Welcome to Lucky Armstrong's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Lucky Armstrong
I was in a pet store 35 years ago in Illinois. I was looking at the puppies for sale, and I couldn't take my eyes off this one particular Lhasa Apso. What a beautiful face and expressive eyes he had! We just kept looking at each other. I asked the attendant if I could take him in the play room with me. What a joyful bundle of energy he was! He was so much fun to be with, and full of affection and love. I went home that night to think things over. I had never taken care of a dog before in my life. I prayed a lot. I went back to the pet store to visit this very special dog. He was so wonderful. I wasn't sure if I could properly care for a dog and be responsible for him for the rest of his life. It was a big commitment. I went to the library to pick up some books on how to care for a dog. I made the commitment to bring him home with me. I named him Lucky Armstrong. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my lifetime. Lucky provided me with 16 wonderful years filled with his unconditional love and affection, his loyalty, his intelligence, his sensitivity and intuitiveness, his energy and joy, his sweetness, and his strength of character, courage and bravery. I became a better man for having Lucky in my life as my dog, my companion, my friend, and my son. Lucky helped my wife and I through so many difficult times, trials and tribulations. My wife's debt and mine to Lucky is immense and immeasurable. Lucky was blessed with excellent health for the first 14 years of his life. Four years ago, Lucky began to develop incontinence problems. I took Lucky to the vet to see if there was any physiological reason for his incontinence. All of Lucky's tests came out normal. My vet stated it was just old age setting in. My vet's exam did reveal several other problems with Lucky. Lucky had a tumor on one of his testicles. Lucky's tumor was surgically removed. Lucky also had the beginning of cataracts on both eyes. My vet told me the only treatment for cataracts was to remove them surgically. He also informed me the surgery was very expensive-$2,500.00-$3,000.00. I couldn't afford such a cost. Lucky had a great gift of being able to adapt to just about anything. He adapted fairly well to wearing diapers/belly bands for his incontinence problems. Lucky began to experience some vision problems. Sometimes, he would walk into things and he had more difficulty seeing at night. I tried to compensate for Lucky's vision problems by establishing a routine path for our walks, and setting up his food and water in the same place. I became Lucky's eyes for him. Lucky did pretty well with this setup for nearly 2 years. About 26 months ago, Lucky's vision problems began to worsen. He was walking into more things, turning around abruptly on our walks, and having more difficulty locating his food and water bowls. He was walking a lot more slowly, and was isolating himself a lot. On the morning of November 23, 2008, I was awoken by the sound of Lucky thrashing around in circles near his water bowl. I put him back onto his special blanket, and we both went to sleep for a couple of hours. We went for our walk several hours later. I carried him down the steps, placed him on the grass, and removed his diaper/belly band. Lucky fell down. I picked him up. He fell down again. Lucky couldn't walk or stand up. I carried him upstairs. I looked at his eyes. The cataracts had taken their toll. My precious dog couldn't see anymore. Lucky was blind. I called my wife into the room. We were both devastated. We didn't know what to do. How could we help Lucky? Lucky let us know what we could do to help him. He never ate again after losing his sight. My wife and I considered trying to keep him as a blind dog, but Lucky was 16 years old and used to seeing. Lucky was asking for our help one last time. How could we not help a wonderful friend like Lucky who had helped both of us so much through the years? Lucky was telling us he loved us, but he was unable/unwilling to live without his sight. My wife and I spent Thanksgiving with our wonderful dog. During his last week on Earth, Lucky displayed incredible courage, strength and character. Lucky would try to walk over to each of us to give us love. He would fall down. Then he would get back up and try again. Several times when I was holding Lucky in my lap and stroking him, he would put his head on my chest and look up at me. He was saying to me: "Daddy, I love you, but I can't live like this. Please help me". My wife and I tried not to be sad or cry while we were around Lucky. We were successful most of the time. We would cheer him on when he attempted to walk towards us. I made an appointment for Lucky's final visit to the vet on 11-29-2008. I gave Lucky his final bath on 11-28-2008. My wife and I took our final family drive several hours before Lucky's final visit to the vet. This was the hardest decision I have ever had to make in my entire life. But, I had to help Lucky. I had to help stop his pain and suffering. I had to help him reach The Rainbow Bridge. I drove Lucky to the vet that final morning. My wife was holding Lucky in the backseat to help him stop shivering. Lucky was wrapped in his favorite towel, and had his 16 year old stuffed bunny rabbit with him. The vet's assistant came out to our car to let us know they were ready for Lucky. My wife hugged Lucky. I carried Lucky back to the room where Lucky would make his transition to The Rainbow Bridge. My wife and I were both in the room with Lucky. I was kissing Lucky and telling him how much I loved him. Lucky heard my wife's voice and mine as he made his peaceful transition to The Rainbow Bridge. I know he felt our love, and we felt his love. I know Lucky is with the Lord right now looking down on us. I feel so happy he can see again, he can run again, he can walk fast again, and he is with many wonderful friends just like him. My wife and I are heartbroken and very sad. Our home is very lonely without Lucky. We miss him very much. But, our great consolation is that Lucky is happy and free once again. He is not in pain, and he is not suffering. Someday, when the Lord calls my wife and I to come home to him, I know there will be a 21 pound Lhasa Apso waiting for us to receive his hugs and kisses, and visa-versa. God Bless You Lucky Armstrong! We are so proud of you and happy for you! Lucky, thank you for being a wonderful friend, companion and son to us! We Love You Lucky Armstrong! Love, Your proud parents, Lobita and Steven Armstrong
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