The Incredible Tale of Lucky Collins
The dog, found nearly dead on the streets of Philadelphia, is back to stay with his family in Garrett Hill.
To say that Lucy Collins is lucky would be an understatement.
Two weeks ago the seven-year-old Bulldog was found emaciated and near death on the streets of Philadelphia and was dropped off to the Ryan Veterinary Hospital (University of Pennsylvania) by an unknown Good Samaritan.
He was nearly all-bones and had multiple open wounds. Doctors found a BB pellet in his face and scars all over his body.
They could hardly find a body temperature. But they did find a microchip that led them to the Collins family of Garrett Hill.
When Nichole Collins got the phone call two weeks ago that Lucky had shown up at the hospital, “My stomach dropped,” she said.
The Collins family had given lucky away about four years prior to a former coworker of Nicole’s husband John. Lucky – the trusted family dog of four years – had lacerated their son’s eye after he jumped on the dog, and the parents felt they could no longer keep him if there were any risk of harm to their children.
After a few years, John Collins and the coworker who took Lucky lost their jobs and contact with each other.
So the phone call from the veterinary hospital — accompanied by a police check to make sure the Collinses were not Lucky’s abusers — shocked the family.
When they saw Lucky at the hospital that first night, “He was filthy with dirt, disgusting,” Nichole Collins said.
“We said, ‘Lucky, we’re here, we’re here’. And he opened his eyes and looked at me,” she said.
Collins said Lucky did not skip at beat coming back to his Garrett Hill home. He had lived with the family from when he was a few months old to when he was about four years old.
At first he was too weak to climb the stairs or climb on top of the kitchen chairs like he used to (to happily steal food). He needed to rest a lot but only eat a little because they were reintroducing food to his system.
Lucky was 33 pounds and should have been about twice that weight, doctors said.
In the two weeks that he has been back home he has gained four pounds. And the family says that despite whatever he experienced on the streets, he is still the same sweet, gentle Lucky.
He is still potty trained and he still hogs the Collins’ bed at night, she said.
“Dogs do remember. They don’t forget,” she said.
He is anemic and still has low red blood count and protein levels, so he has an uphill battle, Collins said. But they are taking him to the doctor weekly and giving him the food and medicine he requires.
Of course, that food and medicine costs a few hundred dollars a month. So Collins has set up a collection can at the Bryn Mawr 7-11 and at the National Penn Bank in the Strafford Shopping Center seeking donations towards his care.
Once he improves these costs will no longer be necessary, but for now, for example, his food costs $250 a month.
Collins said the family will never know exactly what happened to Lucky or how he found himself on the streets, but the family, including kids Victoria, 15, Amber, 13, and John, 11, are happy that he’s home.
After all, this is the dog who ate a pound of chocolate, a rubber snake toy and a bunch of tampons and survived them all.
“This dog has nine lives. We’re convinced of that,” said Mary Ann Schrader, Nicole Collins’ mother.
If you want to follow Lucky’s story, you can “like” Lucky Collins on Facebook.
Send donations to:
P.O. Box 411
Wayne, PA 19087