August 16th; today is Luke's 11th birthday and I honestly cannot believe that it has been 11 years. I remember meeting Luke for the very first time like it was only yesterday.
Luke has been the inspiration for much of my photography. He has grown to accept himself as a Super model.
Luke joined us almost 11 years ago when he was just 12 weeks old. I met him when he was only 7 weeks old; and little did I know that my life would be forever changed that day. I was not looking for a puppy on that fateful visit; I was in the process of acquiring another puppy from across the country at the time. Once our eyes met; that was it, I was a gonner. I could not get that little blonde boy off my mind or out of my heart. The mere idea that he might spend his life with someone else was unbearable.
Five weeks later I made the call fully expecting him to have already found his forever home. But he was still there; waiting for me. We wasted no time once the decision was made and the rest is history. Luke was a challenge from the start; he is a reactive dog and even with all my years of training he taught me more than any other dog in my life. A gentle hand, patience, understanding and some thinking outside of the box was all that was required. He taught me all this and more; making me who I am today.
I cannot imagine if I'd made other plans on that day we first met; what if I'd gone shopping instead? Doubtful; I truly believe that we were meant to meet and we were most certainly meant to share our lives with him. He has brought so much joy into our lives with the special individual connection that he has with each and every member of our family.
Luke has a zest for life and is happy most of the time. He is hugely demonstrative with his emotions and not shy to share them with those that he loves. At the age of 3, Luke was diagnosed with Epilepsy so with that he has taught us much as well. If he is going to have a seizure he finds one of his family members; let's them know and we hold him until it passes. Other than this one health issue he is doing amazing for an eleven year old.
The birthday boy; contemplating life or very possibly watching bugs.
He is ever the sporty guy; ready to go wherever and do whatever.
He definitely has the most expressive eyes I've come across.
Mr. Curious; always wants to know where I am and what I'm doing.
A true water retriever.
Luke will never pass on a chance to play a game, never.
Sometimes it's just too sunny in sunny California for a blonde boy.
Luke has one agenda for lizards.
Under the definition of competitive in the dictionary is a picture of Luke.
But he does have a softer side and sometimes the pool is just too slippery to walk in.
The happy face of my beach boy.
Luke is always up for a race; especially with Dad.
The camera follows him pretty much everywhere.
He adores snuggles from Mom.
So today we celebrate a big 11th birthday with our very special boy. How could anyone not adore this face?????????? Happy 11th big boy.