Mary and her husband Jim had a dog, Lucky. Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit, they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy.
Inevitably, someone would forget, and something would come up missing. Mary or Jim would go to Lucky’s toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky’s favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box. He was very particular that his toys stay in the box.
It happened that Mary found out that she had breast cancer. Something told her that she was going to die of the disease. She was scheduled for a double mastectomy, fear riding on her shoulders.
The night before she was to go to the hospital, she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her, what would happen to Lucky? Although the 3-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary’s dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won’t understand that I didn’t want to leave him. This thought deeply saddened her more than the thought of death.
The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated. Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the dog just drooped — whining miserably.
Finally the day came for Mary to come home from the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted, she couldn’t even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife a comfortable bed on the couch and left her to nap. Lucky stood watching Mary, but he didn’t come to her when she called. It made Mary very sad, but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed off.
When Mary awoke, at first she couldn’t understand what was wrong. She couldn’t move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. Panic soon gave away to laughter when Mary realized why she felt this way.
Mary found herself covered, literally blanketed in every treasure that Lucky owned. While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement and back bringing his beloved mistress his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love.
The thoughts of dying soon left Mary’s head, instead she and Lucky began living again, walking farther and farther together every night. It’s been 12 years now, and Mary is still cancer free. Lucky? He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box, but Mary remains his greatest treasure.
— Author unknown.
Kathy Olak is a member of the Huron County Humane Society who writes a monthly column. The Humane Society investigates cases of animal abuse and neglect. The animal abuse hotline is (419) 663-7158.