A Letter to Lucky

November 20, 2015

For farm and ranch families, pets are more than companions. They work hard and play an important role in the business. Cats hunt mice around the house and barn. Dogs work cattle and are invaluable during gathering and shipping season when the cowboys need to move herds of livestock. This post is a tribute to our Border Collie/McNab, Lucky. 

A Letter to Lucky

Oh how I remember your arrival Lucky! Greeted with hugs and squeals of joy on Christmas Day. Santa hid you in the horse trailer, the grand prize of our early morning treasure hunt. Jack was five. You and he would roll around together for the next 13 years, exploring the ranch and working cattle. What a perfect pair.

Lucky and Jack_2003

Jack and Lucky

Jack left for college in August, maybe that’s when you decided your most important job was done. You hung on for the next four months, maybe to ease my transition into an empty nest. Thank you for that gift. I will miss your shadow, following me up the stairs to my office and sitting at my feet while I write. Running with me – more like trotting behind lately, still determined to join me – on the road beyond our driveway. Raiding the cat food when you thought I couldn’t hear your tags clanking the side of the dish. Sometimes I think you were just being mischievous for the hell of it. Completely deaf, you still saw chatty walkers along the road and barked, protecting me from the unfamiliar. You showed the same protection for your puppies, safe and well fed in your care: Vern, Fini, Mo, Abbey, Jude, Skunk and their siblings. Octomom had nothing on you.

Thank you for training the other dogs how to gently move a hundred plus head of cattle, always attentive to the bosses’ commands: “Go left, Lucky. Go around. Bring ’em on, girl. Stay. That’ll do. Good girl, Lucky, good girl!” Joe says you were amazing in your heyday, sensitive yet strong. I still see you sitting up on the hill, watching for a stray and gently bringing her back to the herd. You did the same if a toddler wandered from the group, always a good mama. When your breathing is labored and your hind legs weak, I know you are ready, even if I am not. You are ready for rest. Ready for peace. I’ve dug a grave for you by the frog pond, just across the creek bed near the road. The soil was soft after the first rain of the season, welcoming you back to the earth. The birds will sing for you and an old oak tree will shelter you. I will remember you as I run by each day, missing you and knowing that I was the lucky one.

Lucky November 18, 2015

Lucky loving the sunny stoop at our front door. November 18, 2015

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One Response to “A Letter to Lucky”


  1. What a beautiful tribute to a loved family member. It brought tears to my eyes. but also memories of watching Lucky with the cattle. I am sorry for your loss


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