Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lucky 6/2/97 - 1/29/11

I walk into a room and he isn’t there.  When I am cooking or eating something, I keep looking for him to be at my feet, but he isn’t there.  For over 13 ½ years he was my constant companion.  A sweet, gentle, good-natured dog who loved kids and was wonderful with them.  When our son was younger, he could grab a bone right from Lucky’s mouth and Lucky would just shrug it off.  Lucky’s favorite thing was to go for long walks around the neighborhood, no matter what the weather.  He loved being outside and really loved being out in the snow.  He would lie for hours in it, we thought he was nuts but he was just being Lucky.  If his water bowl was empty, he’d throw it down the steps or across the room to let us know. Give him a shelled peanut, he’d crack the shell and just eat the nut.  
When he was a puppy he literally ate our living room couch and snacked on the kitchen chairs.  He dug massive holes in the yard and dug himself under the fence on more than one occasion.  He thought nothing of reaching up onto the counter grabbing and eating anything he could.  Whether it a whole box of honey buns or a NY Strip.  Nothing was safe, not even shaving cream or chewing gum.  There was very little he wouldn’t eat.  In fact, he begged the first day we brought him home from the puppy place.  7 ½ weeks old and he actually begged for spaghetti.  Of course I gave it to him.  I had a tendency to indulge him too much.  We shared waffles, pizza, perogies, Swedish fish, anything I ate…he did as well.  His weight really shot up but oddly enough it wasn’t his weight or heart that took its toll.  It was arthritis and bad hips that did.  About a year ago he slowly began to physically deteriorate.  His weight dropped considerably, he started walking slower and had a hard time getting up.   We tried different medications that were unfortunately only short term fixes.  For almost everyday of his life he and I went for a walk.  But this past autumn he started walking almost sideways and going for a walk was harder and harder.  But he tried.  One Saturday back in December (2010), I took him for what would be our last walk together.  We made it half way around the block and I ended up having to carry him.  Thank goodness at that point he wasn’t heavy anymore and I was able to get him home.  From that point on we knew it was only a matter of time.  He made it through Christmas and New Years.  But he got to where he could no longer get off the floor without our help.  I was in denial for awhile.  My husband resigned himself to the fact and our son understood how much Lucky was suffering. But I held out as long as I could.  And though he was all of ours, Lucky was closest to me.  I always said he’d follow me off a bridge...LOL!  What made it harder was that his appetite never left nor the begging.  So when I would look into that sweet face, the thought of putting him down broke my heart.  My husband believes Lucky was ready to go, but just held on for us.  I like to believe that as well. 
Making that final decision was the hardest thing we ever had to do.  After the phone call to the vet and the short drive there, the guilt consumed me.  As I sat in the backseat, stroking his ears, the pain of saying goodbye loomed.  Wasn’t sure I was going to be able to go through with it.  But once inside, the vet confirmed that though it was our decision, it was clearly the time.  He had lost more weight and had no muscle tone.  His bones were protruding as he weighed a mere 26 pounds, when at his heaviest he was 92.  So it had to be done.  We reluctantly said our goodbyes and told him we’d see him in heaven some day.  Then I whispered in his ear that he and I would go for those walks again.  We left the room and when we saw him a few minutes later he had passed.  He was no longer suffering.  My heart aches for him and miss him terribly.  But I know he’s still here in spirit and knowing we had hands down the BEST dog ever…makes me feel better.  Love you Lucky!  J

No comments:

Post a Comment