I think I’ve sketched nearly ever pet I’ve personally owned so today, when I thinking about pets, my mind went to my grandmother’s collie named Lucky. Though he’s since moved on and it’s been many years since he was playing in the fields of my grandmother’s farm, it’s a wonderful memory. He was one of the sweetest dogs on the planet and a great protector of little kids like me. I remember that he always appeared to be smiling and his soulful eyes would stare right into your heart. I don’t actually have a photo of him so I’ve had to use references that matched what I remember him looking like. And also discovered that collies are ridiculously tough to sketch quickly. I doubt I could capture all of that spirit in a tiny little doodlewash anyway. But as a childhood memory, he’s definitely at the top of the list.
As kids visiting a farm, we’d always love to go exploring and Lucky was more than happy to be our tour guide. He not simply follow along behind us, but often in front, leading us to the next location he found interesting. We happily followed. Now, as an adult, I realize he was always leading us out of dangerous areas and into places that were much safer. I’ve no idea how he knew, but he was always figuratively and literally one step ahead of us. There are so many feelings to express when I think of him, but it’s nearly impossible to put into words that would make sense. I remember taking a ceramics class and I decided I would choose the collie mold and paint it for my grandmother. It was almost comical to see Lucky in the form of a trophy, but also rather fitting. She seemed to genuinely love it as I recall, but grandmothers are good at making you feel that way even if they think it’s something awful.
Eventually, the years would go by and he would start to slow down, until that one visit when we were told that he wasn’t coming back again. I remember crying when I learned that he was no longer with us. It wasn’t my dog, but it was still like losing a close friend. I’ve had many dogs over the years and I’ve loved them all, but some stick in your mind more than others. He was one of those. And if I close my eyes, I can still remember the feel of his fur and his wet nose pushing my hand back into place to let me know he wasn’t done being petted just yet. He had a quiet contentment and joy for everything around him, even on the most brutally hot summer days. I’ll never forget him and will always cherish those memories. Just a little puppy that grew into an amazing and loving creature. You don’t always know what kind of dog you’ll end up with, but sometimes, you get Lucky.