We first met Lucky at the SPCA in Sacramento, CA on January 26, 2007. We were looking for a companion for our Basset Hound, Lulu who was ten months old. We thought it would be great to get another Basset Hound, but we had already searched two other shelters with no luck. When we walked around the kennels at the SPCA, we didn't find any Basset Hounds at all so we decided to leave. Just as we passed the large horseshoe-shaped reception counter, my husband noticed a Basset Hound sitting in the middle of it! He pointed him out to me and I excitedly went over to the counter and asked if "that dog" was available for adoption. The lady told us some people were interested in him, but were still looking around. So we decided to wait to find out if they adopted him or not. After a bit of waiting, we were told the couple had selected a different dog and asked if we were still interested. We said yes so they took us to a visiting room to meet "Max." As soon as he came in the door he took a look around, came right over to me, backed up and sat down letting everyone know he had made his selection. Everyone laughed. He was beautiful! He was black and white with a reddish-brown head and ears. His back was mainly black but he had this large diamond-shaped outline in white (approx 6" long) in the middle of his back. His eyes were a soulful brown and reflected a sense of loyalty, love and trust. I fell in love with him at that very moment ~ he and I were soul mates and a beautiful relationship developed instantly. Because Lucky was approximately five years old, he qualified for the Senior Adopt for Life program and since my husband was over sixty, we got him at no cost (he was listed at $100 dollars). He did have a slight cough, but we were told he was just overly excited.|
After some paperwork and a quick visit with Lulu, we were able to bring him home. Since we didn't know his birthdate, we gave him the date of January 26, 2002. That was the day we got him and the year that reflected the approx. age of five years old. It was a Friday so I had the weekend for us to get to know each other before I went back to work on Monday (my husband was retired). But the following day, "Max" started not feeling well. He started coughing more and having a whitish excessive drool. I knew something was really wrong as he got weaker and weaker. Finally, we took him to the emergency hospital because he was having trouble breathing. The Veterinarian diagnosed him with double pneumonia and bronchitis. He also told us he probably wouldn't have lasted through the weekend without medication. That's when "Max" became "Lucky." Had we not adopted him, he probably would have died there at the SPCA being the weekend and all. The SPCA was gracious enough to pay half of Lucky's hospital bill.
So once Lucky regained his health, he let everyone know he was in charge! I had recalled the reason the previous owner had given him up. They wrote that Lucky required too much attention. I thought that was a mean reason to give a pet up, but their loss was our gain. And yes, he did want lots of attention, but in return, he gave us lots of attention too. He was very protective of his new family and made sure Lulu knew he was the "alpha male" as well. He liked to sleep on the loveseat, the recliner and yes, in our bed. His place was to curl-up right into the bend of my legs and he stayed there all night. Lucky didn't do anything halfway. He slept a lot, ate a lot, shed a lot and barked a lot. But he loved a lot too and I really felt his love. He loved to be with me where ever I was and yes, that included the bathroom too! LOL!
The first time we took him and Lulu to a dog park, Lucky was very territorial of me. He actually peed on my shoe to mark me as his! He wouldn't let any of the other dogs near me. It was so hilarious even if I did lose a good pair of shoes! Funny Lucky! He was crazy for treats too. He knew right where they were kept and would run straight to the pantry anytime we went near the kitchen. A couple of times, he literally pulled a small bag of potatoes out of the pantry. On one occasion, he actually got the bag outside! He was gnawing away on a potato when I caught him. Funny Lucky! He loved his water too and would actually knock over the small water tank when it was empty just to let us know it was empty. But one of the most moving things Lucky did was when my husband would recite the Rosary in the afternoons, wherever Lucky was, he would come running and would sit very patiently in front of Larry until he was finished. Loyal Lucky - Funny Lucky - Smart Lucky - Spiritual Lucky.
Lucky's life got real complicated when we decided to breed Lulu. Lucky had already been neutered so he wasn't an option, but I sure wish he had been. It would have been so wonderful to have his puppies too! Anyway, Lucky became "Uncle Lucky" to Lulu's seven puppies on July 2, 2010. And although he didn't like losing so much attention to the puppies, he mostly tolerated them. But I have to say, he did end up nipping every one of them at least once! He didn't really hurt them, but you would have thought he was murdering them to hear them tell it! Bad Lucky! Well eventually all the pups found wonderful homes except one... we kept the runt and named her Honey. She was a honey and Lucky just tolerated her along with Lulu. She was one more permanent attention-grabber he would have to share us with. Poor Lucky!
