Ever since sharing my thoughts on Sharon Creech’s “Love That Dog,” I have been thinking about Luke. I often told folks that Luke was a Ukrainian circus dog and most people believed me, at least until I started grinning from ear to ear. You can see that he enjoyed a certain notoriety as a performer. The photo below was taken at a birthday party performance. Luke also showed off at school on several occasions, back in the day before dogs were banned from campus. Luke experienced a bit of anxiety when the curtains opened on stage at a PTA “fashion show,” but he made it look like a part of a comedy routine.
Luke had the most amazing blue eyes, and those eyes were always on me. He watched my every move, waiting for a treat, waiting for a chance to do his tricks, waiting for our hour-long walks. Before we got this sweetie, I hadn’t realized he would be a one-person dog. In fact, I hadn’t realized how much my dearest widower disliked dogs. Especially vocal dogs like Luke, who could “cry like a baby,” “sing Happy Birthday,” “howl,” and “whine” on command. I have always whined whenever, but Luke saved most of his whining for performances. Unfortunately, teaching him to be so vocal meant that he barked like crazy at everything. He set off our alarm system repeatedly until we changed the glass break settings. Like my widower, the faithful police officers didn’t always appreciate Luke’s charm. And “no bark!” fell on deaf ears.
In the picture above, his favorite uncle actually carried him up to the top of Grandfather Mountain, like a lamb across a shepherd’s shoulders. Luke had city paws and that rocky trail was just too painful. We had tried securing socks on his feet, unsuccessfully, and my dearest widower actually suggested I stay below with Luke. Hmm. Look at that face and tell me you would not carry him up a mountain, too!