Lucky Dog

January 29, 2013  

A dog found abandoned on a train platform brings love and happiness to his family

Lucky pic 1
By Theresa Colalillo

I always feel compelled to tell the story about the day I met my now 13 year old pit bull mix named Lucky. I named him Lucky because I felt lucky to have met him that cold winter day on the platform of a train station in New Jersey. It was January 2000, Martin Luther King Day, and it was about 20 degrees outside. I was on my way to work in New York City and had no ideal that my life was about to change for good.

I walked up the train platform to the barking of a dog; I could hear him, but couldn’t see him. Other commuters appeared to be approaching a bench to try to calm the dog, but every time someone came near the barks sounded more frantic. I did not know how long the dog had been up on the train platform, but he had been there long enough so that there were white feces near his bench.

Being a dog owner and a dog lover, I could not stand to see this dog in distress. Finally, I decided to approach the bench to get a better look at the frightened dog; he barked at me as well. I could tell that he was a pit bull and I had never had any experience with a pit bull dog before, and only remembered hearing negative publicity about this breed. Looking back at my encounter with Lucky that day, I considered myself to be prejudiced against pit bulls, without even fully knowing that I was prejudiced. I decided to call the police to see if they could help this poor, freezing, hungry, and what appeared to be abandoned dog.

I was so touched that I started crying and wrapped my coat around him to keep him warm. I was crying and embarrassed and hoping no one would see me crying, but no one was even paying attention to me and the stray dog on my lap.

There was no identification for this dog, and my gut had told me that he had an owner that he had either gotten away from or had been abandoned by. I certainly wanted a reunion of owner and dog if it indeed was a positive relationship for the dog, but part of me felt a bond with this dog that I did not want to break. At that time I owned a husky who suffered from seizures, he was a handful for me and my family. Since I was young and living at home, I needed approval to take in another dog, and my mother made it clear when I told her I was considering adopting another dog that she was not thrilled and not very supportive. After all, I did travel with my job and I would need the support of the family to watch over another dog if I were away for long periods of time. Plus, I couldn’t imagine taking in another dog and I did not know if the two would get along.

I told the person who came from the pound I was interested in adopting this dog if his owners didn’t claim him. He told me I had eight days – if the owner did not claim him in eight days, I could adopt him. I watched this cute and now happy dog go with the man and jump in the back of the truck. My heart sank. I really wanted to adopt this dog, I was immediately attached to him the moment he jumped on my lap. Out of all those people that approached him that day, he chose to trust me.

That night when I went home I felt empty, I missed the dog I met on the train platform, and I wanted to know how he was doing. I was scared that, because he looked like a pit bull, he would be put down. I thought about him every one of those eight days and kept in touch with the pound so they knew I was serious about adopting him. Finally, I was told that someone had called, but they did not leave a name or contact number, and simply stated that they were missing a pit bull. Something did not sound right about this story but I didn’t care, if they were willing to release him to me I was willing to adopt him. As my mother and I went to pick him up that Saturday morning she joked to my father, “We are going to pick up your grandchild.”

The pound told me that there was someone else interested in adopting him, but they decided not to. I was upset to hear this since I made it clear numerous times that I would adopt him. I understood that people do not always follow through on their promises and if it meant not killing the dog, then they had his best interests in mind. They told me that of all the people that had been looking at him, I was the only one that he went to immediately. He sat underneath my legs and wouldn’t move, he remembered me and was so excited to see me. I volunteered with local animal clinics and I found out that this pound was eventually shut down due to numerous cases of animal abuse. That day I claimed Lucky I brought food for both cats and dogs, I was so hurt that these poor animals were suffering, but so grateful that Lucky got away.

Unfortunately, Lucky and my husky Winston did not get along. Throughout his entire life, Lucky has never gotten along with other dogs. Until Winston passed in 2006, I had to walk each of them separately, but it was worth it to me.

Over the years Lucky has brought me and my family so much love and happiness. Lucky loves to travel and he went on many trips with me. He has shared with me many wonderful milestones in my life, including the purchase of our home, and not-so-great milestones, such as my divorce in 2007. I remarried on December 20, 2012, and am so grateful Lucky could share with me that beautiful day. I had the photographer take some photos of the two of us. Lucky shares his home with a rabbit and a cat we found in a car engine in January. He gets along with his siblings, and even sleeps with them, and they participate in Halloween costume contests together (we won 1st place again this year).

I would cry and cry for hours as he got older, seeing him fight arthritis and having trouble getting up and down the stairs and the bed. He refuses to use doggy stairs so I lift him on his bad days. I never want him to leave me, but I know that is not possible, so I enjoy every day I have with him. I love him more than words can say.

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