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LUKE 8/27/05


Pertinent Information - Adopted 11/12/05 - Rainbow Bridge 6/23/07

Post Adoption Pictures

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Age & Sex: 8 yr. old Male
UTD: Yes
Weight: 63 lbs.
Other Dogs: Yes
Color:  Fawn
Cats: Unknown
Ears: Natural
Children under 5: Unknown
Tail: Docked
Children over 5: Unknown
Neutered: Yes
Microchipped: No
Shelter Surrender
Location:  Boston, MA

Adoption Donation $150

6/25/07 - It is with a heavy heart  that we had to put Luke down this weekend.  He had what is suspected to be a growth on his liver which was seeping into his body cavity.  As long as he felt well and was eating and getting around we kept him going.  He lost his balance mid-week and took a fall and after talking with Dr. T it was felt it was time.  As upset as we all are, Toby is lost without Luke.  He will not leave my side and does not want to stay out in the yard at all.  Toby & Luke were always together.

12/28/05 - Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Luke and Toby.  Luke is one happy easygoing guy. There did not seem to be any settling in time necessary for him as he and Toby accepted each other right away and that has not changed. I think a great part of this is due to the care and kindness he received from his foster family. He is very trusting.
While Toby is the very vocal one when it comes to letting us know someone is coming, Luke goes right along with him to see what is going on.  He does get very excited when people come in but is a perfect gentleman. Luke loves being out in the yard and it is quite a picture to see Luke running alongside Toby with his ears flying. He may tire out quickly but he enjoys joining in and then a nice nap.  He curls up in his favorite chair with Toby lying next to him in his crate.  They are very content to be with each other.  He does not have too much interest in toys; much prefers a nice long ear and tummy rub.
Luke has been getting to know our favorite vet. Dr. Lisa.  A few changes in medications and a gum infection (not too many teeth left in there) but he is doing well.  His appetite is good and now weighs 67 lbs. He still has some accidents in the house, but since changing his heart medication that has improved. One thing we have noticed about Luke is how he loves to look at things. The wallpaper border at the vet's fascinates him, along with her Christmas decorations. He is happy to just stand there quietly look at bright colorful items. 
Luke has been a wonderful addition to our family and a great friend to Toby. Thank you Boxer Angels Rescue for your kindness and compassion.

11/20/05 - From Luke's Former foster Mom.
Mary Ellen says everything is just as great as it was the day of the adoption - and that couldn't have been better if I had written the script for it.  Luke and Toby really love each other.  Luke discovered an old lounge chair they had for their late Boxer, Merlin.  Mary Ellen says they were going to toss it (pre-Luke) but it fits him so well and he sleeps in it all night,
they're going to keep it for him.  It's very old and very soft, so it probably feels good on his bones.
Luke is great for Toby.  He wouldn't go out alone after Merlin passed, needed someone to go out with him, and now he'll go out every time Luke does and they just play or wander around the yard (it is huge).  And all their company love that Luke is so friendly and doesn't jump.
They all love Luke, especially his new brother, and it seems like BAR got it right, again!

11/12/05 - Luke has been adopted.  There is so much I could say about all the great things that happened during the adoption meeting. Suffice to say, Luke and his new younger brother, Toby, hit it off right away, and that is just THE best part! And the human members of the family are very happy, too.  It does make it a little easier for an over-protective foster mom to let go when it all seems perfect.  My wish is that it will always be so for you and your forever family, sweet Luke.

11/9/05 - The past couple of days, as the vet said it would, Luke’s eye has started to look just as it did before he got that ulcer – deep, dark, liquid . . . and open all the time. He has also started taking the med for his low graded, minor heart murmur (it’s not a necessity at this time, but a very low dose was recommended for maintenance). We had a MEGA- thunder and lightening storm a couple of nights ago around 11:00, and Luke appeared to sleep right through it, even tho the house seemed to vibrate now and then. If it was loud for us, it had to be very loud to Luke. I always leave a radio playing very low in his room at night, but it sure wasn’t enough to mask the boomers we had! Guess that sort of thing doesn’t bother him at all. (I hate leaving him alone, alone, thus the radio; when he finally gets to sleep in his forever family’s bedrooms, as I hope will happen for him, he will probably think he is in heaven!)

Recently, we realized that Luke does not like to share his food with other dogs, nor have his (rare) chewies/treats taken away from him by other dogs, although he does not have an issue with people doing those activities, as I wrote in an earlier update. It’s only been a small grrr (two times), but it should be mentioned. (The three girls constantly play chewy take-away, and now and then SoBe will give more than a small grrr if she’s not in the mood to share.) Luke still does not seem interested in toys of any sort, and there a dozens always lying around to choose from (it’s useless to put them away). Outside, he will do a little running with the girls and get excited and playful when a human is playing with them, but no outright playing just with the girls, inside or out. He likes to walk around where people are and lie in the pet bed, and he really likes to go for rides . . . just a super sweet boy who likes the simple life and being loved, and we love having him here (well, maybe diva SoBe not so much . . . okay, and the kitties. lol). We are happy we have been able to show him a good life after all he had been through, but he really deserves to have a forever family. I sure will miss looking into those beautiful eyes of his, tho.

11/1/05 - Luke seems to be thriving, here.  He is much stronger and has more energy this past week than I’ve seen from him, yet (of course, he had a cone on for about 4 weeks, which is not much fun).  If he’s on leash and wants to get over to someone who’s talking to him (like a neighbor), he can pull a bit in his rush to get over to them.  He’s still not into playing with toys or a lot of boxing with the girls, although he does try with a little bowing and hopping when they are outside, but he seems very happy to be able to be around people and wandering among the girls while they’re doing their things, and to canter/run along with them somewhat when the girls play chase around the cars or in the back yard.  Harley is extremely vocal when she’s playing, and when she’s doing it with either (or both) SoBe and the Boston, it doesn’t affect him at all.  He just walks around them, doing his own thing.  

