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  • Writer's pictureTracy Haynes

Death Of A Pet - Luca

Updated: Apr 27, 2023


Many years ago, I gave a home to a 10-month-old Weimaraner named Luca. I didn’t rescue Luca; I feel we rescued each other. When I first went to meet Luca, he was extremely stressed! I don’t believe he had ever been on a lead and guessed he had been left, most of his short life, in a very small-untendered garden, with no shelter. This was evident to me by the mud-caked patio doors and his fear of everything!

I asked could we take him for a walk and by the look on the faces of the people who were ‘getting rid of him’ it was not normal practice. They said they didn’t lead walk him; they take him to a nearby park and let him run free. They reluctantly put him in the boot of their car, where he immediately urinated, from my opinion, out of fear. When we reached the park, they opened the boot and he ran out, darting all over the place in a mad panic.

He then ran up to a random man and promptly nipped him on the leg. After apologising to the leg bitten man, we returned to their house where Luca stood on his hind legs and gave me what I can only describe as a ‘heart-warming hug!’ I said… “We’ll take him!”

He barked continuously the whole journey home. Once we settled him in at home, I began the arduous task of lead walking, which resembled trying to lead walk a deranged Kangaroo! He would bark furiously at anything that moved, including birds, ‘kangarooing’ the whole time! Mums would gather their children up and crossover the road, dog walkers would hastily turn around and walk in the opposite direction.

One evening after rushing home from work to be with him, I opened the front door to find he had actually eaten the majority of the hall, stairs and landing, including the carpet the skirting boards and the walls! I actually sat down on the stairs and wept; however, I had vowed I would never give up on him… no matter what!

In time, once Luca began to trust me and in the safety of our home, he became the model dog and my soul mate. With all the will, patience and love in the world, he never got over the fear of being outdoors. I used to get up every morning at 5am and walk him when it was quiet and nobody was around. Even on the weekends! Although I have to say, those walks are now some of the dearest memories I hold.

When I was going through a difficult period in my life with my now ex-husband, I would walk the streets all night, so I could cry without my step-daughters hearing me, as I didn’t want to upset them. Luca would just walk with me, never once hesitating. It was like he knew.

Then it was just the two of us, Luca and I, and he was my rock! If I cried, he would try and make me laugh by lowering his front paws and sticking his bum in the air, whilst barking at me. It worked! I laughed every time! Once when I was crying with grief for my mum, I had a box of tissues on the coffee table and I would occasionally reach for one to wipe away my tears. Luca got up off the sofa, gently took one of the tissues out of the box and brought it to me! I couldn’t believe it!

He would help me carry things down the stairs, he knew all his toys names and would bring them to me on request. He would get my slippers from upstairs and he always liked to snuggle up to me, as closely as he possibly could. If anyone raised their voice to me, he would stand in front of me and bark at them. I truly loved him and he truly loved me. I met a new partner, who loves animals as much as I do and he and Luca became the best of friends.

A few years down the line we were asked to mate Luca and that is how we ended up with Skye, Luca’s beautiful baby girl. They adored each other and would kiss each other every morning.

Time passed and I could see Luca was slowing down, my heart ached with the knowing that he wouldn’t always be here, to walk by my side. I always felt that as long as I had Luca, I didn’t need anyone else. He never ever let me down (apart from when he ate the hall, stairs and landing of course!), he was faithful, loving, funny and intelligent and we would fight to the death for each other.

He could no longer do long walks, so we did short walks, my soul knew and I told him every day how much I loved him.

One morning his breathing was very laboured and I wasn’t sure if it was due to the hot weather or not. I rang the emergency vets at 4:45am and asked their advice. They told me to bring him straight in, as it could be a number of things. I drove him straight there. They did some blood tests and arranged for him to go in and have some X-rays. He had to be sedated in order to do this, so we had to leave him there for the day.

I was working seeing clients from my office at home. Once I had finished my partner asked me if I would like a cup of tea?” I replied, “Thank you but I’m going walking with Skye.” He said “No you need to come and sit down.” My heart sank. He told me that the vets had called and that Luca had secondary cancer and that the kindest thing to do was to put him to sleep, whilst he was still sedated from the X-rays. At which point I broke down sobbing “Is he dead? Is he dead?” My partner explained that he wasn’t dead, that he couldn’t give the vets permission to do that, they would have to speak with me and so he had arranged for us to go in and speak with the vet.

We drove straight to the vets and sat in the waiting room and waited and waited. I have been to this vet so many times and never used the ladies. I went three times whilst waiting, I was in such a state. Then the vet walked into the waiting room with Luca, he had blue tape on his leg. I didn’t expect to see him walk into the waiting room and I knelt on the floor and just hugged him.

We went into a room and the vet showed me the X-rays and Luca’s lungs were full of cancer. I had recently seen my Mum suffer terribly with lung cancer and could not bear to see my beautiful boy go through that. The vet said I was doing the right thing. They left us alone for 10 minutes and I gave Luca some tissues out of my bag as he loved to rip them up. I held the tissues in my hands, whilst he carefully shredded them into tiny pieces and we laughed through our tears. We told him how much we love him with all our my hearts and thanked him for everything he had ever done for us.

The vet came back with a quilt and I lay beside Luca on the floor and sang ‘Luly Scrumptious’ to him. Luly was one of a number of nicknames I had for him. I always sang this to him and I hoped it would soothe him, give him a little comfort…

‘Luly scrumptious you’re truly Luly scrumptious,

scrumptious as a beach ball on the sand,

you know I love you Luly

and always will do truly,

honest Luly I do’

He died right there, in my arms, whilst I sang through my tears and I sobbed from the bottom of my soul…

You see, some people don’t understand how deeply you can grieve for an animal. They don’t seem to see what beautiful souls they have and the unconditional love they are capable of. How very sad they do not see. If they could see and feel the love animals have to offer, cruelty to animals would not exist.

These beautiful creatures teach us more about unconditional love than any human could ever wish to achieve.



Thank you for everything!

You Were Loved



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