Puff, looking very unsure and moving only by sheer bravery, hopped into the van and nervously pressed against TOWD as she looked at White Dog (sitting on her console throne) for reassurance. SAWD took a deep breath and relied upon my hand reaching back to stroke her for comfort. She did not panic or whimper or struggle. Our brave, stoic girl even trusted enough to sit next to Quinn part of the time...and his smile set everyone at ease.
After dropping Michael off, we took The White Dog Army for a hike. Not wanting to overtax Puff, Steve took WD, Quinn and Nuka. SAWD stayed with me but soon indicated that she wanted to explore, too. Steve took her on a short solo adventure. She is still learning to walk on a leash but did wonderfully at Steve's side, sniffing and wagging her tail at the experience.
When Puff rejoined us, she was greeted with nuzzles and congratulations...and of course, all had treats. It was a happy ride home.
Back home and reconnected to our blog friends our gladness was washed away in a flood of tears. The Luke, our inspiration and hero, had reached the end of this life's journey. We were comforted to know he left surrounded by love and full of dignity.
We are relieved that he no longer suffers. Our hearts break for the wrenching ache that must rip holes in The Mom and Bleu. To them we have no balm but offer our love and understanding.
The Luke will never be forgotten and his legacy is, in our Army, a ceaseless commitment to slay the beast which stole our friend too soon. Tonight we light a candle and look for a bright new star. Peace, dear Luke.