Everyone gets SO excited when we get home from work, and he’s right in mix, body wiggling and tail wagging, all of them stepping all over each other to be patted and greeted.  He still doesn’t bark when the girls go nuts because something is going on out front, although he does stay with them looking out the windows.  I don’t think he understands what it’s all about when the girls do this or why they do it, but he seems to want to be in on it with them.  Luke doesn’t actually bark at anything.  When he feels the need to do so (e.g., let me know he’s awake in the morning), he will give one soft, whoof sort of bark or a couple of small whimpers.  I don’t recall ever hearing two barks in quick succession for any reason.  He loves belly rubs and tries to roll on his back when we are patting or rubbing him when he’s lying on the floor, but usually just gets his upper half to cooperate. 

Luke is very good about going in the crate when we are going to work and at bedtime (most times, he’ll go in to bed by himself and I latch the gate later when I go to bed), but he will try to hang back at other times that are not part of the “regimen,” then a gentle push on his butt will get him in (e.g., if I’m home alone with them all on weekends and need to go out, I crate him, and he seems to know I’m not going to work or to bed  :o).  He’s not crated if we’re home, and when he is crated, he is very good about it.  He’s never had any problem with being in it, except he will let me know if he’s awake before me in the morning (which has only happened a few times).  If I’m preparing to go out and someone is going to be home, he doesn’t get crated, and it’s gotten to where I don’t even have to pick up the keys for him to start dancing.  He sees me put on my coat or pick up my purse and he’s not in the crate?  He must be going for a ride!  Of course, this is not always the case, but if I’m going out he fully expects to go with me.  I’m told he doesn’t get upset after I leave, but all his antics sure make me wish I could always take him.  He’s getting much better in the car; still stands to look out the window, but not nearly as much pacing from one window to the other as he was doing up until a week or so ago and he still does not bark at anything/anyone he sees.

Luke still appears to be interested in cats, and will chase them if they run (he’s had two chances at this), but otherwise doesn't seem to be aggressive toward them.  They are a rare site to see physically down here on the first floor where Luke “lives”; mostly, they stare down at him from the top step, and he stares up at them from the hall (there is a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs  :o)  When they move out of sight, he just walks away, too. 

Luke is still loving that pet bed, and KaLoHe is more than willing to share it with him (nah, he’s not sleeping upright; his eye is still sensitive to bright light like the camera flash).  Sometimes he only gets to lay on the removable inside cushion when it’s on the floor because KaLoHe and Harley are wrestling in the bed with a toy, but he doesn’t seem to mind.  He does a pretty good job of curling up small enough to fit on it, too!  He gets along very well with all three girls, but I don’t think he needs to have another fur kid in the family to be happy as he’s very much into his people . . . and our neighbors, and all visitors, and so far anyone on two legs, no matter where he meets them.  

10/28/05 - This morning, the eye doctor declared Luke’s eye all healed – no more collar or ointments!  yayyyy   After 4 weeks of my poor little boy having to wear that collar (and having to put gunk in his eye), I am very happy to see it go. It didn’t seem to bother him much, even tho it does look like it was run over by an 18‑wheeler more than once, between getting hung up on just about everything he walks past (chairs, doorways, his crate) and bumping into things every couple of minutes (reminded me of a toy that changes directions when it hits something).  His eye may be a little cloudy looking for another week or so, but he can see just fine.
Not too much else to add about my sweetie at this time, but there is a cute story.  Sunday afternoon, my daughter-in-law brought home one of those oval pet beds with the padded sides, about 30 inches across for the baby Boston.  Quite large for her, but she likes to gather up all the toys and put them in one place – hers!  Well, the first afternoon, when the Boston vacated the bed for a few minutes, Luke nonchalantly walked over and sat in it for a couple of minutes.  He did the same thing again early Monday evening after they had all eaten.  We all commented on it and got quite a kick out of it.  Later, he was lying next to my computer chair when everyone went to bed but the two of us (it was an early night for the others, skin and fur alike).  After a bit, I looked down to find he wasn’t there, so I went looking and found him really sound asleep in the little (for him) bed off in a corner of the living room facing the wall!  Now, when he sat in it, it did not look too odd, but to see this sort of big boy with a big e‑collar curled up in a little ball to fit in the bed, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  Before I finally went up to bed for the night around 11:00, I wanted to take him out, and it had to be the longest coaxing session we’ve had so far.  As much as he loves going outside, he did not want to get out of that bed!  (I’m guessing partly because he really liked it, and partly from being curled up like that on a not-very-cushy surface for a couple of hours, so it took a bit longer to work the kinks out.)  After more than 5 minutes, he finally got out of the bed so we could go outside.  Last night he got in it again when the Boston vacated (although she snuck in behind him with one of her toys and he almost sat on her!), and this time my son was able to get a picture (I’ve no clue about digital cameras).  In the past 5 days, he’s spent more of his “freedom” time curled up on that bed, than doing anything else, getting up now and then to stretch his legs and look around the house in case there was anything he missed in the previous 100 times he’s checked it out.  It looks like one thing Luke would really like to have when he gets to his forever home would be one of these beds, maybe just a little bigger.  Even with the small amount of padding the bed has, he seemed to really enjoy it, even tho his crate has a 3‑inch foam rubber base with a big, fluffy comforter on top (he will also go into the crate to sleep, sometimes).  Maybe that new bed could be put on top of something that would further “soften up” where Luke sleeps because of his senior bones? 
And a not-so-cute story . . . A couple of nights ago when I took Luke out for his last “tour for duty,” even tho it was quite chilly outside, one of the biggest skunks I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot of them in 35 years living here) strolled into view not 20 feet away.  This sort of thing is exactly why I put Luke on a leash after dark.  Thank goodness, too, because he tried to dash right over to see it!  It was his first skunk sighting since being here, but he had seen an outside kitty a few weeks ago, and when Harley took off after that kitty, Luke tried to, too.  I guess as far as he knew, this was just another black-and-white kitty.  I am very glad I did not have the girls with me this time, because there would have been no way I could have stopped them from getting up close and personal with that skunk!  (The girls always chase outside kitties, even tho they will sleep with our indoor ones.  Why is that, anyway?)  I am also glad we were standing next to the front steps and I could get Luke in fairly quickly.  That was a LOT too close for comfort for me!  Luke had no clue, of course, and hopefully he never will!

