Two years ago, our sweet boy Luke died. We’ll miss him forever.
On March 6, 2010, we met Luke the Dog. Recently returned from Guatemala, Mer suggested we “just look” at adopting a dog, seven months after Lucky’s death crushed our hearts. Mer suggested we go to a pet store where a local group, HART (Homeless Animal Rescue Team), had rescued animals. We walked in and the very first dog we saw was Luke. Mer knelt beside his cage and cried. We discussed Luke with one of the volunteers. We walked Luke out of the store. He seemed oddly short and stocky, but very gentle and easy-going. Mer liked his interaction with small children; I liked his calm manner under the circumstances and as he met other dogs. Of course, we couldn’t just take the first dog we saw, could we? So, we looked at all the dogs available there, many of which stressed us out with their energy. Then, we went to the Humane Society, filled out a compatibility form, and looked at many more dogs, some virtually unadoptable. Then, we went to the Humane Society’s mobile station and test-walked a dog. After a couple of hours of looking and seeing so many dogs that needed homes but that just weren’t right for us, we went home.
The next morning, we talked about Luke, who was so different from all the other dogs we saw. And so, we called HART about him and, thankfully, he was still available. Coincidentally, if you believe such things, he was in Los Lunas, which was where I was headed that day to play volleyball. So, a HART volunteer (Jeri) brought Luke to volleyball. Although I put him in the back of the truck’s extended cab, he had other ideas and jumped into the front seat. Fine, I thought, let him ride in the passenger’s seat. But soon, he crawled over and laid his head in my lap for the drive home. He’s a 65 pound lap-dog and a love hound.
In the years we’ve been together, Luke hasn’t traveled as much or far as Lucky did his first year with us (5000 miles). And, we’ve left him at home with a dog-sitter, something we never did with Lucky in 10+ years. Luke is gentle and mellow and loving and we could only be happier if he and Lucky had known each other.
[first published Mar 6, 2011 @ 7:47am]
I was walking Luke in the neighborhood this afternoon. I heard a couple of whistles and saw a small but muscular brindle pit-bull roaming up ahead, a man following, a second man farther behind. The pit-bull sees us and comes over slowly, head down, licking lips. "Is it friendly?," I ask. As the two dogs circle and sniff, the first man replies, "I don’t know. She’s not mine. I think she belongs to the people across the street." I watch, warily, trying to stay cool. "I don’t want to scare her or she might do something weird," he adds. Weird? Like attack my dog or me? Stay calm. The second man arrives, "I’m sorry, guys, my dumb-ass brother just picks up dogs off the street." He sports the finest prison-style, long baggy shorts falling off, revealing 8 inches of boxer shorts; white tank top; tats and beard that say don’t fuck with me. Just breathe. The thug grabs the dog hard by the collar. "She seems sweet," says the guy who needs new neighbors. "She’s not. She’s already tried to kill two of my dogs. I’m surprised she didn’t attack that dog." WTF?!!! He slaps her flank hard, holding her front legs off the ground by her collar. "That’s not gonna help," says the unbelievably nice guy who needs bars on his windows and doors, "that will just make her try to get away again." I think, speak, say something, confront the ignorant brute, confront the abuser. "She’s going to the pound as soon as possible. I can’t keep her in the yard. She’s already tried to kill two of my dogs.," he repeats. Meth’ll do that to you. Say, "she’ll be better off the sooner she gets away from you." No – we will. Shut up. Stay calm. Let the danger pass you by. Luke just grins and walks on. My hero.
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
I looked out the front door of our house to see a school bus across the street. The bus driver was Gail Joralemon (a friend). A very long leash trailed out the driver’s window to Luke (our new dog), who was trotting around – and under – the bus. I ran down the street, not behind the bus but on a course to intercept it at the stop sign at the corner. I could see Gail in the review mirror the whole time I ran. She turned her head and saw me as she slowed to a stop.
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In telling this dream to Merri, I suddenly realized that my house was on the east side of the street in the dream, but the west side in the real world. Mirror dream (in more than one way).