In Loving Memory

3/26/04 update: Very sad news!

See the story from LaFollette Press on Lucky

3/22/04 Update available!

3/8/04 Update available!

Hi! My name is Lucky and I am a senior (we aren't sure how old yet) male Cocker Spaniel that was rescued from a rural shelter in TN. I was abandoned along with another Cocker Spaniel in such a matted condition that neither one of us could walk. The shelter staff opted to send the other dog to doggie heaven because it was in such horrid shape it appeared to be in a lot of pain. However, they made the decision to do all they could to save me. And I'm so glad they were able to see beneath all the mats and the filth - to see the sweet, loving boy that I am.

Anyway, the shelter staff, as busy as they were, called SBRET to see if they could help me - and of course my SBRET buddies came - they are the biggest softies ever. The shelter also called the local paper - who sent a reporter to do a story on me and take my picture. The shelter worker also volunteered to drive me to the vet's office for my SBRET friends - because I was so nasty they didn't think I should go in anyone's personal automobile. These things together should tell you how horrible I looked - the mats on me were bigger than most of the dogs in the group! This should also show you the lengths that some shelters will go to - to try to save the poor defenseless animals in their care.

Anyway, once I was at the vet's office, they gave me my shots (probably the first I had ever had) and called the groomer in to work on my hair. Believe it or not she was able to save some of it - my SBRET buddies thought I would be totally bald for sure! But, amazingly enough, I still have hair. Look at me now - aren't I beautiful? The good news is that I feel so much better. I am thriving in my foster home, and despite my past life without care or love, my tail wags non stop and I get along great with all my foster brothers and sisters. The bad news is that I have been diagnosed with heartworms, and they are pretty far along - as I already have a slight cough. My SBRET buddies have checked around, and although the treatment can be rough, many dogs in the shape I am in have made it through heartworm treatment. So, they know in their hearts they have to try - for I have been through so much in my life. They know that I deserve the chance to be healthy again and live the rest of my life in a warm house, with good food, and lots of love and happiness. It just amazes everyone that this horrid disease is so easily and inexpensively prevented, but people still opt to not take the time to give their pets heartworm preventative

Anyway, heartworm treatment involves several things - like x-rays, bloodwork, overnight stays at the vet, and follow-up care. In other words - it takes money! For a dog of my size - even with a discount - it will probably cost $300 or more - with no complications. So, I need YOUR help! Every little bit helps. SBRET desperately needs donations in ANY amount to help pay for this treatment! They thought they could pay for this without asking for any help - but all of a sudden they have two dogs with heartworms and one in the Pet ER right now (the deposit alone for that was $600). So if you can, please help SBRET help me have the life I deserve - you'll be so glad you did!

You can find more information about heartworms at .

3/8 Update on Lucky:  Lucky was taken for his initial evaluation regarding heartworm treatment today, which consisted of x-rays and extensive bloodwork. Lucky's x-rays, as we suspected, showed a significantly enlarged heart that is already starting to push against his trachea. That's the bad news. The good news is that Lucky's bloodwork, surprisingly, was normal! This means that his heart enlargement has not yet adversely affected the functions of his other organs, the best we can tell. Because of the potential complications that can result with an older dog with this stage of heartworm disease, we have chosen a slow course of treatment which involves one injection now (versus a course of two within days). Then we will nurse him through this most dangerous part of his recuperation, and hopefully, in about 4-5 weeks, bring him back for a follow-up treatment. We all know this is risky, but we feel this is the only choice we can make - as we will NOT euthanize him just because of someone else's failure to care for him - and we cannot let him continue to live with this disease that will slowly cause his heart to work harder and harder! We have scheduled Lucky's first treatment for Friday, 3/12. We chose this date as recommended by our vet because the chance for an adverse reaction is at the greatest around 3-5 days after treatment. We wanted to make sure our vet would be open in case he needs to be taken there for care. So please keep Lucky in your thoughts and prayers. He has had such a hard life, we hope we are doing the right thing by trying to make the remainder of his life better. We are also still trying to raise the money for his treatment, so DONATIONS OF ANY AMOUNT are much needed and appreciated! As of 3/9 we have raised $50 specifically for Lucky!

3/22/04 Update: It has been 10 days since Lucky had his first heartworm treatment and so far he is doing wonderfully. He is coughing a bit more than he was, but this is as expected. We couldn't be more pleased with his progress to date. So, please keep your fingers crossed for our Mr. Lucky! He's a tough little guy, that's for sure!

Donations can be paid via check (send to: SBRET; P.O. Box 22482; Knoxville, TN 37933), PayPal

, or even paid directly to my veterinarian. Just ask my SBRET buddies for the vet info.

3/26/04 Update: Very sad news!

Lucky unexpectedly passed away this morning (3/26/04). Although we knew his heartworm disease was severe, and that the treatment would be risky, we were not prepared for this - as he seemed to be doing so well. We will write more later, when some of the shock has subsided. We have made arrangements to have Lucky cremated, and his ashes to be returned to us. He lived his life as a "throw-away" dog - we will not just leave him to be "disposed of." We thought of him as our own dog, and we will treat him in death, as we did in life, with the dignity he deserves. We will try to make ourselves remember that the three weeks we had him may have been the best he had in his life, and we were able to give this to him. And with the help of SBRET supporters, we tried to save him, by providing him with the heartworm treatment he needed. He just lived too long with this disease, and with the ignorant person(s) that chose to let him get in this shape in the first place. Goodbye, you sweet, little undemanding soul, who asked for nothing more than a soft pat on the head, food, water, and a warm place to sleep. In return you gave us all your love and trust, and for this we are honored. We were amazed at your ability to love and trust us, but we are so happy that you did. We will never forget you or your constantly wagging tail, enjoying life to the fullest, despite the condition you were in. Bye bye, sweetie. We love you.



Lucky Lucky
This is Lucky with all the mats...BEFORE he was groomed!

Story about Lucky in LaFollette Press