Two weeks after my last post my best friend, Luka, passed off this temporal plane. Seven months later, I can’t even start this sentence without breaking down into sobs. Grimacing, heaving, saliva lap soaking, sobs. I can’t look at pictures of her without crying so I left this blog alone as she was, well, what it was all about. A vegan wolf. My shadow. Still, I figure it’s got to be cathartic to write about it. I do need to give some sort of closure to this space because I’d sure as hell like to not be a wreck right now while trying to type this. I’d like to stop waking up in tears. I’d like to stop sitting and staring blankly at the ground, waiting like she’s going to come back. I want to get to a place of peace with her being gone. Maybe it taps into deeper fears of death I didn’t realize I had. I’ve never been this torn up over loss. We have her ashes. I haven’t been able to pick it up and look at the box she is in. We plan to spread them in the forest up the mountain where we can return and visit her.
We adopted her six years ago on Valentines Day from the SPCA, the day wasn’t significant just a coincidence but it was a metaphor for everything she gave our lives and anyone that knew her. She was seven years old and only had one person before us. They don’t give out much information at the shelter but said she was given up because the previous person had to move and couldn’t take her. She had been in the kennel for a month even though she was a well adjusted dog, she was considered a senior and most people want younger dogs. She was also large, tall and intimidating looking but when we put a leash on her to take her for a trial walk there was no doubt in our minds we were adopting her. The name she had then was ‘Lucky’ and I couldn’t abide by that. I suggested ‘Luka’ like Luca Turilli, the Italian power metal guitarist and within a week the name stuck. We celebrated her birthday as the day we adopted her so this coming Valentines Day it would make sense to spread her ashes.
This picture was my screen saver for years. She loved the water and loved catching sticks.
Even though it’s common for dogs her size to only live up to twelve, we still hoped she’d be one of those 17 year old dogs. She’d stopped being able to jump or use stairs. Her hearing had gone and her sight was fading. X-rays showed that much of her spinal column had calcified and fused which explained her difficulty getting up after she’d been lying down. It was evident she needed to leave her body but god damn it, I didn’t want her to. It’s incredible how much I wanted to hold on. I guess it’s that tension still inside of me slowly unraveling. I’ve found it much easier to lose myself in work, or running & biking, or reading than actually take the time I need to face my grief. Most of all, I completely quit writing, subconsciously knowing it would snag this tightly woven part of me I’ve been trying to ignore.
I’d like to start tracing my thoughts and pictures here again. It saves friends from getting my epic long emails or letters when I can just direct them here to keep in touch without feeling the pressure of responding in kind. I’m sure I’ll talk about Luka more at other times but for right now I feel a little better crossing this bridge.
R.I.P Luka Dog, you were the best they make.