IMPS Success Story: Lucky

Tue, 14 Feb 2006 10:09:38 -0600 - from Lori


This is the story about my baby, a kind of a Cinderella story for the dog world. Many of you have heard about Lucky in some form, but I thought his whole story was worth telling. I had just begun volunteering with IMPS when our organization was notified of a 2- year-old male min pin in a shelter in Bay City. The only thing we knew about him was that his owners had been killed and he had been inside the house with the dead bodies for approximately 10 days. I called the shelter to see about picking him up. It was then I learned a little more about his background: His owners had been murdered by their son and he and two other dogs were left in the house with the bodies. The family of the murder victims had taken him to the shelter to be PTS. The shelter said the people did not really like the dog because he did not mind well and several times they had to chain him outside and deny him food and water to "punish" him. To this day he has no hair on the underside of his neck from this mistreatment. Thankfully, the shelter workers did not have him put to sleep but instead called IMPS, but I could tell from the things the shelter lady said she was afraid of this dog.

When I met the person transporting him, she told me he was a very aggressive dog and she did not see how he could be saved. I went to him and picked him up. You could tell he was afraid but he never growled or tried to bite. The lady said he was always so mean to everyone at the shelter and was amazed at the way he seemed to trust me. I found out that ironically his name was Lucky. I transferred Lucky to my home where I have a 17 year old son, two daughters (ages 6 & 7) and a six month old female min pin. Up to this point Lucky showed no aggressive behavior but seemed very frightened. He took to me immediately and accepted the rest of my family with no difficulty or signs of aggression.

I was only going to keep Lucky overnight as another IMPS volunteer was to meet me to foster him. But he seemed so scared; I did not want him to be any more traumatized than necessary. So I contacted IMPS and agreed to foster him until he could be adopted. Within a matter of days Lucky was comfortable enough to be treated as one of the family. Certain things, such as my son, still upset him. I think this may have to do with the son who killed his former owners. And he hates anyone to lie on the floor. I remember one time in particular when I was cleaning my daughter's room and had lain on the floor to retrieve some toys from under the bed. Lucky began barking this high pitched, scared bark and within minutes was pulling my clothes trying to get me up. I can only imagine how long he tried to revive his previous owners that way.

As time passed Lucky became a major part of our lives, attaching himself and his loyalty mainly to me. I began working with training treats and within just a few hours, he was sitting, lying down, shaking hands and playing "guess which hand", all on command. I found him to be very intelligent and eager to please me, following my commands with no effort on my part whatsoever.

It was obvious to our family that this was where Lucky belonged. This magnificent little min pin with all his baggage had stolen our hearts. This was our first experience with what rescuers call "foster failure". It was clear to Lucky -- and to us -- that he was finally "home".

I wish I could say everything has been perfect from that day on. But as we all know, nothing with min pins is ever how it seems. These little darlings tend to test your limits daily. After shredding my sofa, we learned the value of a crate and a Kong (thanks for that advice Ginger). He still has issues with my son and we are working with Annette Betcher (an animal communicator) on that as well as some other things.

A lady once suggested to me that Lucky had characteristics of a show dog, so I began trying to check into his background. I contacted a man with AKC via email who called me to tell me he could not transfer AKC papers. I told him I did not want the papers, I was just trying to find out if indeed he was registered. After much digging and many emails, the man told me he was, in fact, registered and was once a show dog. I discovered his previous owners had their membership and privileges revoked because they were discovered beating him during a show to teach him how to "behave" in a dog show. I was appalled but glad that Lucky had finally had some good luck in his life.

Recently Lucky was in an online dog show and I found out that he was also afraid of cameras. It hurts me so to see that even a year later there is still so much going on inside his head that no one can understand. I don't try and understand him, I just love him and he seems happy with that.

Lucky has been through so much in his short lifetime, but has become a loved, cherished, loyal and protective member of our family. He finally has a permanent loving home for the rest of his life where he can forget the past and concentrate on the good road ahead. Lucky is truly an angel sent from God to complete my life. He is such a momma's boy and I love him so much. I honestly believe that he saved me as much as I saved him.


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