Happy birthday, Luco

{Happy birthday, Luco!
Sorry you can't have any of this yummy cheesecake.}

Our big, sweet Luco turned 12 on Saturday. We had a little party for him {yes, we're corny} and invited Aidan, Wendy and Daniel. Really it was an excuse to have them over for dinner, dessert and grown-up talk while the kids ran around, argued, and had messy tea parties. We had sandwiches and cheesecake and Luco had Frosty Paws.

{opening present - 12 tennis balls}

Jimmy and I got Luco one year after we were married. He was the center of attention for a long time, and I think he's still wondering who the heck Malayna is and when she's going back. He was never a very active dog - always content to lie around and chew a bone or two. Even though he's 90+ pounds, he thinks he's a tiny lap dog - squeezing into spaces way too small for him, getting nose-to-nose with whoever is sitting on the floor and jumping into Malayna's baby pool in the summer.

If you happen to come over and pet him, don't expect to stop until you leave. He'll follow you around and tap you with his paw to remind you that he's there. When I was pregnant, he was my protector. He always seemed to be underfoot and the minute I would sit on the couch, he would jump up next to me and lay his head on my lap. It was nearly impossible for me to take him for a walk - the minute another dog would appear he would growl and and go into attack mode {not normal Luco behavior}.

He has slowed down in the past few years. As of a few weeks ago, Jimmy has had to carry him up the stairs at night. Luco will wait for him at the bottom and look up at him like, "could you please help me out?" I try not to think about the inevitable - the day we'll have to say goodbye to him. Especially now. It seems as if Malayna has just discovered that she has a dog living with her. She pats his head and calls him "my sweetie Luco, my sweet boy." She lies next to him on the floor and talks quietly to him. One part of me wishes that she wouldn't like him so much - it'll be harder on her when he's not around anymore.


Those of us who are dog lovers know that's not what we think of when we adopt a puppy. We think of the unconditional love they give us. The way they greet us when we come home {happily - every single time}. The way they know when something is wrong and try to make it better with cuddles and nuzzles.

There's nothing like the love of a dog.

{Luco - twelve years ago}


Patti said...

sweetness in that smile with malayna.

our dogs are part of the family...they are part of who we are. the pics are great...i love that he got tennis balls for his birthday.

thanks for the comment. it is a hard thing to do, but it is part of the pact we make with these darlings.

Anonymous said...

Knowing that my days are numbered with S&P breaks my heart - I try every day now to give them some extra attention and let them know they're loved.

Dealing with the medical problems isn't easy, either - the arthritis, Cushing's Disease, partial blindness, partial deafness ... the medications, the allergy shots, the holistic vitamins ... I can only hope someone loves me enough to take care of me when I'm old the way I want to help them!

I also fear what losing one will do to the "survivor" - they've been together 11 years now ...

Why is it their birthdays, which should be happy occasions, make us think morbid thoughts? The same happened to me on S&Ps recent birthdays. (k)

KB said...

Aww, he's a beauty. I have a special love for golden retrievers.