A day or two after Kobi passed away; my husband said to me “I think Maggie sent Luke to us”. I had just written a little about Maggie in my last post about Kobi “A Good Life”. She was our lab mix who we got just before Kobi, and the two of them were best buddies. Maggie tragically died in 2004, leaving us and Kobi devastated and heartbroken. Later that year we got Cricket, Sheba, and Moses, which helped ease the pain for all of us.
Some of you may also have read that our puppy Luke was born on Maggie’s birthday, October 27th, which was a large part of how he came to our attention, and why we decided to get him. It touched me so much when my hubby said that, and I thought how true it probably was. Maggie must have known that Kobi’s time with us was coming to an end, and that all of us were going to need something special to get us through the pain of losing him.
My friend Kim always says that our dogs are “angels on loan” and I love that thought. That brought me to the thought that Luke was an angel sent to us by Maggie. It’s not that the two girls aren’t also helping us through this. But the girls are older, quieter, and more independent, not glued to our sides like Kobi used to be. Luke is constantly at our sides, he’s extra affectionate and he needs more of our time and attention than the girls partly just because he is a puppy. I think he is also helping them through this, by keeping them busy playing or keeping them company when napping.
Right now he is lying on the bed under my desk in the office where Kobi used to lay. He often slept there with Kobi. He can’t take Kobi’s place, but he can help fill the void left behind. I don’t have to look around and see an empty bed beside me where Kobi used to be. It makes it easier, and less lonely. I think Kobi stayed with us long enough to be sure that he had showed Luke all the ropes, and knew that he could go now, confident that Luke would take over some of his duties, like staying close by our sides.
Luke hangs out in the kitchen where Kobi used to often keep me company. He runs to the cabinet in the corner where the treats are, when he thinks it’s time to get one. That was first Kobi’s job, then Cricket’s, but sometimes Cricket is worn out from playing with her new brother and might be sleeping at a time they usually get a treat. Luke follows my hubby around when he’s carrying the treats to give them before he leaves for work, and smells his hand to be sure they are there. Kobi taught him that.
It’s not just Kobi’s habits….Luke also likes to lick the inside of his sisters’ ears, which is something our golden retriever Moses used to always do. However, he also has his own sweet little habits that make us smile. He likes to lick my legs and feet when I get out of the shower. He sits very patiently on the dog bed waiting for his meals to be dished out (Kobi used to bark impatiently at meal time). He wants to be on our laps and snuggling, or lying between us on the bed.
The other day I was sitting at my computer and Luke came up and sat next to me and stared. I turned to him and he put his paws up on me and I knew he wanted to be picked up and sit in my lap. That didn’t work so well….I managed to pick him up but he’s getting heavy! He doesn’t fit so well in my lap anymore either. So I left the computer and sat on the couch. He snuggled next to me and the girls came and snuggled on the other side of me. That was a time when my heartache from losing Kobi was very fresh, and that is exactly what I needed at that time. We sat like that for an hour while waiting for Dad to get home from work.
I can’t lie to you and say that Luke completely fits the “angel” profile. He is, after all, still a puppy (though 4 months old in just over a week!) and does have the devil in him also. He is learning to “come” but still chooses to pretend he has no idea what it means at times. He has been showing us how tall he is getting by reaching up and pulling things off the tables and counters. He drives his sisters crazy stealing the ball and running away with it when we are playing fetch. He thinks our cat Samantha is a dog and tries to play with her like she is. Somehow, even when I’m pulling my hair out, I know that is exactly the distraction I need to get my mind off my grief.
Kobi is an angel in heaven now, and Luke is our newest “angel on loan”, sent to help us along with his sisters. They are all here to help heal our broken hearts and mend our souls weary from the pain of loss.