Always checking on Mom's whereabouts.
I'm sure that some of you were wondering where Luke was in yesterdays blog. He was very obviously missing from the photos and the beach. Well...Luke was at home; yes, he had to stay home. I'd been wanting to go to the beach for a long time with Nicole and Penny but knew that it was too much for Luke. One rambunctious hit from a joyous youngster could end him up in the emergency so we had not gone. But, knowing that it would be so good for Elsa; I had to finally bite the bullet; tell him we'd be back and go.
Early Tuesday morning Luke and I headed out for a nice long and leisurely walk. He is getting slower and slower these days but every deliberate step is time spent together. I learned to do this snail walking with Tilley after she was hit with Vestibular. Luke's aging body is the cause of his slow walking; it is time to smell the roses. So we made our way around the park; going a bit further than normal so he'd be good and tired.
Leaving him at home is not an issue; Luke is use to Elsa going out for walks without him. He is always waiting patiently in his bed and very happy when we return but he is fine. This trip would be much longer; we were going to be gone for a big part of the day. This is when you have to put your heart on the shelf and use your head. Elsa needed this and Luke simply couldn't come. So with the decision made to go I just did. We have a dog door which Luke uses all the time; he has his beds all over and his couch.
Elsa hovered on that morning; she knows after Luke, it's her turn. I took more time getting ready so she kept a very close eye on my movements. As soon as I picked up my keys she started spinning. I remained very calm and told Luke that I'd be back; this is what I tell them if they stand at the door thinking that they are coming with me but are not. "Momma be back," I said to him and he ran to his bed and got comfy. He was tired, good.
So Elsa I head down to San Diego and had a great time. I thought about Luke often while we were gone and then swooshed it out of my head, "he'd be fine." He was fine. When Elsa and I got home he gave us the same greeting that he does when we go out on our normal walk. I remained calm and very "no big deal," as I made my way to the kitchen and then outside. No over the top big greeting, I kept it simple. He took my cue and went to lay down on the outside bed. Happy that Mom was home he glanced over his shoulder once again to make sure.
The next day when it came time to go for a walk; Luke never left my side.. He wanted to make sure that we were all going. We did go for a walk together; it is important to mix it up so that they are never quite sure what is going on. He was a cling before the walk; a tad more worried than normal but still fine. Today will probably be another alone day. As he gets older the difference between the two is growing. These are not easy decisions but they must be made for the good of both. Head not heart decisions must be made.
I remember being at the beach in CT one day with Luke and Elsa. A woman with a very old dog was there; walking very slowly down the beach. Of course Elsa went bounding over to visit and the woman got very mad; then I got very mad. When a dog is that old and frail you do not take them where young dogs are running around off leash, it is not fair for anyone. Yes, you take your old dog out to enjoy walks; even on the beach, but not where there is risk of injury.
It's not easy but it must be done, we have to think with our head sometimes.