Sunday, January 11, 2009

Luck City Limits

Willie Nelson created and lives in a town called “Luck, Texas”. Basically, from Willie’s point of view it was “ either you’re in Luck, or you’re out of out of Luck.” And many times it is that way, but on the other hand the “Luck City Limits Boundaries” are subject to move at any time. I saw this happen a few weeks back.

I was in town this week for the Omaha, Texas Christmas Parade, which was held on Sunday, December 10th, 2008. Anyhow, so on the Monday following this wonderful parade, I was killing a little time and heading over to my Sister’s Flower Shop in Daingerfield. Somehow, I wound up following a real estate sign which lead me down some strange roads in Northeast Texas. These roads kept getting narrower, and narrower. From 2 lane black-top….all the way down to one lane dirt road. The area was looking very swampy….lots of mud off the road, looked like you get stuck in a bog anytime you fell off or drove off the road. The road got more and more narrow, and it was just about at its most narrow junction when I thought that I saw something out of the corner of my eye. My first thought was that it was a dead deer. My second thought was that it was a dead dog. My final guess was that it was one or the other or both.

I had to stop the truck and go back to see what I thought I had saw. As I backed the truck up the road, I saw what I thought I had seen….a dog, lying by the side of the road – shivering – starving; and honestly – waiting to die.You could see every bone in his body – you could see that he had escaped from a chain and rope around his neck, by starving himself down; until he could escape the leash. He couldn’t even run, Hell, he couldn’t even walk and didn’t even growl. I thought about the possibilities of rabies and then kind of decided “ what the heck”? I slipped my arms up under his front and back legs: he was just a bag of bones and completely weak. He had been without any food for a long while, he didn’t have many choices. So he allowed me to load him into the back of my truck. As is so often true in my case, I did not have a plan, but I knew anything I could come up with was better than dieing of starvation in cold muddy ditch. Me and this desperate mutt took the roads on down to my Sister’s Flower Shop. On the way there, I came up with a good name for him ---Outta Luck Chuck.

We got to the flowershop and I went in the back door and said "DeAnna, I have a major problem”. She said,“Mike, I have heard this shit before” – don’t joke with me. I said, “I am not joking, look in the truck. ” (One of the problems of being a joker, is even when you aren't joking - everyone still things you are) When I opened the rear door, DeAnna saw the abandoned dog; I asked her what I should do with it and with tears in her eyes, she said “Shoot it, I am not getting stuck with another dog!”

I explained that I was not asking her to take the dog, I was only asking her what should I do next with this stray dog. She said, “go get him some food, and I will make him a bed.” That just one of the many things I love about my sister, DeAnna; when sometimes things seem unclear to me about what the long term plan should be, she just knuckles down on what needs to be done right now. So me and Outta Luck Chuck – headed down to the local grocery store and got a large sack of dog food, and a couple of cans of Alpo.

On returning to the shop – I found that my sister had made a bed for Chuck in the back with a cardboard box and old towels. She had also set out a fresh bucket of water and a bowl for the food that I would get for Chuck. Speaking of food – I opened the bag of “Purina Beneful” poured it in the bowl and put a little bit of the Alpo on top. It didn’t take Chuck long to get started. Chuck, may have been weak – but he wasn’t too weak to wag his tail. I don’t think I have ever seen a dog so happy to have a bit of food.

Life was getting a little better for Chuck – in less than an hour from the time I found him – his station in life had improved from “unknown starving dog on the side of the road” to “Dog with a new name, a dry bed, a bowl of food, and a bucket of fresh water”. After he ate a bit, Chuck started roaming around in back of the shop and made his way over to the gas station next door. I was worried that he might get hit by a car – but when I thought about it – I realized that at least if he did get hit by a car he would have had one good meal before he died.

Finally, Chuck wandered back to the front of the flower shop – and I couldn’t leave him there – he was so pitiful he would scare off any potential customers. About then Linda, who works at the shop after she gets off from her regular job at the school called her husband Monte. Monte came by and took one look at Chuck – loaded him up in his truck and took him home.So that’s the story – from starving on the side of the road without much of a hope – to having a nice home, dry bed, food, and a loving family all in one day. Like Willie says, you’re either “in Luck or Outta Luck” but remember the Luck City Limits are subject to change at any time.

P.S.I got an update on Outta Luck Chuck last week, he is doing well, you can’t count all of his ribs anymore, and he has a new name, BD. BD, of course is the abbreviation for “brown dog”; by I have also changed his name – I think I'll just call him Lucky.


  1. BIG Mike. I found my self in a similar state as Outta Luck Chuck on May 6, 2007. At least it felt that way. Two very good friend took me in for a weekend on May,14. They listened to my problems, tolerated my bullshit, took me to Beal street, let me sing, cuss, and fuss, fed me breakfast (I think), and sent me home, with "It will be Ok". They were right! Thanks friends! It never hurt anyone to be nice to everyone.

  2. Ha, unbelievable. I expected the end of the story to be "Nancy was not happy when i brought the dog home, but like the sweetheart she is, she took it in." I'm glad the dog found a home, and this was perhaps your best post yet.

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