10/19/05 - My parents were over for Dad’s b-day dinner yesterday.  Luke was just super!  The girls went ballistic, barking , jumping - as usual, and Luke was a doll.  No barking, although he did try to hop up a bit (I don’t think he can actually jump up on you), tons of tail waggles lots of (attempted) bean dancing; he can’t quite do the tight kidney bean (or a tortellini like SoBe), but he sure tries!  When my Dad finally got to sit down on the couch, Luke put his paws on either side of Dad on the couch and kissed the heck out of him.  Even more than the kisses my son gets.  I had to be out and about the house doing cooking and all since early morning, so Luke got to be out and about, too, and was good as gold, with all the hubbub, and even tho following me around a lot, not really getting under my feet.  During dinner, the girls were again looking at us like starving waifs, and Luke was just lying on his comforter about 12 feet away, hardly even looking at us.  After dinner, when they all three got a little treat of a piece of dinner roll dipped in gravy (away from the table), he was as happy as they were to get it.  Luke will eat people food as energetically as any of them, but seems to know not to beg at the table for it.  (They get very little people food, except Luke is getting pasta with cheese and thin gravy in his dry food twice a day while we’re trying to put/keep weight on him, and I don’t think he knows that’s people food.)  Luke seems very content to be around people and where the “action” is, even if it’s no action (watching TV), looking and sniffing around now and then, but not getting into anything.  If his comforter isn’t nearby or one of the others is using it, he will just lie down on the hardwood floor to be near us.  I know me much prefers the comforter, because if we put it near where he’s lying down, he’ll get up and lie down on that, but if one is not available, that’s okay, too (although if I see him on the hard floor, I will move his comforter over to him).  He got to pounce on one of the kitties that decided to sit near the bottom of the stairs one day last week, but the kitty ran back up the stairs and Luke just watched him go without trying to chase.  Maybe it was the stairs and he might chase on flat surface?  He is crated during the day when we’re at work, partly because of the kitties but mostly to make sure he doesn’t do anything to hurt himself.  We also still crate the baby Boston, but she’s a “Terror” with tons more energy than the girls and there’s just no way we’ll put the girls through that all day.  lol

 We went to the eye doctor last Friday.  It’s a huge, modern place, with a very large tile/glass lobby and lots of hallways.  Luke LOVES to check out new places, and those are the only times I have to try and hold him back using any strength.  He doesn’t want to get into anything, just sniff everything, but I’m pretty sure that would not have been very appreciated by the staff, as sweet as Luke is.  When we first arrived, he was the only fur kid, but when we were leaving, the place was pretty busy and Luke just wanted to meet ALL of them.  No aggressions, no barking or growls, just tail wags and lots more sniffing.  I wasn’t letting him go over to all of them, but he was able to get pretty close to a couple of them.  Luke had an eye ulcer, which is very common in older Boxers (the doctor even called it Boxer ulcer) and this morning he had what’s called a grid keratotomy done.  He should be all healed in 10‑14 days and the way this doctor does them (the whole eye), it is expected he will not have any more ulcers develop in that eye.  He will need to continue having ointment applied and wearing a collar so he can’t get at it, at least until the follow-up in 10 days (we first went to the vet who referred us to the eye doc, and she started us using the ointment and having Luke wear the collar at least until he saw the eye doc).  He is pretty good about letting us put the ointment in most times, and he’s just super about the collar – both letting me put it on and wearing it.  It doesn’t seem to bother him at all.  He gets hung up on a lot of things (not a lot of “open” space in my house and even less in “his” room), but he just gives a yank or twist and keeps on going.  My son says the collar looks like it needs to go to the (plastic) body shop with all the dents and dings it has already.  He looks so funny when he’s trying to sniff the ground or floor.  The outside rim of the collar rests on the floor while Luke walks around sniffing and it “glides” along.  I take it off and sit with him while he eats so I can put it back on as soon as he’s done (his dishes are raised, but not on a rack), but he’s able to drink water well enough with it on.

Luke still seems to dream frequently, although he’s not as “active” during them as the first few weeks he was here.  Yesterday, I noticed him wagging his tail while asleep on his comforter next to my computer chair.  I’m hoping that means he’s having nicer dreams.   

10/12/05 - My sweet boy Luke is getting along quite well, here. He seems pretty set for sleeping at least 7 hours during the night. Now and then maybe a bit more or less, depending on his last trip out and his last drink of water. The past couple of nights, I’ve taken his water up at 8 p.m. and making his last trip out around 9:30 instead of my having to wake him up at 10:30‑11 p.m. for one last “go,” and he’s still good until 5:30‑6:00 a.m. He didn’t seem to mind my waking him up late and he would go right back to sleep, but it made me feel badly. Of course, his forever family might like a totally different schedule, but for now, Luke does seem to like to go to bed by 9:30 (goes into his crate by himself) and if I left him alone after that, he’d wake up earlier in the morning, since he would drink water up to that time.

