by Julia K. Walsh
Lucky, known by his full name as "Lucky Lindy III" (III because there were other Lucky Lindys in our area with that same name, and Lindy after Charles Lindbergh, since our father worked in aviation).
Lucky came into our lives after my younger sister begged my Dad for a dog enough that he finally relented one night at dinner when I was about 8 and 1/2 years old.
After he said yes, my Mom went to town looking for a dog that was similar to the one that inspired my sister to ask for one (a teacup poodle that she saw a woman carrying in her purse one day in a store) and that's how we came upon picking Lucky.
My Mom found the ad for him and his brothers and sisters in the newspaper, and we went to visit them to choose one of the puppies to take home with us. Lucky was the runt of the litter, and he was the only chocolate colored poodle of the bunch, but unlike the other puppies that day, he came right over to greet us as soon as we walked over to the puppies.
He wasn't shy at all about showing his loving disposition and gentle nature. He was as soft as goose down, and his tiny paws and nose only made him a more convincing case to be taken home, so we picked him.
He rode in the backseat of the car with me on the ride home. We had gotten a collar for him (a regular red one and a flea one - my Mom wanted to be prepared just in case) but both of those collars were so big on his small neck that he could easily squirm out of them, so I ended up holding him on my lap for the majority of the ride.
I was originally scared of dogs from a young age when I had been chased by a neighbor's dog, but Lucky was so wonderful and loving and gentle that I never for a minute was scared of him, nor of other dogs after he came into our lives. He helped me to understand that all dogs just want to be loved and if you greet a dog with an open and joyful heart, even the most disagreeable dog will like you.
After bringing him home, he tentatively went around the house sniffing everything that he could until after a long time of sniffing he finally got tired enough to go to sleep. His bed seemed so big for him, even though it was the smallest size that we could find! He curled up in a little ball in his bed and he went right to sleep.
We didn't have a name picked out for Lucky when we brought him home - and I remember distinctly how we decided on Lucky. The day we brought him home my Mom said that we girls should think of a name that night and we would discuss what to call him the next morning. Well, the funny thing was that the next morning after I woke up I went downstairs and Mom was already awake talking to Grammie and I said to Mom, "I want to name him Lucky because we are so lucky we finally got a dog!" Then Mom said that she had a dream last night and that she dreamed that we had named him Lucky, because we were lucky to get our dog, and lucky to have him. So, that was it - Lucky he was called from then on. (And lucky we certainly were, to have him in our lives!)
I don't remember potty training him much (probably because I was still pretty young) but I do remember that once he was taught where the boundaries of our yard were, he would never go beyond them, even if there was something tempting on the other side. We just let him out the back door, and he did his business and came right back and never left the yard or tried to run away ever.
He loved playing with his tennis ball (he had several over the years because he would chew the fur off of them when they were new and then he got bored with them after they didn't bounce as well - go figure! - and he would play fetch for hours and hours. It seemed, when he was younger, that if you threw the ball for a whole day, he wouldn't get tired of it! I remember times where we actually had to hide his ball somewhere where he couldn't get it (and that meant high up, because any other place, he would certainly sniff it out) because he just wouldn't want to stop playing.
In our old house, there was a long hallway leading to the bedrooms, and we would throw the ball down the hall for Lucky to fetch. Wouldn't you know it - he would already be at the end of the hallway ready to catch the ball before we even threw it. He also liked playing with the ball where he'd keep it in his mouth and you'd try to pull it out. Sometimes his tennis balls would roll under our sofas and he would scratch at the carpet or sofa and try to get them out, or would bark, until one of us got them out for him.
He also chewed the squeakers out of a lot of his plastic toys. He never chewed our belongings, but every time that he got a new plastic toy (particularly balls) he would chew them up into tiny pieces under the kitchen table (immediately after getting the toy) and chew the squeaker out. Though, he did like to rip up tissues and make messes of them on the carpet.
He also really loved to eat peanuts. Our Dad would crack peanuts out of their shells and Lucky would go right over to him so that he could eat some too. He also loved to eat popcorn - he would always beg for it in the family room when we made some while we watched movies.
