Luther, by Milda Titford

Luther was never our choice. We were his choice.

When we decided to adopt a dog from a kill shelter we envisaged something young, healthy and small, no power breeds… Luther was the exact opposite to our requirements: eight years old, sick, 75lb and an American pitbull.

But he was The One. Luther fitted in straight away. He healed us. Our previous dog experience wasn’t great – we had had an aggressive retriever and were nervous about dog aggression. Luther, although he looked like a killing machine, was the gentlest being we have ever met. He rehabilitated us back into the world where we could trust dogs once again.

Luther was goofy, lazy, funny, cuddly. He would greet us at a door with a toy he’d carry back and forth, wagging his tail endlessly. He would get between us in a bed in the morning and sprawl so much so that there was no space left for anyone else. He wouldn’t tolerate sadness: he would get right into your face, wag his tail and whimper.

Luther was, however, very sick from the word go. He was allergic to the most unbelievable things: maple, dust, mold, elm pollen…. He had an enlarged spleen, kidney disease, a heart murmur, arthritis…. It was a revolving door at the vet’s, and we always knew that one of these days vet magic wouldn’t save him. That day came last November, three years later. The vet shrugged his shoulders and said it was “a matter of days”. Luther was his favorite patient and the vet agreed to come to our home to help Luther cross the rainbow bridge.

Our house has been empty ever since. There’s no one to greet us at the door with a torn-up toy. We are unsure that any other dog could make us love them as much as Luther did, so for now, the house stays empty.

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