I'm afraid I have some very sad news for you. The brightest light at the Dreaming Bear has gone out.
This morning Luke, our yellow lab of seven years, passed away after being ill for several days. Anyone who came into The Dreaming Bear in the last four years would probably remember having to step over Luke to get into the shop or having to endure being sniffed over. Luke often assumed the difficult role of making sure the carpet didn't float away, a task he was uniquely suited for. During children's birthday parties in the art studio, Luke often showed his true colors, which turned out to be hot pink with green glitter as he patiently allowed paint-splattered girls and boys to pet him. He was gentle, loyal, kind, lazy, and beautiful.
I love Luke not just for who he was, but for the kind of person I was when I was around him. He made me a better and richer man for having known him, and I will always be grateful that he took me under his wing. It was Luke's world, we just lived in it.
I also want to thank the kind people at the Cedar Rapids Animal Hospital, especially Dr. Weber, and the thoughtful staff of the Eastern Iowa Veterinary Specialty Center, including Drs. Streeter and Graf, for doing all they could to try to help Luke.
Luke is survived in death by a "suspicious chicken" and two inconsolable parents, for whom Luke was a constant blessing.
On My First Son
by Ben Jonson
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy ;
My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy.
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
Oh, could I lose all father now ! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage,
And if no other misery, yet age !
Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say, Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such
As what he loves may never like too much.