RIP Lucky the Maltese, Friend to A-List Stars
She hobnobbed with glitterati, her winsome brown eyes winning the hearts of the rich and famous. So it was with sorrow that her many famous friends learned that Lucky died this week.
The rescued Maltese was about 15 years old when she succumbed to cancer of the spleen in her dog bed in New York City on Tuesday.
Last November, Guinness World Records named Lucky as "the animal photographed with the most famous people." At that point, her total was 363 -- a number that included Kanye West, Bill Clinton, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Biel, Jon Stewart, Dr. Phil, Buzz Aldrin, Richard Branson, Rosie O’Donnell, Dave Matthews, John Travolta, Barbara Walters, Sting, Cloris Leachman, Kelly Ripa, Hugh Hefner, Richard Belzer, and Al Roker.
Rescued by animal-rights campaigner, TV personality, and socialite Wendy Diamond in 1999, the fluffy pup suffered from separation anxiety. Not wanting to leave Lucky home alone, Diamond brought her to celebrity-studded events. There the dog won so many hearts that Diamond began building connections to raise money for charity. Woman and dog embarked together on animal-advocacy missions in Russia, Greece, and Mexico, according to the Daily Mail.
"Lucky had no idea exactly how lucky her life would be," Diamond writes in an obituary at her website, AnimalFair. "Lucky promoted animal rescue and helped endangered species globally. Together [we] created a media mindshare where charity combined with celebrity raised public awareness about animal rescue and the need for adoption from shelters nationally and on the local level. ...
"In her constant quest to give back (and get some treats in return), Lucky served as the Chair-Dog for the Katrina Pet Memorial, Grand Marshal of Barkus, as well as the American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life, and hosted 1000s of fundraisers in her lifetime. She was the only civilian dog admitted into the United Nations, and inspired the White House Pet Correspondents Benefit, St Pawtricks, Yappy Hour, Paws For Style, Howloween events, all to promote animal rescue and welfare."
Diamond described her relationship with Lucky as characterized by "unconditional love, loyalty, and a genuine bond that happens when people and their pets live together and work together with mutual respect and harmony."
Lucky's last public appearance was as "chair dog" of the American Cancer Society's Bark for Life on May 6 in Manhattan's Riverside Park.
“She made me realize how lucky I am, no matter what transpired in my life,” Diamond said. “I’m beyond grateful for the outpouring of generosity and support from friends and strangers who know exactly how much Lucky meant to me.”
Lucky was set to be the bride in a six-figure dog "wedding" benefiting the Humane Society of New York in July. According to the New York Daily News, Diamond vows that the event will still take place, with another dog in Lucky's stead.