Luke Skywalker-Eppler — Therapy

Location: Seattle, Washington

I was nervous for Luke’s first therapy dog visit, even though he was a good boy since the day I sprung him from the shelter at a year old. Was a three-mile run enough to chill out my elderly (14!) pup before a visit? We walked in, Luke found his volunteer badge, and we made ourselves at home in front of the fireplace. I wondered if Luke could sense the chemo when he gently sniffed his first visitor’s cheek? Luke sit-stayed with ease by the chiming, buzzing elevator. When a tall boy came and said that he liked neither cats nor dogs, Luke napped not too close and not too far. Perhaps my dog’s dreams were filled with the boy’s stories of X-box, siblings, and skis? An inconsolable visitor who didn’t receive an expected package plopped on the ottoman. Luke, undaunted by his wired devices, gazed into tears even while a stuffy sat ready to distract. Belly rubs turned restless and I thought Luke was ready to leave. Instead, this therapy dog nested close to his new little girl, his head resting gently in her lap. Luke has spent countless hours at the Ronald McDonald House, library, and other healing places. Everywhere he goes Luke spreads joy with his superpower moves, the knee lean and soulful gaze. His smile, like in the photograph taken when waiting for little library goers, is always ready to spread joy and hope. And he is the softest dog you will ever pet.

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