Luke still doesn’t settle down totally when in the car, unless he can have his head out the window. I think he really loves the wind in his face. With his knees, tho, it’s not as easy – or fast - to sit down; he rests on one “side” or the other when he’s sitting. He could lay down, but he likes to watch out the window, so he stands, for the most part – not hyper or barking or anything like that, but he will switch between the side windows frequently, just wants to see everything, I guess! (He did lie down for his 1‑hour CUR with me, but he sure wasn’t feeling very good then.) He SO loves to go in the car, too. He gets excited if you pick up his leash because he likes to go outside and/or walking (even in the rain), but if you also pick up the keys . . . he knows he’s going riding! He’ll still head for the car when we go out front, keys or not, but when he actually sees them AND his leash in your hand, it’s a certainty and it’s super happy time!

We let all the “kids” out a lot when we’re home after work and weekends, but Luke will let us know if he has to go out any other time; we just need to pay attention to him. He doesn’t scratch at the baby gate any more, so when he does, we found out that means out, not that he reverted back to pulling at the gate like the first week or so he was here. (He started to have an accident in “his” room the first time we didn’t know he wanted out, but we got him out quickly.) He’ll also pull at your arm if he finds it necessary (usually when we’re involved in doing something on the computer). Luke isn’t a “marker,” most times peeing just once in one place (usually the same one next to some flowers, of course) when we go out. Now and then he’ll pee a second time, but it’s always in a couple of regular places. He doesn’t seem to feel the need to leave his “presence” all over the place, unlike younger boys might. Of course, that’s here; he could be totally different in another setting, although he doesn’t do anything in the area outside the vet clinic except sniff around, and there must be lots of “scents” there to “cover up.”

Last week I noticed Luke was “winking” so I took him to the vet. He has a corneal irritation and we are going to have it looked at on Friday to make sure it does not develop into something serious. The latest visit to the vet, I actually had to park about 4 blocks away and walk (mid-afternoon on a weekday; on weekends, I usually get to park right in front). Luke was great with all the noises and crowds of people that we had to walk by and around, some even talking to him. And all the new places to check out! He still didn’t pull me along, but he did want to go into every doorway of every storefront and there were dozens (it was a main shopping drag of small stores/restaurants, no residences). I kept him on a short leash and wouldn’t let him go up to the doors because I didn’t know if he would mark – which he did not do except once on a weed between buildings, and I did have to give a few tugs to get him away from most of them, but I thought he was very good during the walk, both ways.

All in all, Luke is one of the sweetest babies you could meet. My folks will be over for Dad’s b-day dinner this Sunday (he’ll be a pretty active 80), and they are looking forward to seeing Luke, again. He’s such a “people-person,” I know he’ll be happy to see them, too.

10/4/05 - Luke went for his heart echo last Saturday.  Wonderful news!  The report indicates that there is nothing significant at this point to be concerned about.  Foster mom is very happy for her sweet baby!!  He does have a grade 3 heart murmur, as suspected, but his heart function is within normal limits.  It was also mentioned that medication is not indicative at this time; a medication that was recommended to be optional was suggested.  Heart murmurs are not uncommon in this breed, and if addressed, often do not mean any change in the dogs quality of life. Any vet will confirm that. Since the medicine is something Luke will probably need to take at some point in his life, the vet thinks it’s a good idea to start him on it now.  I understand it is quite inexpensive, maybe $6/month; Luke’s heart is in good shape and he is expected to have a long life, and the meds can only help.  He should also get a "checkup" echo every year or so.  Families interested in adopting Luke will be given a copy of the echo report to show to their vet and he/she can advise them about Luke’s condition prior to adoption.

Luke looks really good, too, with a nice-looking, soft coat and being a bit more filled in; he even seems to be “standing” taller and more alertly!  So pretty to look at when he’s in his stance and listening intently to something.  Nothing at all like the sick, skinny, sad-looking boy I picked up 5‑1/2 weeks ago.

The more he gets to spend time with the “girls,” the more playful he has become.  He’ll actually do some bowing and “stancing” with the girls in the back yard, now.  He does bit of running – sometimes fairly successfully, and sometimes it comes out more like a rocking trot over short distances; kinda cute, actually.  Where they run, he “runs”; where they go he goes.  You can see our baby Boston learning from/copying the girls (so funny to see her playing like a Boxer does!), and it’s almost like Luke is learning things from them, too.  He’s still not big on toys, maybe in time, maybe not, but he seems content just to walk around and check things out – inside or outside - and see what his people and the other fur-kids are doing, and sometimes joining in.  Harley’s mom’s 17-yo nephew comes over to visit now and then, and when he came by last week, Luke took an instant liking to him (Luke loves his foster mommy, but he really loves his mommy’s adult son and it seems, males, in general – guess he likes being “one of the boys”!).  The nephew was sitting down by the time Luke was un-gated to go meet him, and Luke went right over to him, put a paw or two in the nephew’s lap, gave him a kiss . . .  didn’t seem to want to leave the boy’s side.  Luke DOES like everyone (so far, anyway), but some he gets really excited about, and they’re usually male (including the neighbor hubby). 

Luke is just such a great boy - very sweet and mild-mannered – with that soulful face!  He is doing very well here as a much-loved baby, and that is something he deserves always to be.

9/27/05 - Luke continues to do well and be happy here.  He’s been doing some really good bean dances when he hasn’t seen us for a few hours.  He gets pretty excited when he sees me pick up his leash, too.  A lot of times, I think he thinks he’s going for a ride, because he goes right over to the car (unless it’s first thing in the morning); I actually hate disappointing him by just walking him down the block.  Although he spends a lot of time lying beside me when I’m sitting down, he doesn’t always glue himself to me when he’s allowed to wander the first floor because there are others things to check out, but when I get out of my chair, he’s instantly on his feet to follow me or comes over to me if he’s “roaming.”  He’s been doing a bit of running and playing with the girls outside.  He is anxious to go play and gets very “up” to join in when they start their running.  (He can actually pull a little if he’s on the leash and he wants to run with them when we’re out front, but I don’t let him off leash there to run, just in the yard.)   He still can’t keep up entirely - they are fast - and he actually got bowled over one morning when he decided to stop short right in Harley’s path.  He just got up and walked over to me to be out of the line of fire, just a bit shaken up. He’s even trying to roll on his back in the (so-called) grass. 

