So long, old friend

June 16, 2015emily No Comments »

He was perfect. I mean, we could just tell. Even though all we had to go on was a photo online. We just knew. He was huge, for one thing: all legs, really, but with a big barrel chest. And a glossy brown coat to match his beautiful brown eyes. We thought for sure someone would have snatched him up already. How could such a specimen not be adopted the moment he was available? When we got to the rescue place, we described the kind of dog we wanted. Big, friendly, gentle. And they said, “well, we’ll bring out the biggest one we’ve got and go from there.” And then they brought him out. The one from the internet photo. The one we thought for sure was gone. The one. “He’s perfect,” we gasped. And he was. He was everything we wanted: big, friendly, and gentle. But he was also so much more. He was funny and silly and playful. He was boisterous and happy and excited. He was smart and clever and quick. And so profoundly devoted. Rejected by his previous family, he just wanted to be a part of the pack. He wanted to love and be loved. It didn’t seem to matter to him that he was the only dog; he wanted us all to himself. Of course, then we went and had kids. And, naturally, his life changed a bit. But he loved those kids. And they, him. And we all, him. So very much. For nearly ten years, we had the privilege of having Luke in our family. When he got sick a few weeks ago, we thought we could beat it. We didn’t even know what it was, but it never crossed our minds that this was the end. He had days, many of them, when he seemed very much like his old self. But his body was failing him. We had hushed conversations, but we knew what we had to do. We were determined not to let him suffer needlessly. He had given us so much joy that it was the least we could do, really. We owed him that. We had to be strong, even though we were howling with grief. So we trusted him to tell us when he was ready. And on Sunday evening, he did. There will be other dogs, of course, in our lives. But there will never be another Luke. He was so very special. Goodbye, sweet friend. And thank you for everything.



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