HOW I MET LUKA AND HOW HE CHANGED MY LIFE
I had been interested, OK, obsessed with retired racing greyhounds for over 20 years but the time was never right to bring one into my life. About 11 years ago I noticed that the greyhounds were going to be at a local Petco store doing meet and greets from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It was right across from my Mom’s favorite restaurant.
After lunch we went over to the store to see the hounds. When I told the meet and greet rep that I had always wanted a greyhound she asked why haven’t I sent in my adoption application. My Mom was the sticking point. I had a very lively wired haired fox terrier at home along with two parrots. Everyone had to get along. I had never had two dogs at the same time before. The rep suggested I bring my fox terrier Scout in to see how he got along with the hounds. A week later I did just that and found that Scout was not afraid of them or overly interested in them. This could work.
I went out to the adoption kennel on St. Patrick’s Day to look at the available hounds. There is where I first laid my eyes on the most beautiful, sweet red brindle hound named Grey’s Island Mocha. It was love at first site. He was young, about 20 months old. His whole litter went to racing school but were to shy to race. The whole litter and his mother were retired and sent to an adoption group to find their forever homes.
After Mocha met Scout and I had my orientation with the director of the group , he was mine. Well, sort of. I still had to convince my Mom that a greyhound was a good fit into our home and lives. We had never had a big dog or more than one dog in our home. She wasn’t sure it would work.
It took about 2 weeks but I finally convinced my Mom with a heart filled letter on how adopting a greyhound could change my life, to let me adopt my hound who by that time was now named Luka after a character on my favorite TV Show-ER. Luka Kovac was a handsome man and my hound Luka was most handsome.
When I walked into my first meet and greet at the same Petco where I had first met the wonderful meet and greet volunteers, I felt like I was coming home to my family. I was beaming. My heart was full of joy. I had no idea how adopting this boy was about to change my life and my world forever.
Since then I’ve become a meet and greet volunteer. Luka and I at one point worked 5 monthly meet and greets a month. To date I have worked over 400 adoption events with my greyhounds. I have met the most amazing people. The greyhound community has become my family. My greyhounds have the most wonderful Aunties and Uncles.
Because of adopting my Luka I have gained confidence. I can talk to anyone, anywhere about greyhound adoption. I have traveled by myself (something I would have never considered doing before Luka) to greyhound events in Gatlinburg, Tenn., Louisville and for my 50th birthday Luka and I travelled over 900 miles to attend Beach Bound Hounds in Myrtle Beach. I had never seen the ocean and wanted to do something big for my birthday. With Luka by my side I can do anything. Whenever I start to doubt that I can do something I remind myself about the trip and the courage it took to drive that far alone with my hound and I tell myself that if I could do that- I can do anything.
Luka is my heart dog. I think most people reading this know what I mean when I say that. We are so bonded. He was a very shy boy when I met him but now he attends meet and greets and understands the important work he is doing. He does things that make him uncomfortable just because I ask him to do it. I can see that he is still somewhat shy sometimes and prefers not to have his face touched but he is so good with children, other dogs and even babies. He is so gentle and sweet with everyone.
Luka once greeted a friend who had never met a greyhound in person with a big smile on his face. She was afraid for a second seeing all those shiny white teeth. No worries I said, he is smiling at you. She said “he makes my heart sing” and this was just after spending a few minutes with him. That is my boy. He makes my heart sing every single day.
I have a sign that I read – ‘Change Your World- Change Your Life - Adopt a Greyhound’. That can’t be a more true statement.
Sadly Luka passed away 1/19/17. I had almost 10 wonderful years with my sweet boy. I currently have two greyhounds Carter and Neko who attend 3 adoption meet and greets a month with me.
Thank you Janet for sharing your lovely story about Luka, what a wonderful life he had with you.