This week, he met my bro-in-law’s chocolate male lab, Shamus, who’s about the same age as Luke (he gets out of his house every now and then and just shows up at our door – we’re only about four house-lengths apart and we’re on a dead-end road) – this is the first male he’s met up close since arriving here.  Lots of sniffing and tail wagging by both boys, and a slight grrrr from Shamus when Luke put his paw on Shamus’ shoulder, but that’s about it (he does this to Harley, too, and she just moves away from him).  We didn’t allow all-out playing yet, since it was only the first meeting and after about 15-20 minutes, Shamus was taken home; maybe next time. 

We had a little supervised “get together with three of the cats last night.  To start, none of them was any too happy to be carried downstairs!  The first two (my Ragdolls), he met together.  One let himself be snuffled, but ran back upstairs; however, Luke didn't go up after him (he's on a leash for this, so he wouldn't have been able to, but he stopped at the foot of the stairs by himself).  One got snuffled then licked on the head a bunch; she put up with it, then left.  Our really feisty one (also the one most stressed by my fosters) hissed a bit at first, but he didn't run (surprising).  They were fine for several minutes until he actually whacked Luke in the nose (the cat was on the table by this time, nose height - he hisses at all the dogs when they sniff him, but they know him – the Boston tries to take him on all the time!).  Luke did make a small snap back at the cat, but no harm done (my son was holding him by the collar at the time).  The “paranoid” one we didn't bring down at all.  Luke's tail was waggling almost the whole time, and he seemed a bit excited about a "new" experience, but not overly much.  So it seems, if a cat likes Luke, they'll probably be okay after some supervised time together; if it doesn't, I don't know what the outcome could be.  Maybe not "lunch," as he’s not aggressive at all, but he is bigger . . .

His coat is quite soft, for the most part, just a narrow strip along his spine seems to be less soft.  He’s been bathed – he’s very good in the tub, he just needs a bit of help to climb over the side to get in and out – and it looks really nice, maybe even a bit darker than pre-bath.  He doesn’t stand perfectly still so I can wash the inside of his ears afterwards, but he is pretty good about it.

Very good news, the small growth he had removed came back as a benign cyst-type thing, and his fecal was negative.  He got to meet (and kiss!) a female Boxer at the vet’s when we went to get the stitches out, and her young “dad” couldn’t get over how “human” Luke’s face looks – I think it’s his eyes that do that.  He was extremely good there, as always.  We are taking Luke for a heart echo Saturday to get a better read on the murmur.  I hope to have those results back by his next update.  He doesn’t have any signs of the nasty cold/UTI(?) he had when he arrived, and there just a few more days of the meds for that left to take.

Luke such a sweetheart who seems content with the quiet, laid-back side of life (which is most of the time), but doesn’t mind a bit of playing with friends when he gets the chance.  

9/19/05 - I am SO pleased to be able to say that Luke is doing great! We could actually watch the changes in how he felt, day by day this past week. He’s even put on 3.5 lbs in that time, and is up to 63.1 lbs! The way he looks now, he may only “need” to add 5-6 lbs more to be ideal (don’t want our seniors getting too heavy). And we still have had a dry crate since that first 24 hours! We did have one more “early” call to go out – this is only the third one, a single loud bark - about 5:15 a.m. a few mornings ago, but I prefer that to the alternative; if he’s at the speak-to-go-out point, I don’t know that he could hold it for another hour or so, nor should he be expected to after 7 hours, although he has “held it” a lot longer but for those three mornings (he dreams a lot, and I think maybe that’s what may wake him early now and then, and once awake for a few minutes, he of course would need to go out). His tail wags almost all the time. It looks to be going more in circles than back and forth. I think it’s a combination of back and forth, and up and down. The girls “only” seem to be able to do back and forth waggles. He’s even lying on the floor on his back! I did not expect to see that from him, at least not so soon. He is still super with all the girls, and the baby Boston still actually flies onto his face when she sees him. All of them will be in the kitchen swarming around me while I get their meals ready. The Boston eats in her crate because she’ll go after the girls’ dishes, and Luke eats in his room so the girls won’t go after his, which they do in a hot second! (they’re on reduced portions, and he’s getting such goodies in his to fatten him up, they can’t resist). Luke just stands and waits patiently and doesn’t go after anyone’s food. I can even put the girls’ dishes in their raised racks while he’s still in the kitchen (something I did not do until very recently when he seemed to know the “drill”). He does know what his bowl looks like and he just calmly walks with me to his room when he sees it leave the kitchen. We did hold one of the kitties to let him greet her up close and personal over the baby gate, and all he did was “snuffle” her all over to check her out; she behaved pretty well, too, and didn’t try to run at the first contact. However, the kitties hardly come downstairs at all, now; they’ve gotten too used to living “high” (on the second floor), I guess.

Luke is “running” a bit more, too. He’d rather run next to you than toward you (he runs to you slower than he does trying to keep up with you; I think it’s the “I want to be with you and will do anything I have to, to be there” syndrome :o). We don’t let him do it for too long at one time, yet, just letting him build up strength - and he is definitely stronger. He seems to love going outside, and seems used to walking on a leash. We still don’t go far, but he’s very good. To change direction, I can either just stop walking or give a slight tug on the leash and he doesn’t try to keep going or pull me along, he just turns around and comes back.

