Lucy’s big, soft eyes are as beautiful as her heart. Her job is to greet people and their pets when they visit theWestside Pet Clinic on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. She adds a sense of calmness and serenity to the waiting room, is beloved by every living thing that passes through the doors, both human and animal, including cats, kittens, dogs and puppies. If a nervous animal walks in, she’ll befriend them and ease their worries, letting them know they’ve reached a safe place, assuring them that someone will soon be there to help ease their pain.
Lucy works with her best friend, Dr. Antje Hinz, the Medical Director at the Clinic. Sometimes she’ll accompany Dr. Hinz into the examination room, if that helps a worried customer. Lucy’s qualifications as a “greeter” make her especially unique, and somewhat surprising to first-time visitors. That’s because Lucy is a gorgeous, grey, three-year-old pit bull. And lovely Lucy is not only a greeter at the Clinic; she’s also Dr. Hinz’ beloved registered emotional support service dog.
And Lucy has been missing from her job at the Clinic and missed desperately by Dr. Hinz since September 7. That was the day she vanished, and she has not been seen since. Dr. Hinz and her partner, Finn Egan, have pulled out all the stops to try to locate Lucy and bring her home.
Dr. Hinz was out of the country, and left Lucy in the care of her pet sitter. Somehow, Lucy slipped under a fence at the Pen Mar Golf Course and vanished. Desperate to find her canine companion, Dr. Hinz created this Facebook page to ask for help on social media, hoping to give Lucy a presence, a voice that will help reunite her with her beautiful, beloved girl.
Dr. Hinz had no idea how quickly her search for Lucy Hinz-Egan would capture the hearts of thousands of Californians, and how widespread their efforts to reunite them would become. The entire Santa Monica community, and others in nearby cities, have joined in the search, looking for Lucy. They have papered every available lamppost with fliers, hung banners at markets, and organized searches in different areas of the city, communicating with each other on Lucy’s Facebook page. If you visit the page, you’ll find messages like these,
“Just wanted to let ya know we drove the Marina neighborhood between Washington, Culver and Alla looking for sweet Lucy. We checked the alleys and parks…people walking dogs all have seen your signs are are keeping an eye out!…I know how I’d feel if one of mine went missing…sending prayers and love from Del Mar that Lucy finds her way home!.. Looking for Lucy in Venice.”
On September 18, Dr. Antje Hinz was a special guest on UBN RADIO’s ‘Char Margolis Show.’ Ms. Margolis is an internationally renowned intuitive medium. She invited Dr. Hinz on her show to see if she could point her in the right direction to reunite Lucy with her family. Sam Phillips and Melissa Monet of VividRadioSXM’s ‘The Single Life’ talked about Lucy on the show this week as well. Any bit of media coverage helps.
There’a another reason why it’s so important to Antje that she find Lucy, a very personal reason that she hasn’t shared till now. Dr. Hinz herself went through another very difficult time, and Lucy was by her side for part of it. Five years ago, at 32 years of age, Antje was diagnosed with a very aggressive breast cancer. She’d been very active her entire life, but almost succumbed to the disease. Lucy’s loving presence in Antje’s life, over the past few years, as well as her commitment to her veterinary practice, has helped give Antje the strength to survive and recover. Now Antje is very upbeat and positive about her own life, and will do anything and everything possible to bring her Lucy home.
Lucy herself had a very sad start in life. Before she met her forever family, Lucy was an abused rescue pit bull who had lost all hope, shook in the corner if you tried to pet her and didn’t even wag her tail in happiness once for the first six months she lived with her humans. Antje and Finneus Egan worked with Lucy through her dark days, and she has blossomed into a normal, happy, loving dog through the power of their love.
Lucy plays an additional role in Dr. Hinz life, as the “Pit Bull Ambassador.” Because of her dedication to animals, Dr. Hinz works at some of the animal rescue foundations in Los Angeles, and brings Lucy to these sessions. Lucy shows potential adopters how loving pit bulls can be if treated correctly, which often leads to more pit bulls being adopted.
Dr. Hinz sees Lucy as ‘her Buddha, her purpose to keep going, and gives her an emotional lift that even the best-intentioned human caregivers can’t quite match.’ The Westside Pet Clinic is seeking the help of the public in bringing home their beloved door greeter and best friend to some of the other Clinic residents. There is a $1,000 reward for Lucy’s safe return. Lucy has a microchip, and has been spayed.
Mr. Egan tells Examiner, “it’s incredible the way L.A. has formed this heartwarming community to band together to find her.” If it weren’t such a horrible situation, it would be absolutely beautiful the way literally thousands of people are trying to help get her home safely. Team Lucy has someone on the East Coast helping with media and publicity! They are putting up fliers in both Spanish and English. Finn states, “I didn’t get to bed until 12:30 and was up again at 5 this morning to meet up with more volunteers, back on foot to get the word out and post fliers.”
Dr. Hinz has chosen to remain silent regarding her battle with cancer, until now. Living with Lucy, and helping Lucy overcome her own fears, Antje now has the courage to share her very personal story, and is now able to speak about how she nearly lost her own life. Similarly to Lucy, she had almost given up all hope and is now living a normal, loving life. She credits Lucy for being her rock, surviving due to the love given and received from her canine companion. Both parties benefiting from one another, emerging from states where they were both almost broken beyond repair, into a world of healing and love.
This is a story about humanity and a community of empathetic volunteers who have worked tirelessly to help find a dog most of them have never met. Finn states, “Without these people, mostly strangers we have never met, Antje and I would have fallen apart and slipped into despair by now. They renew us everyday to stay positive and help us to believe we will find our sweet little girl. The overwhelming positive display of humanity that I have witnessed is truly amazing!”
In the midst of this horrible time, Finn and Antje have their souls renewed each day by the help and good wishes they continually receive. Says Finn, “I’m praying for a happy ending, but the journey to find Lucy thus far is a lesson in unadulterated giving from friends and strangers that I will never forget. I truly thank each person who has helped, prayed, or donated from the bottom of my heart.”
If you’re in LA, specifically the Venice/Santa Monica/Mars Vista/Palms areas, and would like to help Lucy come home, please ‘LIKE’ the official Lucy Facebook page and stay tuned for updates on where they are meeting next. The goal is to have teams of volunteers helping out 24/7. Sharing is caring.
Says ‘Team Lucy’, “We are surrounded by so much love this evening. Can you feel it? Feeling grateful! ❤ Go Team Lucy! #BringLucyHome.” Anyone with information about Lucy’s whereabouts can contact Finn Egan at 310-266-4650. You can also contact Helen Trimble, at 310-699-3568, Heltrim1@aol.com, who, as previously reported here, voluntarily helps reunite owners and their pets in the Los Angeles area.