Oh You Lucky Dog

Roughly eleven years ago we went to the local pound to get a dog.  The guy who was working the pound told us we didn’t want a pound dog because the dogs become pound dogs not dogs for families.  He happened to know of a family who was big into taking in strays and they had hit the wall.  If we hung out for 10 minutes or so, he’d call them and have them bring the dog over.  He said he was a sweet dog and they didn’t want him to be a pound dog.  We waited. 

The dog’s name was Fred which was probably a sign.  The kids jumped all over him and he didn’t seem to mind so we adopted him and changed his name to Lucky.  Fred and I wanted to call him Hoover, after the vacuum, but we lost out.  3 against 2, the odds were not in our favor. 

Lucky was infested with fleas and had heart worm and all those good things.  He ran away, he had to be neutered, he was hyper, and puked all over the house but we fixed him up and he became part of the family.  Always a sweet dog and very needy but all and all a happy guy. 

The last 6 months Lucky has been slowing down.  Tonight we had to put him to sleep.  We all went.  It was one of the toughest things I have ever had to do.  Although it was the right thing to do, it was really sad.  Lucky will be missed.  Not only was he a really sweet dog, he was a truly lucky dog. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Brian Walsh

    So sorry to hear that. Our dog, Honey – a pound dog as well, is just about 14 and has started going down hill quickly this fall. They just found a mass in her colon which has caused quite a few messes in the house and sleepless nights as we stay up with her.

    While your story does not comfort in the outcome, it does comfort that many loving, caring families are going through the same experience. I guess comfort can be found in company.

    Thoughts are with you and your family.

  2. Charlie

    I’m really sorry to hear about Lucky. I went through the same thing with our family dog a couple of years ago.

    I hope when you realize how lucky Lucky was, you all realize how lucky you are to have each other. You have a great family and you made a great home for him.

  3. Bonny

    This was our year to lose our first dog, Zach, a yellow lab. He was 14 and as you mention, it was time. We will always remember him as an icon to those early child free years of travel and hour long walks on the beach. He transitioned well to the new babies and new homes. We had a large black and white picture framed and inserted him among our “rogue’s gallery” of family photos.Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Brad Feld

    We are sending you good dog karma. Our first golden – Denali – died suddenly at Christmas time last year and I still think of him every day.

  5. Jerry

    My heart goes out to you guys. I always liked Lucky. Emailed hugs all of you. I’ll ever forget the day my family had to put down our Cindy.

  6. rachel

    Thinking of you all and Lucky.

  7. Jernej

    I went through this for the first time when I was 11 or so. The dog was older than me, I never felt very close to him and we had another one (black lab) that was about a year old at the time so the whole series of events didn’t really hit me as much as it could.

    Fast forward to nearly two years ago… the lab is 15 years old, he can hardly stand upright and requires help with everything else.

    I kept delaying the inevitable, we had another 2 year old dog by that time but I just couldn’t bring myself to let go and everyone was waiting for me to decide. I can tell you it was the hardest decision I ever made and by far the worst day in my life. He played every role imaginable in it and I didn’t know how to go on without him.

    That morning I went to the vet with my brother and after what felt like 2 or 3 long hours (but was probably more like 30min) in the waiting room while the vets handled an emergency I was totally broken. When I made the decision I wanted it to be over as quickly as possible but it just wouldn’t be. I was constantly thinking it’s not really over, I wanted to carry him back to the car and we’d just drive someplace. It was a sunny early spring morning and we’d go in the mountains where we’d find a great view to enjoy it all…

    When someone eventually came out to get him I couldn’t make myself go inside. Thankfuly my brother did…

    Everything gets better with time but just writing this brought back a vivid account of it all. It’s good though, he’s been out of my mind for too long now and it’s nice to remember.

    Phil Greenspun wrote a great first chapter to his book Travels with Samantha that somehow captures all the feelings of the experience:

  8. Laurent

    Loosing a dog is always way harder then we imagine – they are part of the family, literally. And for kids, dogs are as good as friends, and they grow together.

    I am sorry for you and Lucky.

    This is my little sister and our golden retriever. Sometimes they really look like “BFF” – they have just a few yrs difference.

  9. carol Pfaelzer

    At 65 I have had to put many dogs to sleep.Often I would wait too long not minding carrying and dragging them outside to do their business. However, I’ve always gotten the ashes and with plenty of tears planted them in the garden keeping the last bunch of ashes and love for me in the closet and Chestnut will be buried with me someday with the four minature dachsunds that we worship and who adore us daily with lots of face licks. The Worst for me was having Huckleberry stolen from my driveway or front lawn while i was in Indiana on family emergency and the babysitter watched the kids but not Huckleberry.The Stealer of H. called me a few weeks later and my vet and said he had her but that her kids loved her and he wouldn’t return her. I hope to meet up with him in Hell some day.