Lucy, a therapy dog from South Jersey, is quite the handful.
Actually, she’s about half a handful.
And as of Saturday, the 3-year-old mini Yorkshire terrier is the newly crowned “world’s smallest working dog” by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Just 6 inches long, 5.7 inches high and 2.5 fluffy pounds, Lucy was unfazed by the huge honor and heightened attention, says owner Sally Leone Montufar.
“She gets a lot of attention already,” Montufar said. “She stops traffic.”
Lucy snatched the title away from a 6.6-pound dog in Japan.
“I didn’t want Lucy to unseat him because he’s employed by the Japanese police as a search-and-rescue dog,” she says. “But she’s a different kind of working dog.”
Homeless and out of work two years ago, Lucy now works as a therapy dog through the Cherry Hill, N.J., program Leashes of Love, visiting hospitals, nursing homes and special schools often in dog dresses and bonnets.
Montufar contacted Guinness in November and learned of the diminutive dog’s admittance in December.
“I said I bet she’s not the tiniest, but I’m sure she’s the tiniest therapy dog,” recalls Montufar, who also owns a Cockapoo.
And not every dog is cut out for employment, or certification as a therapy dog.
“She had to be trained to sit for long periods, lay for long periods, not be flustered when there’s wheelchairs and walkers all around,” she says, “And she has to be able to walk for me and be nonaggressive.”
But it’s not all work for Lucy. According to Lucy’s Facebook fan page, her many interests include “food, chasing cats who are 10X her size, cuddling by the fire, twirling for treats.”
But Lucy’s life could have been far from fancy had her trip to the pound not been sidetracked by a stop into Paw Dazzle.
A woman entered the pet boutique with several dogs hoping someone would claim them before the shelter did.
But Montufar was more focused on the woman’s Juicy Couture dog carrier, specifically the nose poking out of it.
“(The designer tote bag) was very beautiful,” she says, “and out came this peanut.”
“This peanut” was a freakishly small, skinny pup by the name of Lucy. Along with medical help, Montufar knew to give Lucy a home, and then a job.
“She was so pitiful and lethargic,” Montufar said. “I couldn’t leave her. I didn’t know if I could save her or not. And kind of as a mother would, I said I’m going to help this one. I’m not going to turn my back. The others looked pretty healthy, she didn’t.”