forecast weather station weather station

It's Tuesday May 28, 2024

News From The Village Updated Almost Daily

Mister August 2019 - Lucky
When Lucky is more than a name

en years ago, Stuart Creighton found a black dog lying in the middle of the street in Sanford, North Carolina. The dog had been hit, his right leg crushed.

Gathering him up, Stuart rushed him to a veterinarian. Amputation, he thought, was almost guaranteed.

After a lengthy surgery, the dog was returned to Stuart, leg and hip intact; reassembled with screws and a steel rod. “He was lucky to be found and lucky to still be alive. He was just a dog in the road that got hit.” Stuart took the black lab mix home, naming him for chance encounter that brought them together: Lucky.

For making the best out of bad luck, TownDock.net names Lucky the August Pet of the Month.

Lucky & Stewart

Stuart had been a high school science teacher and coach when he found Lucky in Sanford. After he retired, he took a job as manager of the River Neuse Suites, moving to Oriental where he’d spent summers with his grandparents.

Lucky went to work, too. Stuart calls him Chief of Security, but Lucky has created his own title: Social Director.

“Lucky is very easily the smartest dog I have ever had. He makes certain that he’s always welcoming guests. When they arrive, he’ll go out in the parking lot and literally walk them over to the office,” Stuart said. “He is forever getting scratches on the head and treats. They just love him. He’s been here long enough that some of our regulars will bring him bags of treats.”

Lucky is on duty at the doorway of the River Neuse Suites office. When guests arrive, Lucky is the first to greet them.

Lucky doesn’t discriminate when it comes to treats. “He has no favorite snack. He is a vacuum cleaner; he will eat whatever is offered.”

Returning guests make a point of looking for the Lucky on return trips. When the weather is decent, he can be found in the office doorway, keeping his eye on everything. In the winter, he favors the space between the office south wall and the shrubbery. During the summer, he seeks the shade.

“When people come back for the Croaker Festival – parents bringing children to camp, or hunters and fishermen – if they don’t see him right away, they will all ask, ‘How’s Lucky?’”

Lucky rests in Stuart’s office, but can be alert at a moment’s notice.

According to Stuart, Lucky is a lab mix. “I have often wondered what the rest of the mix is, but I just don’t know. When his hair gets long like it is now, I see some red which makes me think he may have some setter in his background, but I just don’t know.”

Lucky roams the grounds, hanging out with guests near South Avenue or greeting other dogs out on the morning walk. He stays close, and knows that Stuart will not leave him behind.

“I would leave him in the office when I first took over; I was worried he would try to follow me and get lost. If I go north toward Broad Street, he’s learned I’m running errands and will just sit there and wait for me; he won’t move until I get back.”

Lindsay Ward, a staff member at the Suites, gives a treat to camera-shy Lucky.

However, Lucky isn’t always content to wait for Stuart. “If I head west down by the river, he knows I am going down to the Toucan to get something to eat. Now if he doesn’t go with me, 5 minutes after I get there, he is at a window looking in at me. Quite the dog he is.”

“If I am working guest rooms, he manages to find me no matter what room I’m in. He will plop down outside as he knows I’m in there. But he really doesn’t have separation anxiety; he’s been around me enough to know there is no way I’m going to leave him. He just waits until I come back if he doesn’t know where I am.”

Lucky keeps Carla Davis and Ray Gurley company on their first trip to Oriental.
The Gurleys (left) watch Stuart and Lucky.

Lucky is good with other animals, and notably patient with small, high-strung dogs. “If they see him, they go into that little dog mode and start yelping. He just sits down and waits for the little dog to calm down.” According to Stuart, Lucky has only one bad habit: he chases cats. “If he sees one, he is after it, but he doesn’t hurt a cat, just chases it.”

In Stuart’s 5-year tenure at River Neuse, two cats have been with guests. “It took him no time at all to sit outside the room where they were staying and just wait, like, ‘I know there is a cat in there.’” Stuart said that Lucky will also chase squirrels and rabbits – but not cars. “I think his bad experience with a car cured him of that.”

Lucky calmly waits as his neighborhood friend, River, approaches.

As sociable as Lucky is with people, Stuart says, “He’s funny on cameras. If he sees someone raising a camera up and aiming at him, he knows what is going on. When you make a big deal of trying to trick him into a pose for a picture, he is sharp on this stuff and has the look, ‘I’m not going to fall for that.”

Though he lives by the water, Lucky is a land lubber. “He is not a water dog; he’s never gone in beyond his ankles.”

Lucky watches the guests from the shade of a picnic table.

Lucky’s injury brought him pain, but it also brought him a home and a lifelong companion.

Lucky. Mister August.

Celebrity most resembles: C├ęsar Ritz, famous hotelier.
Likes: Any treat and the guests who bring them.
Wants: To always be near his human, Stuart Creighton.
Secret Talent: The patience to wait for small dogs to stop barking.
Dislikes: Cats and cars.
Claim to Fame: River Neuse Suites Greeter.
Rule to Live By: Welcome all guests.

Share this page:

back to top

Know a pet that is a standout? Send in some details and a photo to info@towndock.net. Tell why that pet deserves the coveted TownDock.net Pet of the Month Prize Package --- accolades, a pat on the head (snakes excluded) and a box of Milk Bones ( or snack suitable for the species).

We regret that we cannot offer a college scholarship to Pet Of The Month winners.

Animals caught near the HarborCam attempting to suck up to the judges will be disqualified.