Archive for August, 2010

Lucky

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

 

Lucky  

   

            Our shop worked Austin and surrounding cities.  This put us on the road a lot of each working day.  One misty cold November day, returning from Manor, I witnessed a near fatal accident.  Crossing the road ahead was a small rusty colored dog.  Passing my pickup on the left was a sports car driving at great speed.  Almost in slow motion I could see the dog and car meet in the middle of the road.  The car sped on, but the dog was knocked into the ditch at the side of the road.  I stopped, backed up and ran to the dog.  He lay quiet, still, and bleeding.  I sensed he was alive, but in dire shape.  I picked him up from the wet, cold grass and lay him gently in the floorboard of my pickup.  He was still breathing.

At the shop we placed him near the fire on a mat.  In a few hours he moved, opened his eyes and gave us that look of, “What happened?”  He then lay still and we knew his life was in the hands of fate.  Fate won.

The next day he was awake, lapped up some water and a bite of food.  Looking at him lying on the mat of shop towels, we agreed he was one lucky dog.  And that is how he earned his name.

            Lucky was a small dog, hardly fifteen pounds, golden in color and frisky.  He became our “Shop Dog,” and was good at his assumed task.  Each morning he waited at the pickup to ride to the shop with me.  At the shop he would find the coolest spot in the summer and the warmest in the winter, to take up his task of being a shop dog.  Lucky greeted all guests that came to the shop with a sniff and quick tail waging, then resume his post.  Deliverymen were given the same hearty greeting, but with a more guarded personality.  A gentle pat on the head and he wagged his little tail and resumed guard duty.  Customers got the full warm treatment.  Lucky always had a friendly bark with plenty of tail wagging, which made them feel properly welcomed.

            Lucky had one annoying habit.  He refused to eat dog food.  The only thing he would eat was table scraps.  I guess he felt he was human, and we soon came to understand he possible was; Alice always fixed him a plate as if he were a guest at the house also.  He didn’t seem to mind taking his plate on the back porch, which was a surprise.  He even ate the green beans and carrots on the plate.  Often, when Alice wasn’t looking, I made sure he got an extra serving of vegetables from my plate.

            Those were idyllic times.  Lucky enjoyed riding with me to the shop, watching the traffic whizzing by and growling at fast sports cars.  Keeping his post guarded at the shop seemed to be a pleasant time for him. At about 4:30 in the afternoon, Lucky would stir from his nap to announce it was time to go home.  I usually agreed with him. He would happily run to the pickup and wait for me to open the door.  In he would hop and assume his stance by the window to watch his world slide by.

            But large, mean, dogs roamed our neighborhood.  Lucky tangled with one to many.  We buried him beneath the giant oak in the back yard with all the pomp and ceremonies a sad family could muster. Even Lucky’s streak ran out.  We still miss him.