Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Lovely Thief of the Neighborhood

The thief that everyone loved

In my last post HERE, I told you the story about how Miau saved Lucky from a bully Rottweiler. This time I'll tell you about my sweet dog, Lucky. 

Lucky and Miau crossed the rainbow bridge long ago and I'd like to believe that they have found each other there, too.

As I pulled into my backyard one day, I saw a pitiful-looking German Sheppard sitting close to my back door. She was very skinny and sick-looking, ribs visible under her thin coat. I got out of my car and took a few steps toward her while talking to her. She watched me intently with chocolate color eyes, sizing me up. I stopped a few feet from her and sat down on the patio chair. My hubby came outside and sat down next to me.

“Where did you get this sickly-looking dog?” I asked.

“She just showed up about an hour ago. I have no idea where she came from.”

After a short time, the dog came closer and put her head on my knees. I patted her for a while and I could feel bumps on her back and sides. I parted her fur and saw old and fresh bruises. “Where did you come from? Who did this to you?” I asked sniffing back tears.

She just looked at me with sadness and trust in her eyes.

Hubby went inside and grabbed bowls of food and water. He placed them close to the dog. She started eating while keeping a wary eye on us. When she was finished, I invited her in. She wouldn’t come inside, so I brought a blanket out and made a temporary bed for her on the patio.

The next morning, I made posters and we posted them in the stores and post office.
When nobody called to claim her after three days, we decided to keep her and took her to our veterinarian.

The vet examined her, took some blood and the next day called us with the results. “She is in bad shape, I’m afraid. She has heartworms and Lyme disease.”

The next day we took the dog to the animal hospital where she stayed for five days getting antibiotics and chemotherapy infusions.

We named her Lucky. She was very weak when we brought her home, but after a few days she started eating better and better and started playing and gaining weight. We noticed that she was afraid of leather boots and if we had a stick or broom in our hands, she cowered. My hubby stopped wearing his boots and we put the brooms in the basement.

Lucky seemed healthier and happier with every passing day, although she had some limitations. She couldn’t run more than a few feet without gasping for air. She loved to be close to us when we were outside, but she refused to step into the house, but she felt safe in the basement when it was raining or thundering. Hubby built a house for her close to the back door and padded the inside with thick carpet. Lucky claimed her new home happily. We tried putting a collar on her, but she became very nervous. We were afraid that she would wander out to the road and get hit by a car, but soon we noticed that she was afraid of the passing cars and never went close to the end of the driveway. But, from the backyard, she started visiting the neighbors on our side of the highway. They didn’t mind. Moreover, they began looking forward to seeing the sweet dog every day.

One morning I went outside to have my coffee on the patio and found a sweater by the chair. Lucky was lying next to the sweater, wagging her tail happily.

I patted her head and asked her, “Where did you get this?” She just looked at me with her big brown eyes.

The next day I found a pair of jeans on the patio, and the following day some bed sheets and a motorcycle helmet. Her collection pile grew every day, and we didn’t know what to do.
“How can you make a dog understand that stealing is not okay?” Hubby scratched his head.
We couldn’t find a solution, so we just kept hoping she would stop.

We got into the habit of going from door to door in the neighborhood with a basketful of stolen goods. We apologized and returned the boots, gloves, screwdrivers, flowerpots, toys, and all other small things she stole. The neighbors understood, and they kind of made a game out of coming to our patio looking for their missing items.

This went on for about a month. On Thanksgiving morning, I saw Lucky dragging something big and heavy tied in a shopping bag. What now? I thought. I went closer to discover a half-thawed turkey inside the bag. I had an idea where the turkey came from when I saw my neighbor coming up the driveway.

“Okay, Lucky, I will draw the line here,” she shouted. “You stole my turkey off the patio table!”

Lucky walked up to her and sat down in front of her. She touched the neighbor’s knee with her nose and looked up at her. The neighbor patted the dog on the head and cooed, “Don’t you try to melt my heart with those puppy eyes."

She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and dropped down on her knees. She hugged Lucky and whispered, "Sorry, Lucky, I know you’re a good dog. I didn’t mean to shout at you.”

Lucky watched the neighbor walking down the driveway with the turkey and from that day on, we never had to return stolen goods to our neighbors as if Lucky understood that stealing is not okay.

I write magical realism, alternate history, epic fantasy novels as well as fun, educational and bilingual books for children ages 2-14 about acceptance, friendship, family, and moral values such as accepting people with disabilities, dealing with bullies, and not judging others before getting to know them.

Click on my PAGE, you might like some of my books and if you'd like to read my older blog posts, you can find the links at the end of my page.