You know, I was just sitting here wondering what to type when my dog walked in the room, stood in the doorway waiting for me to acknowledge him and upon my “Hey baby…” came bounding in the room like he was saying “You like me! You really really like me!” Then like the angel he is, he promptly plopped himself at my feet and will patiently wait here until I decide to get up off my ass and walk him. Jennifer Weiner says every good writer needs a dog because they are the biggest inspiration. And three best sellers can’t be wrong now, can they?
I’ve had Lucky for nearly 12 years. He is a Boston Terrier mix. I remember the day I brought him home, all muddy and scared (the dog, not me), completely terrified from the hour long car ride from Hickory to Charlotte (where we lived at the time). At nine months, he’d already seen a lot of hard times and I couldn’t NOT take him even though I intended on another younger puppy. Hence the name, Lucky. After my mom and I bathed him and washed all the dirt from his coat, he gleamed but was still wary and wasn’t about to trust these two crazy ass women who’d just plucked him from his dog lot, shoved him in a pet carrier then tried to drown him in this thing called a “bathtub”. He retreated to a corner and for the next 24 hours, when he wasn’t in the corner shaking like he had Bell’s palsy, he was crapping all over the house. Howard was out of town, mom had long gone back to Hickory and I was all alone with this dog. It overwhelmed me and I sat down and had a good cry. I don’t know what it was about the tears but Lucky could not handle it and promptly hopped up on the couch next to me and began licking my arm furiously and gazing up into my eyes like “hey whoa, I’m sorry…I didn’t realize you actually WANT to love me and take care of me.” I wrapped him in my arms and he’s been a mama’s boy ever since. And the whole crying issue? still tears him to shreds. I so much as sniff and he’s a nervous wreck, getting in my face, licking me, making sure I’m okay. Sometimes when I’m feeling like a cruel bitch, and I’m jealous when he’s giving all his love to his daddy, I’ll pretend like I’m crying and it usually works. However, with his age comes more wisdom and he’s beginning to catch on.
To know my Lucky dog is to love my Lucky dog. Everyone who meets him melts. Tess? only met him once but knew how sweet he was just by looking at him and still asks about him often. Kathleen and Norman, the people who took over our store in our previous village, fell in love with him just the few short days we all lived together before Howard and I left for “hell or somewhere similar.” Just the other day, she said she actually missed him and his “soulful eyes”. Let me tell you, Lucky dog knows how to work the eyes ya’ll. Ask anyone who’s met him.
Upon our return from the month long vacation, he actually didn’t recognize me but as soon as I began talking to him, he knew instantly who I was and began hopping around and yapping, so happy to see that his family hadn’t truly abandoned him. We agreed that never would we leave our animals for that long again.
Every night now, Howard and I devote at least 20 minutes in bed to Lucky Dog. We tuck him in between us and pet his silky fur and talk to him, he looks alternately at both of us with the most content look on his face, milking it for all it’s worth, then he’ll eventually scoot to the bottom of the bed and curl up in a little ball between my feet and breathe a relaxing, sleepy sigh. Oh and he snores.
Just before we made it to “hell or somewhere similar”, we found out that Lucky has a heart murmur (I wept right there in the doctor’s office, by the way) and will probably only last about two more years. 14 years isn’t bad but I promise you when that little man goes? A huge part of me will go with him.
He’s moved seven different times with us, taken more plane rides than he really cares for, seen me through some major meltdowns and a near collapse of mommy and daddy’s marriage, but he’s also ran on the sand of the Bering Sea coast, and the Atlantic Ocean coast, met many many people from many walks of life and though he’s in the sunset of his own, we’ve no doubt he will continue to touch people’s lives….and wise up to mom’s old tricks.