There seems to be a theme with several of the rescued dogs in this project. Puppies at a shelter, looking for a forever home. That is how this story begins, with a mom and her pups. One of those pups was Luka the Coonhound mix, and the next adopted dog in my Rescued Dogs Project.
Homeless in a High-Kill Shelter
Luka was one of seven pups who along with their mom were sitting at a high-kill shelter in Tennessee. Thankfully this little family was saved by Saving Paws Animal Rescue, Inc., based in Appleton, Wisconsin. The pups and their mom soon found themselves at a foster home, now safely waiting for their own families.
Searching for a Dog
Not long before this canine family made the journey to Wisconsin, Megan had lost her beloved rescue dog after fourteen years of happiness and good health. Describing her recent loss, Megan said, “I was heartbroken and knew nothing would replace him, but I was missing the comfort of my friend.” Megan began looking online for a dog in need, and soon learned about the pups.
When Megan visited the mom and her babies, Luka immediately stood out. He was the only tri-colored puppy in the litter (all the others were black and white or tan and white). According to Megan, “Sitting on the floor, he came wobbling from the cage and licked me on my hand just as my old dog did. There was a spark and I knew that we were meant to find each other”. Megan was looking for a dog that didn’t fear people and would love having a job. Her goal was to raise a dog who would become a therapy dog. Megan said, “I have a current position in a mental health hospital and I have seen the joy that the therapy dogs can bring to all of the kids, and the joy that it can bring to the dog”.
Coonhound Mix Helping Others
Even as a pup, Luka showed a strong interest in approaching and comforting humans. Watching Luka around people, Megan knew that she had made the right choice, that Luka was meant to help others. This Coonhound mix is now working towards becoming a certified therapy dog, and this also allows Megan to continue with her passion for dog training. In fact, this pair also participates in agility courses, which according to Megan is more fun than training for Luka. That’s how you know you’re doing it right!
When Luka isn’t playing or training, he also loves to swim at the lake (or at the pool in the winter). Luka also loves long walks on the trail or hiking in the woods. He’ll run through piles of leaves and sniff to his heart’s content. Now that’s a true hound dog! When it’s quiet time, Luka loves to snuggle with Megan and her husband Bryan. Megan said Luka always seems to know what she needs. She said, “Sometimes I swear he is the reincarnated version of the dog I had before him! I know we were meant to cross paths in life and I am so happy that we did!”
Therapy Dog in Training
Since there is so much more time at home due to COVID-19, Megan has used this time to work hard on developing Luka’s manners. Once businesses begin to open again, she and Luka will take the test for Canine Good Citizen. This will be the first step toward becoming a therapy dog. Megan said she can’t wait for Luka to “have a job bringing joy to other people, just as he does for his own family”.
Luka has only been with Megan and Bryan for just shy of two years, but he has taught them so much. According to Megan, “Training him with my husband has taught us how to communicate and work together so that he is trained with good manners and respects us both equally”. Of course the added bonus to all of this work with Luka is the increased family time. And as Megan said, the practice of becoming a responsible dog owner hopefully helps them prepare for expanding the (human) family someday.
A Happy Rescued Dog
All in all, Luka is home and he is very happy. This sweet dog is a bundle of joyful energy that Megan said is the best thing to arrive home to after a long day at work. She looks up the stairs and there’s Luka, wagging his tail in excitement. Megan said “This is just the right amount of joy that I need at the end of my day”. Luka, the cheerful Coonhound mix, is another happy tale in the Rescued Dogs Project.
Did you miss the last dog featured in the Rescued Dogs Project? Read all about Roxie, the Newfoundland mix.