Smith has kept his dog Lucia active during the coronavirus pandemic by coming up with engaging games for her to play at home

By Kelli Bender
January 11, 2021 01:58 PM
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Credit: Courtesy Shepard Smith

Shepard Smith hopes 2021 brings the opportunity to safely "see my friends and family more," but until that time comes he is content with the family he has built at home in New York City.

He and his partner are the proud parents to Lucia, a 4-year-old Lagotto Romagnolo that the couple got when she was just 9 weeks old. Throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the dog has been a source of "unconditional love" and "joy" for Smith, 56, and has also created some new challenges for the lifelong animal lover.

Shortly after the pandemic began, Smith noticed Lucia seemed more "settled" and "less active" than the playful, social pup he was used to seeing. Knowing that the Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian dog breed, enjoys plenty of mental stimulation and that Lucia was unable to go on the dog playdates she adored, Smith started coming up with games to keep the pooch mentally-engaged and active. With plenty of free time during quarantine, Lucia's owner also started cooking her homemade dog food and treats.

"It was challenging and fun to come up with stuff," Smith said, adding that he found the work "rewarding" as well.

Credit: Courtesy Shepard Smith

But now, Smith says, "she doesn't need us."

That's because Smith and his partner recently welcomed a new puppy named Lira, obtained from the same AKC-recognized breeder Lucia came from.

Lira is now in charge of keeping Lucia busy, and has shown to be a perfect fit for the job.

Credit: Courtesy Shepard Smith

"I want her to be happy, and she is very happy now," Smith says, adding that Lucia has gone into "mom mode" playing with the puppy and showing her the ropes around the house.

Both Lucia and Lira were bright spots in 2020 – a busy year for Smith who started his new program The News with Shepard Smith on CNBC last September – and he is sure his furry "best friends" will continue to be the light in his life for years to come.