I had to go to the vet’s to pick up the rest of Luke’s meds (even tho he seems to be all better, the treatment for the respiratory infection runs 4 weeks) so I decided to take him for the ride, because he loves to go and it was a chance to weigh him. He’s very good in the car; he seems to stay a bit “excited” much of the time, but each time a bit less than the time before. I did let him stick his head out the window for a couple of minutes when I was going very slow in a tiny bit of traffic, and he was not in a rush to come back in when I wanted him to when I could go faster, again. I don’t like to let any of them hang their heads out during normal driving because of rocks, etc., that can fly up and hit them in the face. He also seems more content when I let him sit in front (something else I’d prefer they not do while driving at normal speeds), but he will hop in back when told to do so. As usual, he was super in the vet’s waiting area. More folks were coming and going than during previous visits; we were right by the door and he had to say ‘hi’ to everyone and everyone was quite willing to say ‘hi’ back. They all said what a beautiful boy and when I mentioned he is my foster, many asked questions about him and BAR. The vet seems quite taken with him, too. She is as amazed as we are how wonderful and happy he looks compared to that first week’s visit, and she also said several times how beautiful he is! His coat is getting softer and the little weight he has put on so far looks so good on him and has made such a difference. Luke does have one “fatty” bump near his right hip that the vet is not concerned about, and like lots of senior Boxers, he has a few small bumps, which while the vet is not concerned about these, either, has given the advice to keep an eye on them for any changes (my SoBe has one of these same small ones on her chest that she had when I adopted her at 3 yo; I got the same advice from her vet, and the bump has not changed in any way in the 1‑1/2 years she’s been with me).

Although I love all the “leash” pix on Luke’s page, we are trying to get others of him doing different things, but he’s not much of a “ham” and as soon as you raise the camera, he needs to come over and see what you’ve got. His full-face look is so beautiful and soulful, I’d love to post it if he would just cooperate and pose a bit. Maybe soon. He adores all people and doesn’t seem bothered by anything. He is such a sweetie who deserves LOTS of love, and he so readily gives so much love back!

9/13/05 - Dunno as it’s time for one, but just had the urge to a bit more about Luke.  He was great at the vet’s on Saturday to have a small growth removed.  (No results on that until next Saturday or Monday.)  There were three kitties in the waiting area (maybe it was kitty day?), one was in its owner’s lap, and two were in carriers.  He just kind of looked at the one in the lap about 3 feet away, wagged his tail, looked at me then the kitty, and behaved (we did not get to see it walk around on it’s own).  When that one went inside, he was sniffing one in a carrier and wagging, making tiny whimpers, and did a bit of “marching”(?) in place next to the carrier (which was on the chair next to mine).  No aggression whatsoever toward any of them, so, I still can’t figure what he’d do with one nose-to-nose, but it doesn’t appear he’d purposely harm it.

 Since he’s been on one bufferin/day, it really seems to be helping his knees.  Before the bufferin, I had to help him up into the van, now he gets in himself rather quickly and almost looks agile doing it.  He’s never had a problem getting out of the van (I won’t let him jump down, tho – I make him take it slow) or going up and down stairs, for that matter (I put him in the back yard using the front gate so he wouldn’t have to go down the 18 steps from the deck, and next thing I know, he went up the stairs to the deck, and then back down because the deck door was locked!).  He is eating a lot, and I’m hoping it starts to show more in the next few days.  He sure isn’t going to like it when I have to stop giving him all that good stuff that I now mix  in his food after he puts on 10-15 pounds!  He’s still on meds for that nasty cold(?).  I can pry his mouth open and put them in the back of his mouth, by why put the (at first very sick) baby through that for five pills in the morning and two at night if I don’t have to?  To start out, giving him the meds in undrained tuna worked well – if it smelled like tuna, he ate it.  Well, after a week (when he was feeling much better), he figured out the “crunchy” stuff wasn’t tuna and left them behind, so I started using rolled up slices of cheese.  That worked for about 2 days – cheese got eaten, but one ptooey and the pills were on the floor!  Luke hasn’t quite outsmarted me yet, tho!  I now use 1‑inch pieces of hot dog and push the pills into the middle!  Gone in seconds flat and looking for more!!  Hey, wait!!  Maybe he HAS outsmarted me?  Luke . . loves . . hot dogs!!  Maybe he knew it was just a matter of time before I thought of using them if he stopped accepting the other “cover-ups”?!?  He ‘s also going to miss those hot dog mini-bites when the meds stop in a couple of weeks!  He will still be getting a bufferin in the morning, so maybe he’ll still get one out of me!  (Like that’s gonna be difficult to do!  He just needs to look at me with those big, mesmerizing eyes, and he can have anything he wants!!) 

 Luke really seems to understand a lot.  The first week or so, he did not want to be behind a baby gate, and would pull it down (he sure can’t jump over it!) the second you walked away.  I didn’t notice when it stopped, but he’s no longer doing that, and I can actually leave him behind it for several minutes to go outside (Saturday, I had to be at the door for about 20 minutes) or go upstairs and get dressed for work, or down to the basement to do laundry, and come back to find him patiently standing next to the gate waiting for me.  I think he has learned the gate is not a bad thing.  He knows he’ll get to roam the house at times to play with all the girls (he really is gentle with all of them), and he gets to go out a lot – he loves going outside.  I haven’t seen it yet, but my son said Luke tried to run with the girls – all three (the Boston is a speed demon, too), and he made a good attempt, but stayed “several lengths behind.”  Just the thought makes me a little sad for Luke, but he seemed to be okay with it all. 

 Luke is just SO good!  And he loves his loving!  His new person/family would really need to let him know they love him, because I do think he understands what that is, and he hadn’t been getting it for a while before ending up in the NYC shelter Gary found him in.  He is extremely excited to see you when you come in from a long absence (4-5 hours) and I go right to his crate as soon as I get in the door (the girls greet us at the door) and let him know I am happy to see him, too; and even if it’s only a short time, he will give lots of tail wags and make happy faces when he sees you.  Luke is really a sweet baby who just wants to be with you as much as possible, but behaves very well when it’s not possible.

