Puppy Love . It was all about the new fellow in my life. To make a long story short, my husband was content with our two labs, but I fell instantly in love with this little boy.
Luke always thought he was as big as our labs. Whenever it would thunder, Luke would bark furiously until I had our labs safe and sound in our garage. He would round them up and usher them to the door connecting to our garage. He looked quite smitten with himself after finishing this very important job. I think the under bite helped with the smitten look!
He also loved to play Canasta and would often distract the other players by his sheer cuteness. The truth is he just liked to be held and was most content in someone's arms.
Reading Room. Look closely and you'll see my little pal sitting in the photo!
We spent an early Saturday morning at our vets. It appeared that Luke had injured his back. He was placed on kennel rest and given steroids and pain medication. I was told to carry him outside to potty, as he was not allowed to walk. Poor Luke looked so sad and confused. We followed all the rules and he had a very quiet day. We took him out right before bedtime and put him in his kennel beside our bed. By 2:30 am, he was panting heavily and was paralyzed from his mid back down. We rushed immediately to the animal emergency hospital near us. We were told that the prognosis was extremely poor because the paralysis set in so quickly. In the wee hours of the morning, we lost our sweet Luke Bailey. He was only 4 years old.
We brought him home and buried him near the garden, not far from his favorite trees. He'd like our choice of resting places. He was all about those trees! Our big labs came and sniffed the white box that held our little Luke. They sat nearby and watched as my husband dug and dug in the pouring rain. It was if they knew...and I'm sure they did.
It's odd, but I expect to see Luke in his favorite places...in the kitchen while I'm making coffee in the morning...in his basket by the fireplace...sitting under my feet as I write this blog post...hiding from me under the dining room table when he knows that I am about to leave the house...waiting not so patiently by the dinner table until we were finished eating...at night in his bed in our bedroom.
Cynthia Rylant wrote the beautiful book, Dog Heaven. As a counselor, I often read Dog Heaven to children after the loss of a beloved pet. There is one particular drawing I love. It depicts dogs frolicking around in heaven while a man hides behind a tree, watching with a smile on his face. The children always exclaimed that the man was God and He was looking out for their pet. It is my favorite page of the book. I imagine when Luke arrived in heaven, he trotted right over and informed God what his duties were going to be in heaven. Our sweet boy was bossy!
Dedicated to the wonderful memory of Luke Bailey