Lu Gass introduces her dog, Brooklyn, a Brussels Griffin, by way of reference to a 1997 movie.
"Ever see ‘As Good as it Gets?'" she asked. "With Jack Nicholson? That's the dog."
On a visit to our Wilton store, Lu was accompanied once again by her trusted canine, whom she carried in her arms as she took a seat in the lobby.
After her divorce, Lu moved into a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment. She is now moving two miles back to her townhouse, which has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Lu has two children; Sarah is getting married in August. The daughter lives in London, where she works as a marketing executive for Amazon. Lu visits her at least once a year for a month or two at a time.
"I'm a traveler," she said. "I'm very culture-minded. The theater, the arts, I know four languages. English, French, Spanish and Italian."
Her son, Matthew, who lives in Norwalk, and his girlfriend came across a puppy at a store in the area that they insisted Lu would fall in love with.
"I've never bought a dog from a store before," Lu said of her initial reluctance, adding all the dogs she previously owned were bought directly from breeders.
Finally, she stopped in the pet store and met Brooklyn, who was four months old. She negotiated the price to $1,800 and walked out the store with her new companion.
"When we stepped outside he put his feet up," she said. "He'd never been outside."
It upset her to know that he had never breathed fresh air. That's when she became educated about puppy mills, or commercial dog-breeding facilities where a puppy's health is often overshadowed by concerns about profits.
"Since then I started to say I saved this dog," Lu said. "I feel like I saved his life."
Lu, who was born and raised in Mexico, pointed out that Brooklyn understands both Spanish and English. "He goes everywhere with me," she said.