9/6/05 - We’re starting our second week with Luke, and he is so changed from the tired, stressed-out coughing boy of that first couple of days!  After three very understandable accidents in the crate the first 24 hours, there have been none in the crate or in the house since!  He is eating well, and looks like he has put on a little weight, so now he’s at 59 lbs!!  (Seeing as he’s about the size of our Harley, who’s at almost 70 lbs – but should probably be at 65, he could probably do with at least 10 more pounds, maybe a little more, being a male.)  We went to the vet Saturday and got a good going over.  His eyes are clear and look good and his hips are good.  He has some arthritis in his knees and his gums are getting bumpy(?), but not grown over his teeth (he has an under bite – our first Boxer, owned or fostered, to have one – I think it’s cute).  He had a cold that wasn’t responding as well as expected to the meds that the shelter sent with him, so the vet gave me two others and just as she (and Gary) said, it is basically gone today (Tuesday).  No coughing, sneezing or drooling!  Luke does have a low-grade heart murmur, which is not unusual in senior Boxers, but his lungs sound clear and “not wet,” which is good.  He also has a small growth on his side that the vet is going to remove this Saturday and have biopsied as a precaution.  Just because this boy is a little gray in the muzzle and has bad knees (maybe he played football in doggie school?), with what is good (including eyes, hips), I really don’t think he’s as “old” as first thought by the shelter when he was found on the street in such awful shape.  He’s is  a senior, but I don’t think he’s more than 8yo (I transported an 8yo with more gray and gums that were overgrown so that basically only the four canines showed).  Granted, it’s just a guess, but I’ve had a LOT of dogs, big and small, lots of breeds and “no-breeds” that all went to old age during my almost 59 years (my Dane went gray and arthritic at 5), and now that Luke is looking and feeling so much better, I just get a feeling that he not so old as first thought. 

My parents came over for mom’s b-day Sunday.  It was only a few people, but I have a very small home and there was a lot of cooking and eating and talking and noise and dogs playing.  When Luke first met them, they got lots of tail wags and Dad got kisses.  We decided to let Luke wander free with the three girls for a while, and he so was fantastic, he stayed free all day!  It got a bit chaotic for about ½ hour at dinnertime, trying to coordinate all the food being ready at the same time, and Luke was not phased a bit.  He likes to stay with me, so while I’m in my small kitchen with two other people running in and out, he’s calmly laying on the floor next to me – people stepping over and around him.  When in the parlor side of the room, he would lay on the floor next to my Dad, but there were several comments about how he would follow me with his eyes doing things around the table area, and if I went out of sight (into the kitchen), up he’d get – very unobtrusively – to follow me where I went.  And those eyes!  Very big, very dark (almost no white, except on the inner corners) and so “liquid”!  I’ve attached a close-up picture, but it doesn’t do true justice to them.  Quite a stunning face looking at him full on.  (I’ve also attached a full-body picture.  Of course, his eyes are closed in that one, but it gives an idea of his size; he’s put on a pound or two since it was taken.) 

The girls are quite vocal when anyone comes near the front of the house or up to the door, and they basically go ballistic until the people come in (then they go ballistic on them, if allowed).  Luke doesn’t bark, but when the girls run to the front window barking their fool heads off, he trots alongside, tail wagging like crazy, literally looking from one to the other on either side of him and you can really see that he’s trying to figure out what’s going on.  When they finally walk away, he’ll stay and look out the window turning his head trying to see what all the excitement was about.  It loses a lot on paper, but it is SO funny to watch!  He seems to really love being in the middle of things.  He loves going outside, and now if you go near one of the cars, getting in it or not, he thinks he’s going for a ride.  He was good, but antsy on the ride to the vet, but he was fine on the way home, curled up on a seat.  That was his first ride since I picked him up last week, and he may have wondered if he was being taken somewhere else to someone else, again (there were four legs to his trip from NYC – so four different cars and people, and an 8-hr transport), and when he saw I took him back in the car with me afterwards the vet visit, I really think he knew it was different this time.

Luke does not beg at the table, either.  While we were around the table, the girls were sitting next to us looking like they hadn’t had anything to eat in days (no touching, just staring and drooling until sent away), so Luke did come over to see what it was about while the girls were still there, but after a couple of ear scratches and pats, he turned and walked away without being told!  (I can also eat while at the computer and he will totally ignore the food.)  After dinner, I took them to the other side of the room and split one small, plain burger three ways, and the girls were definitely “anxious” to get some, Luke just waited patiently for his piece. 

Between the four of them (two Boxer girls, the Boston Terror, and Luke), they put on quite a show for everyone all day.  The Boston has this thing for playing tug of war with leashes – hers or anyone else’s – and although we had the leash on Luke, we weren’t holding it because he’s been doing so well listening to us outside.  Well, the Boston picks it up (she’s still only about 9 lbs) and starts tugging on it.  She, of course, wants Luke to tug back, but he’s so easygoing on the leash, he starts walking where she’s tugging!!  It really looks like she’s walking him (see new pix). The Boston has taken to “attacking” Luke, too.  She literally throws herself at his face (as she does with the girls) and he’ll just stand there and bend his head down to make it easier for her to do!  This sort of playing between the four fur kids went on all day!  Truly a show and an exciting day for all!!  My parents (very active 78 & 80 year olds) were delighted with it all – they have always been very big fur-kids lovers, too.  Luke was really worn out and even still a bit so the next morning.  Definitely slept with no problem that night.  He is not whining every night like he was, and when he does it’s usually just a couple of his forlorn woow-woow’s and that’s it - he’s catching on to the “routine” fairly quickly, and that the routine is all good.  He’s still “waiting” until 6am to go out in the morning, except for once (Saturday) when he barked at 4am to go out, and I’m glad he did!  He really had to do it all!  He did go to sleep early Friday night, tho.

