Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck #Pet Sitting – Chapter One: Luke by Debbie the DogLady


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

This is the first post of Debbie the DogLady who lives in Toronto, Canada and posts about travel, music, life and of course dogs. I have chosen four of her dog sitting adventures to share with you and in this post it sounds like there were many happy years of fun in the park, and illustrates how attached dog sitters and pet foster mums become attached to their guests.


Dogs have always been part of my life; a love passed down from generation to generation. Protracted unemployment in the early 90s required some creativity. Thus, my pet care business was born. This is a continuing series.
(Click HERE for more chapters)

Chapter One: Luke by Debbie the DogLady

I first met Luke when he was only 9 months old. What a magnificent dog! A beautiful White Shepherd, (aka Snow Shepherd or Swiss Shepherd), the likes of which I had never seen before. It was my weekly assignment to take him out for some exercise while his owners were work. The first day, he was barking furiously and ready to attack before I got through the door! This was a little nerve-wracking, but I was hoping he would calm down, once he picked up my scent. Our initial meeting had been a few days prior and he had given me a thorough “once over”. With outstretched hand, palm up, I tiptoed in. Luke bounded at me, then stopped to sniff. He looked up as if to say “oh yes, I remember you” and started to wag his tail. Big sigh of relief escaped my lips!

I grabbed the leash from the wall and he started “talking” to me. “Rawr, rawr, rawr , rawr” [~Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go~]. This made me smile. So impatient! We got in the car and headed for the park. There was fur flying everywhere and as the years passed, the old “dogmobile” would house a permanent “Lukehair” blanket, (others’ too, of course, but not so obvious).

Apparently, I wasn’t driving fast enough. From the back seat, Luke leaned into my right ear. “Rawr, rawr, rawr, rawr” [~Are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet?~]. This continued until we arrived at our destination; quite the distraction!

The dog park wasn’t ideal for Luke. He had a habit of trying to mount other males, some of whom took exception. I looked for a safer venue and found a lovely, mostly deserted green space a few miles away, where Luke could play frisbee to his heart’s content.

This routine went on for years. Luke also enjoyed many vacations at my house. We were forever bonded. ♥ He started deteriorating around the age of 10. First, there was a problem with his spleen and it had to be removed. There were stomach problems, too. I remember once he had a bad case of diarrhea, all over my car. What a mess! The poor boy was so mortified!

After Luke’s human Mommy, Lorraine, began working from home, I only saw him occasionally. She contacted me one summer’s day, when Luke was 13, to relay the sad news that he had cancer. “He’s not suffering and we’ll keep him comfortable as long as possible”, she said. My heart sank, but, I tried to remain positive, for her sake. Told her how much we loved him and that she and her husband were wonderful to give him this chance. Not all dog owners would. There was no further news until the dreaded call came, shortly before Christmas. Luke had passed away peacefully, in his sleep, overnight. Lorraine and I were both sobbing into the phone, as I tried to console her. Losing a client’s dog is almost as heart wrenching as losing my own and this scene has been repeated often, over the years.

Luke will forever remain in our hearts. He truly was one of a kind!

©Debbie the Dog Lady 2012

About Debbie

Hello from Toronto!

Thanks for visiting my little corner of the internet. Let me entertain you with memoirs, photos, travelogues, creative writing pieces, music galore and so much more.

I was born in Germany, now living in Canada. My mother was German and my father, Canadian of German descent. They met in 1953, during his first posting to her homeland, following a tour of duty in Korea. This makes me an “Army Brat”.

I speak English, German, some French, a little Italian and a smattering of Spanish. I love music, travel and of course dogs.

Connect to Debbie


My thanks to Debbie for permitting me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over to explore them further.. Thanks Sally.


57 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck #Pet Sitting – Chapter One: Luke by Debbie the DogLady

  1. Sad face. Losing a dog is much like losing a child. I cant even think of losing Gus without breaking down in tears so I know the devastation I’ll be in when that day comes. Funny isnt it? We know they’re here for a shorter period than we are, we know how much they’ll love us and more, how much we’ll love them …like a doomed relationship you just can’t resist. Yet we enter it knowingly, joyfully, We are 2 separate species, one superior to the other, (them), one inferior ,(us) As Sally says. They put the E on human. Perhaps that’s why we enter it anyway….. it’s the closest thing to Agape, unconditional love, that we can experience here (from them) and to them, the nearest we come to giving it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Karen! ❤ I did invent this job and was the only person in town providing such a service at the time (1994). Now, the market is flooded with dog walkers and pet sitters, not all of them reputable, which is disconcerting. One has to have a love for animals to do it justice. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Debbie, I understand completely. Sally and I are certified nutritionists, yet we see people who do more harm than good by offering there limited knowledge to people who really need help from professionals. Sometimes, as you know – a little bit of knowledge can do more harm than good. It is dangerous for dogs to be handled by people who don’t understand doggie behavior and how intuitive doggies are, because doggies know immediately if the person handling them knows how to apply proper training to care for them. A pleasure to meet you Debbie.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Glad to meet a fellow dog lover, Debbie. Your piece was quite touching. Having gone through the death of a good many hairy friends, it never gets any easier. My friend and fellow dog lover, Bill, told me something that I’ll never forget. He said, “Of course I’m sad when one of my dogs passes. It’s a trade-off I’m willing to make. My dog gave me thirteen good years. I’m entitled to be sad for a while.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sally, you and me both. I become so attached that it is emotionally difficult to give them up if I am taking care of someone’s precious doggy. My 12 year old long-haired chargoal colored dachshund, Katie Bell, died 9 years ago and I am still not over it and never will be. She talked constantly and she would meet my husband at the door everyday when he came home from work and in doggy language would tell him everything about her day. She always called me, in english, “Mommy.”

    Liked by 2 people

      • Oh Sally, that is so true and so lovely. I truely feel that they are around us often and I know that for a fact! Someday, I will explain. I sometimes till hear Katie Bell, trying to talk to me again, in her sweet little voice, trying to speak english and it is the funniest thing you have ever heard and adorable too. I know how much you miss Sam and few people really understand how terribly awful the lost is, but how wonderful that we had the opportunity to share our lives with these loving, amazing and caring beings that gave us so much love and joy. I still cry sometimes too. I will be gone for about 10 days, but I will be ready for July 31 at the prescribed time. (I hope you meant July and not August, but if it is August that is great too.) I have been trying to fine the message you left on my iphone and I will keep looking or it. Hope you have a really lovely weekend. Karen 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • My sympathies, Karen and Sally. ((HUGS)) I can relate to all of this in regards to our beautiful Dalmatian, Tasha, who was with us for 15.5 years. 💖 She died in 2007 and the tears still well up. I do have a hard time sometimes when my guests go home, but they’re a lot like grandchildren and come to visit again. 😍 The WORST thing is when a long-time client’s dog passes away. (That happened only last week; a wonderful Shepherd/Lab named Joey. She was 14 years old, and I knew her from the age of 8 months! 😭) I stopped writing those memoirs because they were too painful to relive, but, may start again, soon.

      Liked by 2 people

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