(as dictated by Lucky in 2007)


My name is Lucky.  This is my story.  I was born in 1996 and am 77 years old.  I know the math doesn’t work, but I’m a dog so in one of your human years I do seven years work.  I think I am doing pretty good for an old dog. 


Let me tell you a little about myself.  I think I was born in Gig Harbor, Washington, but I’m not sure. As a puppy, I vaguely remember getting separated from my family and getting in some kind of accident where I injured my right rear foot.  I was a mess.  I didn’t know where to go or what to do, so I stuck out my thumb, I mean paw, and hitched a ride.  Unfortunately, the ride I got was straight to the pound.  So, here I was in a small cage with a hurt foot and lost.  I knew that if no one claimed me I would not be a lucky dog.


Now begins the good part of the story.  A new family, the Alexanders, were out for a drive and decided to stop in the pound to see if there was a dog they could adopt.  They found me, but were very concerned that the injury to my foot was serious and may require expensive surgery.  They tried to contact their vet, but he was not home.  I overheard the pound lady tell them if they didn’t take me that day, it was to be my last.  I was really sad and worried, too.  Then something amazing happened.  Some other people came in and said that they would take me and find me a new home.  They were members of a group called Border Collie Rescue. I was saved.  Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you that I am boy and a Border Collie, too.  The Alexander family called and found out that I had been rescued and came and picked me up.  Boy was I happy.  I had a new family and a new name.  I don’t remember what my original name was, but my new name was “Lucky”—Lucky Alexander.  Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  I guess they named me Lucky because my foot was going to be OK and I made it out alive from the pound.   Lucky me!!


Life in Northeast Tacoma with the Alexander family was good.  I didn’t have to wear a leash and I could go anywhere I wanted to go (at least in my own mind).  I went to picnics and ate well.  I went to soccer games and was the star (I always got the ball).  I chased tennis balls and cars.  What a great life!!  I spent almost two years with the Alexanders and then things changed.  The Alexanders were going to live in another country and felt it would be better for me if they could find another family for me.  It was just about then that I realized that what I thought was fun, picnics and soccer fields, others did not.  I guess I thought the picnic food was for me and that I was a welcome participant at the soccer games.  Wrong!!  So Kirstin, my alpha Mom, put an ad up on the fire department bulletin board (she was a firefighter for the City of Tacoma).  Someone called—another firefighter.  This firefighter just came off probation and was interested in getting a Border Collie.  I overheard her telling him that I was a handful, so he should take me on probation to be sure he wanted me.  I thought I could be pretty good, if I wanted to be.  And so begins another phase of my life.





I’m not sure how long my probation was supposed to be, but I definitely knew I was on probation.  My new master, Roy, was trying to see if I would fit in with he and his wife Paula.  He had a Fox Island friend, Cindy Dille, check me out.  She spent an hour with me and boy was I on my best behavior.   I knew she really liked me because she told Roy and Paula (I’m on a first name basis with them) that if they didn’t take me, she would.  That cinched the deal.  I now had a new home, but was still on probation. 


I’m sure most people know that Border Collies need to work. If they don’t have a good job they do what I did with the Alexanders.  I found my own mischief.  If I did that again I was sure it would violate my probation and get me in big time trouble.  To keep me busy, Roy had several job options in mind.  These jobs were search and rescue, agility competitions, sheep trials, and arson dog.  We checked each out one by one.  We attended a Northwest Search dog meeting to see if I liked search and rescue work.  I heard them telling Roy that he would have to be on probation for six months and probably require more training than I did.  I don’t think he went for that.  We then went to a sheep farm called Ewetopia.  I had fun, but really didn’t know what to do.  In fact Roy, and his neighbor EZ, bought four lambs for me to play with.  They were a lot bigger than I was and intimidated me a little.  EZ also had chickens and they were a lot more fun to chase.  In fact, when the chickens saw me they ran for their lives.  I was not on my leash, so took after one and knocked it down.  I was returning for the kill when I heard Roy yell “NO” real loud.  That brought me to my senses.  What was I thinking?  I was on probation and just about did myself in by going after one of Paula’s favorite chickens.  Close call.  But again Roy realized that he would need more training than me if I were to herd sheep and do it properly.  So next on the list were agility competitions.  I spent a Saturday morning running through tunnels, climbing over walls and doing a bunch of other stuff that I thought was pretty easy.  I got bored and didn’t want to run around anymore.  The only thing left now was arson dog.  Since Roy is a firefighter that seemed perfect.  Finding out what causes fires seemed pretty interesting.  The only drawback was that arson dogs have very short life spans because of the smoke and chemicals they have to inhale.  I voted no and Roy agreed.  Now what?


