I basically spent the last two days curled in a fetal position in my friends’ New York apartment, shivering with a fever. I did have a fine companion however: Lukas Foster, their seven-year-old boxer. Lukas and I became good pals over my stay in New York because my hosts Alan and Drew were gone for a couple days and I was put in charge of his walks and feeding.
Lukas has luxuriant toenails that he is proud of showing off by clicking around proudly on the polished wood floors. Lukas also has a basic need to be in constant eye contact with whomever is in the apartment. Lukas is one of the most sweet and caring creatures you will ever meet. My limits were tested, however, when, curled under my blankets with fever, I heard the approach of distant thunder, of which Lukas is deathly afraid. Controlling him at this point, with my aching bones and pounding head, was like your Aunt Helen with rheumatoid arthritis trying to control a rabid pit bull. Cut to:
Rumble of thunder. Click, click, click. Lukas enters bedroom with wild-eyes.
Andy: (Sweetly, from under blankets) “Lukas, it’s okay baby.”
Lukas sits. Gets up. Leaves room. Circuits apartment. Pants.
Lightning. Thunder. Lukas re-enters bedroom, tongue out.
Andy: “Oh, baby, are you scared? Shhhhhh.”
Lukas whines. Runs. Click, click, click. Furniture topples. Vases shatter.
Andy: “Lukas! Come here! Oh, my head.” Thunder. Lukas returns.
Andy: “Lukas, sit. Sit! Sit! Staaaay. Good boy.” Thunder. Lukas runs.
Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click.
Lukas returns, foaming at the mouth, tongue dripping.
Andy: “Lukas, sit. Shhhh.” Andy shuts door to room, Lukas inside.
Thunder. Lukas attacks door to get out. Andy: “Sweet Jesus.”
Andy opens door. Lukas bolts out. Click, click, click.
Andy grasps for cool glass of water on nightstand. It’s empty.
Andy shivers on bed. Thunder.
Lukas runs into bedroom and jumps on bed, also shivering.
Andy: “Pooooor baby.” Pets Lukas. Lukas, wild-eyed, seems to appreciate.
Thunder. Lukas runs off bed, trampling Andy’s aching body.
A silent tear of pain trickles down Andy’s cheek.
I do have to say that Lukas Foster is one of the sweetest and most tender canine souls you may ever meet. He was recently diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, the same disease Barbara Hershey was afflicted with in Beaches, so we are praying for him to be around as long as possible. More on Lukas later. I still have some recovering to do myself.