We called her Lucky because of the way she came to us. One day about 13 years ago, my mom's assistant was driving someplace when the very evil person in the car in front of her flung a bag out the window. The bag moved. The assistant hit her brakes, collected the bag, and found a puppy inside. Lucky.
We debated what to do with her for a week or so, while she lived at my mom's office, but it was pretty clear Lucky was going to be my parents' dog.
She was one of the ugliest dogs I've ever seen. My friends joked that she was a tauntaun, from Empire Strikes Back. We often called her Poopie Dog, for some reason. Maybe because of the farts she'd let slip while laying next to us. But she was beautiful.
Lucky loved to chase squirrels (and a few times, when she was young and spry and really lucky, to catch and eat them), go for long run-walks, and eat human food. Roast beef drove her crazy. One Christmas dinner, while the family all had our backs turned, Lucky managed to leap up on the dining room table and suck down almost half of a big plate of prime rib, all in a matter of seconds and without making a sound. One minute there was leftover prime rib. The next there was an empty plate, and a very content and sleepy dog.
She was clever. Dad had to repeatedly re-design latches on doors in the house before he finally figured out a mechanism that Lucky couldn't open, to keep her out of the cats' litter boxes and the bedrooms. She was too smart for fetch -- it bored her quickly. Her absolute favorite game was tug-of-war, I think because she sometimes won. She and I would play tug-of-war for 10 or 15 minutes at a stretch. Sometimes she would grip the rope so tightly I could lift her off the floor by her jaws.
Though she lived with my parents in Florida, I always thought of her as my dog -- the only one I ever had. The last time I saw her was Christmas of 2009, when she was slow to get up but still game for a couple minutes of tug-of-war. Until the end, we all thought her problems were just arthritis, not a tumor.
I'm told she died peacefully in her sleep and was in no pain. We should all be so lucky.