He had a rope toy that we used for "tug of war" as well - with two knots, one on each end, and I remember that when he was young and in his middle years, he would NOT let that thing go! There were times where we could pick him up off the ground a little because he had such a good grip of that toy in his teeth! He was outrageously strong for such a small dog! (He was only, at the height of his health, 15 pounds and approximately 1 foot tall and 16 inches long.)
Lucky was also an unusually beautiful dog. His chocolate coat and golden colored eyes made him unforgettable to those who saw him. He even had a brown nose (that turned grey/brown as he aged)! People said that they never saw a dog whose eyes were that color, and so we asked our vet about it.
Lucky also did tons of tricks. He never could get "lay down," but he was the master of "sit," "stay," "speak," "jump" (at the height of his health, he could jump up to 5 feet straight up in the air to catch a treat), and he could find his treats when I hid them in my closed hands (even after rubbing both of my hands with dog treats so they smelled the same!). He also did that trick that Lady did in the movie “Lady and the Tramp”, where he held his treat on his nose and then flicked it up in the air and caught it in his mouth.
Lucky always knew when people were sick too. He had a sixth sense for people who were feeling badly, and he would not leave our sides when we were sick or had prolonged illnesses. He would snuggle right up to us and never leave us until we were feeling better (and that was sometimes, a very very long time!).
He loved to run around the yard and tear up clumps of grass (he ran so fast!).
He knew exactly when we got to Grammie's house in the car, even when we were a few blocks away.
He always made a nest in his bed. He liked snuggly things. He would lay down on anything snuggly that you put on the floor. He would even lay down on plastic bags (because they were good for nesting and they molded well), or dirty laundry (he would make a nest in the sheets after they were off the beds).
He liked to be scratched behind the ears. He was the best cuddler of all time. He would snuggle right up to you if you were sitting on the floor, and if you were sitting on the sofa and he liked you (like my boyfriend and other family friends or family members found out) he would jump right up on your lap and look you in the eye waiting to be petted or hugged.
If you were petting him in a way he particularly liked (behind the ears, or on the sides of his face) he had this great habit of nuzzling into you even more (leaning on you, or putting his head up against your arm, or snuggling his nose into your chest) and you could feel all of his muscles loosen up and sometimes he even fell asleep right in your arms.
He taught us that life is better messy, unpredictable, unplanned, and spent caring for those you love. He loved us no matter what - when we weren't perfect human beings, when we scolded him for something stupid, when we didn't spend every free moment petting him.
Lucky knew the word "treat" and "Grammie" and "Mom" and "Dad" and "Julia" and "Jessica." He would go to that person if you said "Lucky, go to (insert person's name here)." He was our brother.
After getting a bath at home in the tub, he would be dried off with a towel, and then he would get so excited that he would run around the house like a maniac at top speed, and only calm down after about 5 attempts to slow him down. He didn't like getting baths while they were happening, but he always seemed happier after he got one.
Most important of all, everyone who knew you, Lucky, knew that you loved them so very much that you were trying to hold on until the very end, just so that they wouldn't have to be sad, and so that they knew how much you wanted to stay with them, even to the point of living when you couldn't anymore. You are the most courageous, loving, loyal, sweet, smart, fun and intuitive dog that our family has ever known, and ever will know, and no one will be able to replace you in our hearts and our memories!
Thank you for teaching us and loving us, no matter what, for all those 16 years and 9 months. It's time for you to rest and know that in your stead of watching over us and loving us, God will do that now. And that he will watch over you and love you too in Heaven. I know that you will meet Grandmom Helen, Grandpa Jake, Grandpa Kilburn, and all the other people who love you and knew you that have gone before you to that wonderful place where you can play all day and never get tired, and where everyone will pet you all the time!
I can't wait to see you when I get there, Lucky. I can't wait to play!
Love you so very much!!!,
your Family! xoxoxoxo
Rest in Peace: 4/5/2010
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