Well the years rolled by and as Lucky grew older, he slowed down and started getting gray around the eyes. I had to face the fact that I would lose him some dreadful day. I would give him extra love and attention and tell him how much I loved him often - I would hug on him and rub him, pet him and even dance with him too. He actually would act like a bull putting his head down, throwing his rear around, and jumping and he would even make a kind of snorting sound! We called it "doing the bull."
In the fall of 2012, we moved to Arizona and Lucky seemed to adapt well to his new surroundings. But he had developed a nasty cough before we moved and it continued here. The Veterinarians in California and here said it was "Chronic Canine Geriatric Cough." Not curable, just another sign that Lucky was getting older and more frail. The cough was so bad at night, I had to make the difficult decision to ban all the dogs out of the bedroom so we could get some sleep. I felt bad because Lucky wanted to be with me so bad he literally slept on the floor outside our bedroom door (I still have his towel laying there - I can't bring myself to remove it yet). We just had a child gate up so we could still hear him, but at least he could see us.
On July 15th, we took Lucky to the Vet because he was having trouble walking - his front right leg was bothering him. I thought it was his paw but the Veterinarian said it was his knee (I didn't know dogs had knees). So he told us to give him some glucosamine which worked really well. While I was at the Vet's, I mentioned that Lucky had developed several soft lumps on his body and some sort of large. The vet checked them all out and said they were nothing to worry about. Lucky had a good strong heart beat and we would probably have him another two to three years. I was so happy to hear that news!
But that happiness was short-lived, just three weeks later Lucky was back at the Veterinarian's office. In the end (after 6 yrs and not quite 7 months with us), he developed pancreatitus which he just couldn't recover from. We tried everything including IVs with medicine at the Veterinarian's during the day. He wouldn't eat anything... not even his beloved treats. At home he started looking for places to hide - I knew then he was looking for a place to die.
At the end of the third day, I was told that nothing more could be done for my Lucky boy and I was left with no choice but to put him down. I didn't want him to suffer, but I didn't want to lose him either.
I was so heartbroken and still am. I cry easily just thinking about him... I'm left with so many questions. Did I do the right thing? If I had given him more time, would he have recovered? Was he suffering? He didn't act like it. I wanted one more day, but he couldn't even walk anymore - I couldn't take him home. He kept looking at me - what was he asking me with those big beautiful soulful eyes? Was he pleading with me to fix him or to let him go?
I still see him everywhere in the house and outside too. I can still hear his bark and see how his tail wags in his excitement for a treat. At those times, I get this emotion that overwhelms me and my heart speeds up slightly ~ I take a deep breath and let it out slowly... I want to think about him, but it makes me so very sad. I look to the day that all these memories will turn from sad ones to those of comfort. I know Lucky would want that for me.
8/16/13: We picked up Lucky's ashes yesterday. I was okay until I saw that they had also provided a paw print in plaster in a beautiful leather case. My tears were of sadness and happiness all at the same time. I was so happy to have that paw print ~ it was like getting a piece of Lucky back. Of course, it also brought back the realization that this is all really happening ~ my Lucky is really gone. I really thank Alvin at the animal clinic who cared for Lucky while he was there. He has been so incredibly supportive and loving. He actually had that paw print done as a gift to us. Such a thoughtful and caring person. I feel fortunate to have found this veterinarian office ~ the whole office is wonderful. You can tell each one of them really care about the animals and their owners.
6/20/15: We ended up with another one of Lulu's pups (Joey) who is a very sweet, sweet boy. So our home is filled with three furbaby Basset Hounds once again. Lulu is slowing way down and I watch her closely for any serious problems hoping we have her for another year or two (she will be ten next March 2016). Life has never been the same without our Lucky boy... we think of him and miss him often and I'm sure that will never change. After several months I was finally able to pick up his towel, put away his dog collar and let Joey use Lucky's feeding bowl. That was a biggie for me! I found a beautiful black and white photo frame that says "Imprinted in Our Hearts" with a couple little paw prints on it. I put a favorite picture of Lucky in it and have it displayed on my bookcase next to my desk... it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling each time I look at it. I love you Lucky...