A Tribute to Lucky

I gave a brief introduction to the cats, so it’s only fair I tell you about Lucky, too. Unlike the cats, he’s illiterate (thank goodness those felines lack opposable thumbs) so I get the freedom to be totally candid without fear of him reading this. Living with Lucky is like living with someone who feigns split personality disorder. He’s constantly torn between charming pup vs. rebellious weasel. He’s very smart–think Brian on Family Guy, but with fewer ambitions and obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

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Lucky was rescued from a Los Angeles intersection when he was a tiny rat, earning his name. He’s a sandy and white terrier mutt who uses his heart-melting ears and eyes to full advantage. I wouldn’t consider him trendy, but as a true native Angeleno, he’s adopted a signature look: subtle Mohawk, Fu Manchu ‘stache with spiked collar. It totally works on him and he knows it. The effect is this old man/cute pup face. I’ll admit, he was blessed with that je ne sais quoi that I lack, and I feel both envious and possessive when posting his picture on Facebook and seeing the Likes skyrocket. His photos elicit comments, for criminy sakes. And not your usual, “How cute!!!” but people actually say hello, how are you, I miss you, etc. He hardly ever hangs out with these people. Sorry, I (jealously) digress.

We have no idea what sort of puppyhood he endured before joining the family, but we’ve witnessed some disturbing signs–most notably, a hatred of weapons. Whether a squirt gun or a kitchen knife, he loses all manners at the mere sight, making an abrupt exit. I expect if you pull out a kitchen knife, most dogs gaze up with innocent eyes, hoping for a dropped cut of cheese. Not Lucky. He’s high-tailed it under the bed before you can attempt an explanation. Granted, this could be attributed to the action movies his (human) daddy adores or a sympathy for the Democratic party, but as I understand, this sensitivity has plagued him since puppyhood.

Rebelliousness has manifested in defecating repeatedly beside the neighbor’s Curb Your Dog sign. Maybe that’s my bad, as the owner, but when I look at that sign I hear that miserable bass singing “No dogs allowed” on Snoopy Come Home and empathy gets the best of me. (I pick it up, anyways). Another bad habit I’ve noticed is a beeline for the garbage whenever we leave the house. I’m not sure if it’s a coping strategy—eating his feelings—or if he’s outright rebelling because we didn’t invite him. Emotions can deeply affect a tender heart. One day, he decided to take himself for a walk and got adopted by a Korean family. Within a few hours of his absence, we spotted them walking Lucky in the neighborhood, bathed and fed. I can only guess he was feeling underappreciated and needed to make a point.

But for the most part, obedience and affection prevail. He snuggles with shameless ferocity, wedging his little body airtight alongside you, no matter the position. He tolerates baths and ridiculous outfits with such patience—I’m inclined to think attention is his Achilles heel. Speaking of heel, his deftness of paw is astounding; when the leash gets wrapped around legs or trees, he untangles with ease! Walks intrigue me. He sniffs with the fury of a thousand bloodhounds. What on Earth can his nose detect? By length of time and intensity, I can only guess make, model, gender, age, treat preference, and play-date availability of canine passersby.

I can’t keep track of his circles, but if you know Lucky, hopefully I’ve done him justice. He’s a gem of a dog: one of a kind, really. I hope he’d be happy with this short account, and I hope he’d have equally kind things to say about his humans.

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