It might have been the three hour emergency vet visit with no end or answers in sight and his patience with the ordeal.
Or maybe it was when I was spoon feeding this sweet dog chicken and rice because he was so emaciated and could not eat, or when I was taking him out to pee every 5 minutes because of his bladder infection, or when he tried so hard to stand up in his weakened state to follow me when I left the room .
I’m not sure exactly when my heart broke for this amazing creature. And the truth is, it was not just one time. My heart broke over and over again during the 6 days he was in my care. 6 days is such a short period in linear time, but our hearts don’t wear watches like that.
Luther came to us from the Boxer rescue with the intent for us to love him, nurse him and get him ready to meet his forever family. And love him we did. If love could have saved Luther, he’d be alive and well and doing zoomies in our yard.
But that is not what happened. After several trips to the ER vet, much back and forth with the rescue people and countless tears, we decided to put Luther to sleep to end his suffering. He had multiple medical issues that would have required extensive surgery and infections so deep they could not be treated. It was absolutely the right decision and I still cry when I remember the fight in Luther’s eyes and his will to live. He wanted to be here and yet his body was not cooperating.
All Luther wanted was to love and be loved. To belong to his people. To have a place where he fit in. To know he was special and his life was witnessed and mattered. It’s all we all want, really, when you boil it down.
As I was waiting with Luther at the vet, I got in the back seat with him, stroked his head and whispered to him softly. I told him ” I love you Luther. I have felt your love. Your life matters. I see you. Once you are well, you have a home to come to. You have a family who cares for you.” I swear he heard me. And I swear that as I was telling him this, I was also healing the little girl in me who needs to hear this too. It’s one of the many reasons Luther was a blessing to me.
It feels important to share him with you all too. In that way, his life gets even more love and witness. And we can never have enough of either.