Well, I am not sure if you know this, but Roy is a World Champion in the Firefighter Combat Challenge event.   He is also good friends and works out with the owner of the company, Dale, who puts on the combat challenge all across Canada.  Dale invited Roy to travel with him and help with the event.  So, in the summer of 2001, we all loaded up for a summer road trip in the motorhome.  Oh, I forgot to mention the other member of my new family, Alice the cat.  She didn’t care much for me.  I guess she was older and wasn’t interested in playing with me.  Well, we each had our own spots in the motorhome and we set off for sights unseen.


Little did I know that I was soon to find the perfect job for me.  The first part of the event is running 60 steps up a tower.  I never knew how much fun stair running could be, especially when you can race and beat a big ‘ol firefighter.  Well, my new career had begun.  All summer long, at every event, I chased and chased and chased.  I really felt important keeping those firefighters moving.  And, secretly, I knew that they loved to race me.  There was only a few times when I had to nip them in the butt when I thought they were moving too slow. 


Well, my finding a job, and fitting in with my new family so well, and thoroughly enjoying life was the key to my probation coming to a close.  I was accepted as a member of the family forever.  What a great feeling. 




Summer:  I really looked forward to summertime because that meant fun time on Roy and Paula’s beach and the Firefighter Combat Challenge.  First, some beach stories.  I love the beach.  I love to run along the shore, chase the waves and fetch sticks.  I also like to dig in the sand.  I’m not sure why, but it’s fun to see what I can dig up.  It’s good exercise also.  Oh, I forgot to mention a funny story about me.  Roy had a boat down at the local Fox Island marina.  The owner asked him to move it from one slip to another.  When we got down there, I hopped into the boat and laid down on the floor and took a snooze.  All of a sudden I heard Roy yell, “Come.”   Soooo, I got up and jumped out the same side of the boat that I got in.  Only one small problem—there was no dock there.  The boat had moved to the other side of the dock.  There I was in midair, committed.  I couldn’t believe it.  Splash!!  I had to be hauled out by Roy and was thoroughly embarrassed.


Now for the Combat Challenge tour.  Sometime around the month of June, we would take off in the motorhome.  Me, Alice the cat, Paula, and my dad, Roy, and headed north into Canada.  The purpose of our adventure was to help the McRoberts put on the Canadian Firefighter Combat Challenge tour.  We traveled from one end of Canada to the other and stayed on the road for up to three months at a time.  We went to places like Whitehorse, Yukon (almost in Alaska), to the island province of Newfoundland on Canada’s eastern coast (more than 5200 miles apart).  Wow!!  We spent a lot of time driving, but we also played a lot.  As you can probably guess, the part I liked most was the actual firefighter events.  There was so much to do.  I was let out in the morning and headed straight for the tower.  I usually forgot to take my morning pee and had to be reminded.  I also would forget to drink and eat during the day because I didn’t want to stop and take the time away from my job—running the tower.  When my legs got a little tired from going up and down the stairs, I invented another game.  I would find a plastic water bottle that someone had left and try to get someone to throw it.  When they threw it, it would spin and tumble and act erratic.  It was like chasing a squirrel—what fun.  Life on the course was great. 


I am not sure whether or not I mentioned the fact that I also hold a World Record.  Roy held the world record for the Firefighter Combat Challenge (50+) for eight years and still holds the record for the Firefighter Combat Challenge (60+).  So I figure that I am entitled to a record, too.  I am unbeaten in racing up the tower stairs.  I even let the firefighters run up in their gym shorts and shoes.  Don’t tell Dale’s wife, Hilary, that—it’s against the rules, and besides I’m not a cop, just a dog.  I actually got to race Roy during the demonstration/rules run at the beginning of the competition.  What a hoot!  I always ran circles around him and won.


I did have an unfortunate incident on the tower.  It was at an event in Tacoma called the GO HERD or GO HOME.  Oops, I meant to say GO HARD or GO HOME.  I was actually herding the firefighters up and down the tower when I got bumped off a landing.  I fell 16 feet and landed on my back on the concrete.  Ouch!!!  The x-rays showed I had a hairline fracture in my pelvis.  Combat wound—Purple Heart.  I was now a decorated veteran.


