Friday, October 14, 2011


I've made a new friend.  He's 77, blind in one eye and has a skin condition that makes him look rather speckled. His name is Lucky and he is Ace's 11-year-old Dalmatian.

Believe it or not, even with my allergy to animal dander, Lucky and I get along famously.  I never really understood why people have pets, but after being around Lucky, I now understand why.  He's my pal.  When I'm feeling down, he comes to cheer me up and otherwise he's a serious attention sponge who needs affection as much as I like to give it.  For how tactile I am, Lucky is a great fit for me because for how much I need to touch things to give affection, he just laps it up.

On Wednesday night, Ace remarked that I've seemed happier since I've started taking an active role in taking care of that speckled old man.  I've given him a bath, brushed him, walked him, ran with him, he's snuggled with me while I read for school and just been a really good companion while Ace is busy.  

The only downside to Lucky is that well, to quote Jeff Dunham, "Saddam's mustard gas is nothing next to a Lucky fart."  Lucky reminds me very much of a large dog by the name of Cedric in James Herriot's Dog Stories. The dog can clear a room with one very inhumane foghorn-like blast.  Many a time I've fanned my nose going, "Jeezus dog!", "Eat some roughage!", "Go outside and clean out!", "Good gods, what died?", "Jeezus Lucky, light a match.", and the usual, "Ace!  Lysol!  Now!"  Oh, the pure stank that can come out of that dog will even send the olfactory-challenged running for cover like they just got smoked out of a burning building.

But, tear-bringing farts aside, I've never had a pal like Lucky.  For all of the rumors I've heard about Dalmatians being very high strung, Lucky's not like that, he's extremely sedate because of his age, the fact that he has arthritis and a severe case of hip dysplasia.  However, when he's feeling spry, that mooch pooch will play, run and goof off unlike any dog I've ever seen, and to be honest, he's the first canine friend I've ever really had outside of my sister's dearly departed Bo.  Bo was my favorite dog of all time.  He was so incredibly smart and beautiful, but as my sister tells it, he got to be one heck of a codgery old man.  Lucky's no different.  At 11, he's an old codger, but he's also what I term as a "face dog."  He's got one of those great faces that begs you to love on him.  He's very much Pongo from Disney's animated 101 Dalmatians...

But he is a real sweetheart, just like his Doggie Daddy.  The one thing that makes Lucky stand out to me away from every other dog I've seen is that he has a woobie.  Yep, he's got a security blanket.  I've never seen anything like it.  I mean, Carl takes his Doberman "Reese" and turns that miniature horse into an ottoman, and both of Nan and Carl's doberman's have their own oversized ottoman as a bed, but not even Zoe the fox terrier has a security blanket.  But, like a young child, there's Lucky with his woobie.  It's great.  There is nothing more fun than covering him up and watching him toss the blanket around until he gets it just right then flops down with a satisfied sigh and a face that says, "You may love on me now..."

Gee, I think I will.

Ace adopted Lucky as a last-chance dog.  He was on his third strike when Ace picked him out at the pound and I have to take my hat off to Ace because he not only saved Lucky's life, but he's done a brilliant job with Lucky, he's snap trained, he listens and when the pit bull mentality that was bred into the Dalmatian line long ago rears it's head, he can be a real stubborn so and so...

But I will tell you without a shadow of a doubt, I'm the luckiest of them all, I can say I've got a canine pal who pours as much love into me as I do into him.

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