Rest in Peace, Lucky

Last Portrait of Lucky - Austin, Texas

Last Portrait of Lucky – Austin, Texas

Lucky, our family dog, died two days ago.

He was showing signs of age and his hips started to bother him, but the prognosis we got at the animal hospital shocked us. The ultrasound revealed a massive tumor — too large to operate. The doctor gave Lucky a day or two at most. I was hoping he would be around for another year or so.

We brought Lucky back home for several more hours with the family. We pampered him with treats and even meatballs, which he had for the first time. Then we all took turns taking pictures with him by the Christmas tree. At 10pm, we all rode to hospital and spent a final hour there, until two injections quickly and painlessly made him sleep for the last time.

I feel pangs of sadness as I write this. But things turned out for the best.

First, Lucky appeared to suffer no pain. We didn’t want him to hang on and experience pain at the end. Second, the family and I were in San Francisco for the last week, during the Christmas holiday. We are so thankful that he didn’t pass while we were away. We got to meet him for one last time and we were all with him at the end. And, while 10 3/4 years sounds way too short for a dog, I hope he had a good life with us.

Long time readers of the blog know that, over the years, Lucky was always a willing model for my new equipment. Here are some of the cameras he help test.

Sony NEX-5 November, 2010
Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 Lens on Olympus E-P3 October, 2012
Olympus E-PM2 November, 2012
Olympus XZ-1 February, 2013
Canon 6D May, 2013
Canon G15 July, 2013
Olympus TG-2 July, 2013
Nikon 1 J1 January, 2014
Pentax Q December, 2014
Ricoh GR September, 2016
Canon G7X Mark II December, 2017

I didn’t shoot Lucky with every camera. Ironically, I don’t have test images from my current primary cameras, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and PEN-F. However, I did shoot my last portrait of Lucky with the PEN-F, up top.

I still remember fondly, after the rest of the family went to bed, Lucky would make the rounds in the house and then sleep next to me as I processed pictures and blogged in the office. I was often the last person to sleep in the house. When I finished, he would accompany me to the bedroom.

Lucky was a great dog. We will all miss him.

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18 thoughts on “Rest in Peace, Lucky

  1. It is always difficult to lose a fur-baby. After my ex-husband left our beloved Bear (a beautiful black German shepherd-Belgian sheep dog mix who had grown up with our children) alone at the vet’s office to be put down alone by the vet, I swore I’d never let another fur-baby die alone. Since then I have held my cocker spaniel Charley (who saw me through a divorce, 3 moves, a new marriage, and the passing of my mother) while the vet lovingly administered the drugs that helped him cross peacefully to the Rainbow Bridge. About 3 years ago our sweet Obi Wan went around to each of us telling us goodbye; then he had me lift him up on the couch beside me, laid down next to me and peacefully crossed over to wait for us. It hurts but not nearly as much as leaving one to die alone.

    1. Thanks, kalendaj2013. I was initially surprised that the vet was going to put Lucky to sleep in front of us. But in retrospect, it had a powerful sense of togetherness and closure.

  2. My condolences Andy. Never easy to say goodbye to a faithful friend. Good picture too. Those Pen F’s were great. Wish I could have kept mine.

  3. I am truly sorry and a bit sad. I have other pets now but last year I lost withing 6 weeks both my Maltese and cat. I still think about what I could have done better and I loved them very much. I believe they were very happy and made me HAPPY. I feel for all of you. I pray this next year God will bring you peace and eventually joy in the Holy Spirit. Love you in Christ Jesus, Pat.

  4. Andy, I know exactly how you feel. My wife and I have been living with Labrador Retrievers since we started dating in 1982. Her first Lab was named Rhett, and she’d gotten him back in 1979. Over the years we’ve had yellows, chocolates, and blacks, male and female. They’ve been a joy to live with and a tremendous loss when they left us. We always kept in mind that their leaving us was more than balanced with the beautiful memories they left behind. Their lives with us (as Lucky’s with you) was one of joy, love, and contentment. Lucky always instinctively knew you’d do what was best for him, and all the way up to, and including, the end, you did.

    You were a wonderful owner, and he was a wonderful dog. You can’t ask for more than that.

  5. So sorry for your loss, Andy. Dogs have such an unfairly short lifetime. The pain of losing one is a horrible thing to go through, especially around the holidays. I still miss Chloe so much. I was actually going through my blog archives today and came across her obituary I’d written. Even after a year and a half now, I still fight back the tears when looking at photos of her. I well remember the Christmas of 2016 when she started to get weak from her tumor. I asked her to stay with me for Christmas if she could and she ended up giving me almost 4 months longer before her cancer took her. That girl gave me a lot of love. We can take comfort in knowing we were the best doggy daddies we could be. I know you gave Lucky a great life. RIP Lucky and if you find Chloe on the other side of that rainbow bridge, tell her I still love her.

    1. Thank you, Mike. I remember when Chloe passed, too.

      I wonder if cancer in dogs accelerate a lot quicker than in people. Or that dogs are so stoic that it’s hard to tell.

      As a parent, there is a double whammy. Of course the loss of Lucky is huge but to see the sadness that it causes in your kids is also heartbreaking.

      Painful as it is, at least the entire family was with Lucky, when he passed.

  6. Condolences to you and your family, Andy. Joyce have been privileged to share our lives with a goodly number of dogs and cats (when you live in the country they come to you unbidden) and I don’t want to contemplate life without my canine and feline brothers and sisters. Every loss is really tough.

    I’m glad you folks had Lucky to enhance your lives, and you his.

  7. Sorry Andy, I know that feeling all too well, hope you find comfort in knowing Lucky is in a better place, I feel your sadness, all the best to you and the family

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