Fall: After the Canadian tour was over and we spent a little time at home, we would start to get ready for another trip.  This time we would head east to Montana.  I loved Montana, also.  Even though there were no firefighters to chase up and down stairs, I found something better to chase.  I know you won’t believe this when I tell you.  I am probably the only dog in the world who chases airplanes.  That’s right, airplanes.  We stay on a farm in the Horseshoe Hills in Montana with Bob and Pat Green.  Bob’s passion is flying airplanes and my passion is to chase them.  I know you are wondering how I do this.  Airplanes are way up in the air and can go much faster than I can run.  But Bob helps me.  He loves to fly over the farm in his Piper Cub and sneak up on hunters.  One of these hunters is Roy.  To do this he has to fly low and slow and plays right into my hands and I get to chase him.  I haven’t caught him yet.  Maybe I never will, but it is great fun anyway. 


Another fun thing to do on the farm is the ride on the ATV, which is a four-wheel drive, all-terrain vehicle.  This thing can go anywhere.  Roy and I have a great time riding around and looking for animals.  One time he told me it was OK to chase a herd of antelope.  Little did I know that I was trying to catch the fastest animal in North America.  I could swear that I could hear them laughing at me as they left me in their dust.  I can run 30 mph flat out, but 50—no way!! 


Now here is a scary story.  Bob’s wife, and boss, Pat, has horses.  I had never been close to horses before, but I found it fun to chase around behind them and make them move.  I found out later that was a very dangerous thing to do.  In fact, one day Roy was trying to get the horses back in their pen by rattling a can of oats.  All of a sudden, out of nowhere came these three huge horses.  They ran straight for Roy and scared me breathless.  I literally couldn’t breathe.  I thought that I had been run over by a freight train.  I was so shocked that I couldn’t move.  Roy picked me up and carried me to the motorhome.  My eyes were as big as saucers and all I could do was just stand there.  Finally, Roy told me to move and I did while taking inventory of my bones.  I guess nothing was broken, but I sure learned not to bother the horses again.


One of my best pals lived in Montana—Bob and Pat’s dog, Georgie.  I’m not sure whether she liked me or not, but we had fun hiking with Roy and Bob.  Unfortunately I just overheard Roy and Paula talking about how sad it was that Georgie-girl had died.  She was older than me and life on the farm is tougher than life on Fox Island.  I’ll miss her.


Winter: This was a time for me to get rested up from all the work I did in the summer and fall.  The weather at home on Fox Island was usually rainy and dreary, so I didn’t mind staying in and relaxing, and also harassing Alice the cat.  As I mentioned earlier, she was old and sorta crotchety.  She didn’t like to play and would always hang out upstairs.  I always assumed that I wasn’t allowed upstairs, or downstairs, so I never went.  But when Alice came down to eat, or use the potty, I would find a place by the bottom of the stairs to lie down.  The only way she could get upstairs was to go past me.  She really didn’t like this game.  In fact she told me I was never allowed to stare at her.  Border Collies do that to get your attention.  Once I tried the staring routine and she hissed at me and let me know that she didn’t care for that one bit.  Oh well, it was still fun to have another animal around the house to keep things interesting.  Unfortunately, Alice died in 2002.  I really felt sad and lonely.  I thought they had nine lives.  Maybe she used them all up.  I wonder where she is now.


Another exciting thing about wintertime is Christmas.  I actually got presents and opened them myself.  The only downside was I had to wear this stupid antler hat that made me look like a reindeer.  Oh well!


Spring:  Spring training time.   When the weather on Fox Island warmed up, Roy would take me down to the beach.  I loved running on the beach, but I didn’t really like to swim.  Roy tried to get me to go in, but no way.  I knew that the stick he threw in the water would eventually come to shore if I waited long enough.  Then I wouldn’t have to swim to get it.  Pretty clever, huh?  But Roy was cleverer.  He was determined to get me to swim, and he did.  He and Paula took me on a small boat ride out to a wooden float. I thought we were all getting out, but as soon as I hopped up on the float, Roy and Paula rowed away.  No way was I going to be stranded on that float, so I dove in and beat them to shore.  Boy was our Puget Sound water cold.  Whew!!!  But I know that Roy would never ask me to do something he wouldn’t do because I see him and some of his friends jump in the water on New Year's Day of every year.  They call it the Polar Bear Swim and I think that’s because only polar bears like to swim in water that is 46 degrees.  Why humans do this crazy thing, I do not know.  But, anyway, I like to swim now.  Thanks, Roy!




