Luna SW Hammond's Dog

Welcoming Luna Doggy To The Family

She’s curious, shy, gentle, loving, and trying so hard to figure out where life has taken her. Luna The Tuna has been with us for a week. We got her from a local rescue, and her story is pretty vague before that. She was found roaming the streets Los Lunas, NM and dropped off at a shelter. She hung out there for a while without much luck and was eventually put on death row. Fortunately, the rescue here in town takes dogs from kill shelters and tries to find them homes.

Once again, she was at the rescue for another few weeks where she had an operation (spay). Strange people poked at her, she was trapped in chainlink cages, sleeping on concrete floors, surrounded by deafeningly loud cellmates, and not much understanding. The whole system is pretty heartbreaking when you lift the veil. I’m not saying I could do better or have more compassionate solutions, but I also didn’t want to spend another minute in there. I wanted to take them all home. But, ultimately, they gave her second chance. They brought us together.

The joy she has brought in a few short days—a shot of life and something to focus on beyond our crumbling world—has improved the mood and energy of our home. Luna and I are both still trying to figure each other out, learning from one another. She seems so eager to please, and desperate to be loved and accepted. Beneath it, she also seems skeptical of the whole situation—suddenly exploring a mountain home with a wild backyard full to deer, birds, and sticks. These weird creatures that walk upright and give her all sorts of new things to taste. Sometimes I catch her staring off into space—I’m sure there must be other dogs, people that she misses. The only life she knew, good or bad, was ripped away.

Within a week she has reminded me of patience, wonder, compassion, empathy, vulnerability, trust, and brought me back into the moment. It’s cliche—who rescued who—but it’s unquestionable that we’ve both benefitted. I’ve even wrapped the ol’ boot around the ankle and taken her on hikes. Fresh air, sunshine, and a young dog still discovering so much about the world.

It’s impossible to not think about Yawkey—it’s been a hard 7 months since the injection. Truthfully, it feels too soon. Like I’m cheating on her somehow, dishonoring her. Luna, in full irony, took her first shit literally on the headstone. What could I do but laugh? In her last few months, Yawkey and I made our peace. I don’t know how her story started either, but it was traumatic and she lived the rest of her days tortured because of it. She was deeply affected by her life before us, but, ultimately, it was a good life. She put her paws in the ocean. She sprinted across the desert. She was happiest out for a simple walk in the mountains. In the end, her body failed her—but we never left her side.

Luna will meet the same fate, and it’s so hard going down this road again knowing that. But it’s of value. It’s time, effort, love, and heartache worth spent. Loving a dog, or anything for that matter, is a choice—and I choose to show her the better side of this world.

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