There is just so much to say about Luke, and most just from the past couple of days when he’s been looking and feeling SO much better!  He loves to walk on the leash, but with his “bad” knees, he’s not going to be a running partner or chase frisbies, although he is starting to look like he wants to run a bit and play more (like when the girls were playing chase around the cars Sunday).  Now that he’s getting stronger, I want to let him and the girls in the back yard together to see how much in-the-mix running and boxing with them he wants to (or can) do.  I am giving him one buffered aspirin in the a.m., and it’s probably helping, but so is his eating regularly and getting lots of love and attention.  He showed some mild interest in a cat he saw down the street one night, but I gave a short tug on the leash with a “no,” and he turned around and walked to me.  Our girls will try to go through the fence to chase an outside cat, but they sleep with ours – go figure!  Luke hasn’t seen our cats, yet.  They’ve gotten so used to “living” upstairs since I’ve been fostering, they rarely come down.  I’m thinking of a formal “intro” some time this week.  This boy will be a great companion in a quiet or noisy home, as long as you let him know you love him.

8/30/05 - Mr. Luke has arrived to join the small, but elite group of BAR’s senior citizens.  After 7 weeks of living with Jet the Super (Sonic) Puppy, Luke is quite the other end of the spectrum – a slow-moving, calm, refined gentleman.  He was found on the streets of NY - another case of someone just “throwing away” a Boxer who got too old for their family? 

There is not much to report since Sunday evening when we got home, just letting him slowly recover from the very LONG transport that started at 8:30am with Gary.  The first two legs went as planned, but at the end of the third leg, Luke, Felix and his wife got to sit for 3 hours in a “lovely” Sturbridge parking lot while I got to sit for 1‑1/2 hours on the (not-as-lovely) MA turnpike (to go ¾ mile), then move 10‑30 mph for the remaining 25 miles of the trip!!  Being optimistic, I am glad it did not happen on the way home, where Luke would have been stuck in the back seat of my car for that long!  I had done a home check that morning with some very charming, very Boxer people, so at least the day got off to a good start!  And Felix and his wife are such friendly, also very charming people, no one would be able to tell they were just sitting around, waiting that long – of which I was very appreciative!  Of course, we all love these babies and just want to help them, whatever it takes.

Luke needs to put on a goodly amount of weight, and he’d not been eager to eat until this morning (Wednesday).  He is on medication for 7 more days for a bad cold, which seems to be slightly improved since Sunday (I am giving him some robitussin 2xday for the cough), and today I am starting to give him one buffered aspirin in the morning for his stiffness .  He has peed in his crate three times - late the first day, that first night (both totally understandable), and yesterday afternoon, but I think he is having dreams that startle him awake (I actually startled him the first time, when I tried to see if he wanted to go out, now I let him wake up by himself).  He was very stressed between the long trip and this nasty cold, and wanted to drink lots and lots of water, and when he wouldn’t eat the first night, it was suggested I give him chicken and broth.  So, that was a lot of liquid for him to hold, but I was very happy he at least lapped up the chicken and broth!  I controlling his water intake in the morning and after 8pm, but let him have what he wants when I get home from work until 8pm to see how that goes.  His crate has been dry both nights; we shall see how this afternoon goes (son has the noon “shift,” and he may have let Luke drink a bit more than he should have yesterday).Already, he is lying down next to my computer chair so I can rub his side and scratch his ears while “computer-ing”!  (This is my third foster, and they’ve all done this.)  He will go into the crate when the floor gets to be too uncomfortable (even with the rubbing and scratching), but he does need just a slight “assist” when he knows he’s going in and the gate will be closed (at night, or when we’re going to work).  No big to-do from him about it, tho.  He walks fine on the leash, too.  Even Felix’s wife mentioned she had no trouble walking him while waiting for me on Sunday.  This morning he seemed actually hungry, so while he was eating, I was patting and rubbing him, scratching his neck and even moved the bowl away, but she did not show any aggression.  (Do canine seniors get aggressive?  I know human ones can!  lol)

Night before last (after midnight) there were also a few minutes of intermittent woow-woow-ing  about 20 minutes after he and I went to our separate beds (he at the bottom of the stairs, me at the top).  Such a sad sound – no real barking, just very forlorn.  I actually took him out when it started, in case that was the problem; however, he continued to do it for a bit more after coming in.  I did sternly say “stop” a couple times, and after a few more woow’s, it did stop (don’t know that it was my “requests” that did it, tho).  I think something (a bad dream?) woke him up, and being in dark, still unfamiliar surroundings, he was frightened.  Last night, complete quiet along with the dry crate! 

As usual, my (adult) son was the first to get a tail wag, kiss and paw – although it was almost 24 hours before any of that happened.  He just seems to have this great connection with dogs, cats, you name it (yes, people, too)!  (I’m at least getting a tail raise now – it stayed tightly tucked under that first day.)  Luke is scheduled for a vet visit on Saturday.  He is HW negative and UTD on shots, but I want to have him looked to see how the cold is coming along, and find out about a small growth low on his side.  He’s fine with our two Boxer girls (and they with him) and the 8-lb baby Boston “Terror” (although she loves “attack” anything and anyone in its path, including Luke).  He hasn’t seen a kitty yet, but I don’t know that they have anything to worry about, at least not in the condition he’s is in right now.  Luke is such a sweetheart (that was obvious from the start), and I know with lots of love and care, and enough good food every day, it won’t be long before he is feeling and looking a LOT better, ready to be a great companion for someone!




Luke and his companion Toby