I have so many friends, dogs and people, and a very large family, mostly people.  Let me start first with my canine friends.  My first real buddy was Sheeba, who belongs to Dale and Hilary.  For five years Sheeba and I traveled all summer from one end of Canada to the other.  Then in the winter, Sheeba and I would vacation in the Grande Okanagan resort in Kelowna, British Columbia.  Oh, the adults would also come to chaperone us—boring!  Sheeba and I played hard.  I taught her not to be afraid to climb the tower and we played great games chasing the toys we taught Roy and Dale to throw.  Dale was a great thrower because of his javelin tossing background.  We also enjoyed the game of tug of war.  Sheeba was stronger, but I could outlast her.  My other buddy is EZ’s dog, Murphy.  He is so immature and a real pain.


Some of my human family friends are Roy and Paula’s grandkids.  Roy’s daughter, Kim, adopted Marino and Lucia and they live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  They are great.  I love kids, especially family kids.  Roy’s son, Jon, lives in Woodland Hills, California.  They have a beautiful daughter, Kayla.  Kayla is special, just like Marino and Lucia.  Two of Paula’s great nieces are Kiah and Paili.  Paili is very young, but she has two dogs and is not at all afraid of me.  Kiah is a neat kid and loves to play with me, too.  I really like it when she throws one of my favorite toys, the Kong, for me to catch.


I also have a great time when I visit with Roy’s mom, Fritzi.  She has rabbits in the backyard, and I could spend hours watching them.  I’d chase them, but unfortunately they keep me on my leash.  Oh well!  One morning Roy slept in and I was getting bored.  Roy’s door was closed, but Fritzi’s wasn’t.  So, I tried to rock her bed to wake her up, and I did.  Great fun!


One of my best non-family buddies just happens to be Roy’s best buddy, too!  It is none other than “Unky” Huber, otherwise known by his nickname, Steve.  Unky is the name Kayla gave him—short for Uncle Steve.  Unky took care of me when Roy and Paula went on a month long vacation.  I got to travel with him and meet his whole family.  I even met his Mom, Hazel.  Hazel looks a lot like Fritzi.  Boy am I glad that I have hair all over my face to hide the wrinkles—only kidding. 


I feel so grateful that I have so many friends.  I guess that I just love everybody unconditionally.




Well, now that I in the “autumn” of my life, you know my story.  I have been very fortunate to live with two great families, the Alexanders and the Davis’.  I don’t chase firefighters up and down the stairs anymore—too much work.  I enjoy curling up by Roy’s feet under his computer desk.  In fact that is were I am right now dictating my story to him.  I hope you enjoyed hearing about my life as much as I enjoyed living it.  I’ll be around for a long time to come, but I think I’m going to do some traveling in my RV and be a little less active.  See ya on the road!





Well, here I am talking about what has happened since I last dictated to Roy.  I have done some traveling again in the motor home.  We took a big trip last summer and I got to visit some of my friends again.  I saw Steve in New York and had a chance to meet his daughter Christy’s family.  It was a great trip. Last May Something very sad happened.  Roy’s Mom passed away.  She died peacefully at home surrounded by family.   I miss her.  I have been going through some tough times lately.  The arthritis in my spine has been acting up.  I am OK on flat ground, but if you can believe it, going up stairs is painful, especially the steps into the motor home.  I find that I want to sleep more and just hang around the house.  I hope I am not being a burden to Roy and Paula.  I love them so much that I would feel bad if they felt I was a burden to them.  Just last Saturday, May 23, I started to experience severe pain in my spinal area.  The pain was so bad that I didn’t even feel like eating.  That is unusual for me.  I just could not find a comfortable position to lie in.  I had a lot of trouble walking.  The last time I needed to take a pee, Roy had to carry me outside.  I walked down the hill on the side of the house only to discover that I couldn’t walk back up.  I sat down and looked back up at Roy and wished I could tell him that this was no way for me to live and I am becoming a burden to him.  He came down and told me everything was OK and carried me up the hill and into the house.  That afternoon I heard Roy and Paula say they were taking me to the vet.  Even though I wanted to die at home surrounded by family, like Fritzi, I was hoping the trip to the vet would be a one way trip.  The vet gave me a shot of pain medicine which made me feel a little better, but I knew the end was near.  I didn’t sleep very well that night and woke up with pain again.  I decided that today, May 25, was the day I was going to leave.  I crawled into Roy’s office and under his desk.  This was the place.  I got as comfortable as I could and closed my eyes, said goodbye to all of my family and friends and then moved on to my next adventure, whatever that may be.  This is the way I wanted things to happen.  I was 100 years old in human years.  I had an amazing life.  I heard somewhere that dogs are reincarnated as human beings, if they so desire.  That’s what I want to do.  I have prepared myself in my life as a dog for this transition.  I will be reincarnated as a human being and will become a firefighter.  I will compete in the Firefighter Combat Challenge a set a world record, just like Roy.  I can’t wait!!