Sometimes the Moral Comes First

When your loved ones can’t, please help them care for their companion animals.

Dogs, for those who love them, are an important, integral part of our lives. I know I can’t live without them. When I’m old, I’ll need them more than ever and it is my hope that my son, or whoever becomes my care-taker in my old age, will help me keep the dog that’s right for me. And by “keep the dog that’s right for me”, I mean keep the dog that’s right for me safe and healthy.

My current foster is Luke.

He’s pretty cute, right? I’m his vacation foster because he’s bitten one of his caretakers, and the one he’s most bonded with needs to leave town for a few days. So Luke, Max, and I will hang out for a few days getting to know one another.

After just 24 hours, here’s what I know about Luke:

He has a collapsed trachea. A common problem for chihuahuas and similar small breeds. Well done, Selective Breeding! Well done! A collapsed trachea means that Luke leads a fairly miserable life, pacing around chuffing and horking up the water he’s just drunk. He sounds like a seal.

He’s missing his person. I feel it in my bones. He doesn’t trust me enough to let me massage him under his collar, but he does nestle next to my feet when I’m still. And he sleeps in whichever room Max is in.

He needs five different medications that I can’t convince him to take. I don’t know what they’re for. We didn’t talk about it when his real foster dropped him off. But how many of his issues could have been avoided if Luke had enjoyed regular vet care? If someone was paying attention to whether or not he was receiving adequate nutrition and exercise?

Luke bites. He’s getting better, but this tells us that he was not well-socialized. And now the person he was devoted to is gone. Luke misses his person and knows no one else. His trust is hard-earned and tenuous thus far.

After his person passed, with no plan for Luke’s care, he went to animal control where he languished for four months. Until Lucky 13 Rescue pulled him into their foster program.

I know Luke will recover. I’m already seeing glimmers of his personality beyond the fear, distrust, and physical challenges. He loves walks (strolls to Max and me). He’s gaining confidence and has just curled up in a bed, rather than his crate. He loves meatballs, and other snacks he’s never discovered a pill in (he’s discovered a pill in everything). He’s bitey, so I’m not yet ready to lift him on the sofa to snuggle, but he craves closeness. When I sit on the floor he nestles and nudges when I stop petting.

If you, or someone you love, can open your heart and home to a lonely little guy, you know what to do. Apply at With time, Luke will be a little love sponge.

Can’t take Luke on? We get it. Instead, check in with your family who may need a reminder about their faithful companions next checkup.