This was Lucky's last summer with us. She passed away 27 March at 16 years of age. She was our first four-legged family member. Sixteen summers ago when we were in Taiwan for holiday, she appeared on our street in Tianmu. She was about three months old, according to the vet. She was a stray, purebred mutt and Mom allowed us to bring her home, and then back to the States with us. Where we used to live, there was really tall grass, and she loved running (more like frolicking) through it. To keep her head above the grass line, she'd have to jump very high, and boy could she bounce. Her movement looked that of something between a squirrel and a deer and a dog. She was very graceful and a lot of fun to look at, especially when she had her ears tucked back.
(image via Google/SFGate)
Before Miffy came along, she loved playing with Megan, the black pointer mutt with a white tipped tail that lived up the street. Every time we asked her, "where's Megan," she'd tip her head and turn her ears this way and that. If we ask her again, "where's your friend Meggie?" she'd tip her head the other way and then start running in circles, knowing it was time go for a visit. After Miffy came along, we went hiking a lot. There were no sidewalks where we lived, but there were trails for people and horses on which to walk and trot. Miffy would chase after deer, but since Lucky would stay close and keep me company. Sometimes we would walk to Megan's house, and sometimes we would go to Westwind Barn to look at horses or venture into the nearby Byrne Preserve, which had a hidden valley that was a cool escape from the hot summer sun.
At home, there was a space on the second floor of the house that had only three things - a sofa, an end table and a window that was about three meters wide. It was for made for looking down the hill, across San Francisco Bay and over to Fremont after the morning fog lifted. Lucky sometimes spent entire afternoons on that sofa, staring out that window. I always wondered what she was thinking about. She was a really smart dog. She was the mastermind between every fight and shouting match with other dogs. She used to bark and Miffy would come running, hurling down our front lawn hill like a big black blob of something best not messed with. Then Lucky would step back and let Miffy scare off whoever was walking by. Lucky was like the mafia boss and Miffy was her henchman. But one time, Miffy was not around when Lucky barked. The intruding dog then chased Lucky all the way home. Usually, the garage door was open and the girls often came in through there. But that time it was closed. Dad happened to be by the window and saw Lucky running for her life, looking like she was thinking, "where is Miffy my bodyguard?!!!" Up the hill she came, and when she realized the garage door was closed and that other dog was not slowing down, her expression (according to Dad) was "oh, sh*t."
Time flies. That was at least 13 years ago, before I went away to university.
After Mom and Dad moved back to Taipei 11 years ago, they decided to bring Lucky and Miffy with them. What a life these two had. They've been on planes, were driven around in Jaguars, BMWs and Mercedes Benzs. My goodness. It makes me want to reincarnate into one of Mom's dogs in my next life.
Lucky was our first dog and first four-legged family member. But more than a pet and something to play with, I think she was sent to look after us. We never really had to worry about her, and it was her that taught us how to care for and give love to someone who needed it.
Lucky, thank you for 16 years of love and lessons.