUBES ALL
THROUGH HER.
THE TREATMENT IS NOT PLEASANT.
AND LOOKING AT INSTAGRAM OF ALL
OF HER FRIENDS STARTING COLLEGE,
GOING TO PARTIES AND EVERYTHING.
AND WE ARE THINKING OUR LIVES
ARE OVER HERE.
ANYWAY, SHE GOT BETTER.
SHE RECOVERED AND IS NOW AT DUKE
AND HAVING A WONDERFUL, YOU
KNOW, SHE STARTED LATE BUT SHE'S
DOING GREAT AND HAVING A
WONDERFUL TIME.
WE ARE SO GRATEFUL.
BUT THAT WAS THE LESSON.
AND IF YOU HAD ASKED ME DURING
THE TIME THAT WE WERE GOING
THROUGH THIS, WHICH WAS THE
WORST, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE A
PARENT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO
WORSE PROBLEM THAN WATCHING YOUR
CHILD SUFFER AND NOT BEING ABLE
TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT AND NOT
KNOWING IF IT'S GOING TO GET
BETTER.
IF YOU TOLD ME THE LESSON I
WOULD GET IS WHAT IT WAS, I
WOULD NOT HAVE BELIEVED IT.
IT WAS GRATITUDE.
THE REASON I SAY THAT IS, FIRST
OF ALL, OBVIOUSLY WE'RE VERY
GRATEFUL THAT SOPHIE GOT THROUGH
THIS AND IS OKAY.
BUT IN THE PROCESS OF LOSING
THAT, HER HEALTH, WE REALIZED
HOW IMPORTANT THAT WAS.
AND HOW UNIMPORTANT ALL THE
OTHER THINGS IN OUR LIVES WERE.
WHEN WE WERE GOING THROUGH THIS,
WE SAID WE WOULD GIVE UP
EVERYTHING, ANYTHING IF WE KNEW
SHE WOULD BE OKAY.
WE DON'T CARE ABOUT MONEY OR
ANYTHING ELSE.
WE JUST WANT OUR DAUGHTER TO BE
OKAY.
SO WHEN YOU GET THROUGH THAT,
AND YOU REALIZE, MAN, ALL OF
THIS STUFF I THINK IS SO
IMPORTANT.
AND IT'S NOT JUST US.
THE WHOLE WORLD.
WE'RE ALL FREAKING OUT ABOUT
POLITICS.
EVERYBODY IS ANGRY ALL THE TIME.
BUT THOSE AREN'T THE IMPORTANT
THINGS IN YOUR LIFE.
IF YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING
AND YOU THINK GET UP OUT OF BED
AND YOU'RE HEALTHY AND YOU HAVE
A LOVED ONE, YOU HAVE A LOT TO
BE THANKFUL FOR.
THE REST IS MINOR COMPARED TO
THAT.
THE BIG LESSON I GOT OUT OF
THAT, AND I STILL FEEL IT EVERY
DAY, I AM GRATEFUL FOR EVERY DAY
NOW THAT MY DAUGHTER IS OKAY,
THAT WE'RE OKAY.
I DON'T CARE ABOUT MUCH ELSE TO
BE HONEST.
>> YOU TOLD ME SHE IS ALMOST
100%.
>> YEAH.
SHE'S DOING VERY WELL.
>> HOW IS LUCY?
>> LUCY IS UNCHANGED.
NOTHING ABOUT LUCY CHANGES.
THAT'S ONE OF THE WONDERFUL
THINGS ABOUT DOGS.
THAT I VERY CONSISTENT.
>> IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE
TALKING TO YOU.
>> SAME HERE.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Funders

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