Today, August 3, 2018, we said goodbye to our Beloved Little Brother and Friend, Lukas Gabriel (Luke), the Black Borzoi. He was born December 13, 2005 and lived almost to his 13 year mark. He'd been dealing with hip dysplasia since 2007, and vet finally got him onto a regimen of pain meds and anti-inflammatories that have been helping him for the last few years.

Luke's story begins with NBRF and Carol Backers. His Foster parents called her and asked if she could put a notice on the NBRF site about him, so he could be adopted. He was around 10 months at that time. I was out at the site day notice went up, but there were no pictures as yet. I was interested in him as we had recently lost one of our precious dogs. I decided to "sleep" on it and talk with Carol next day. That night, I had a very unusual dream. I dreamed I was lost in the walls of some large older house. I could not find my way out, and could not make a sound either. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a shape in one of the corners. As I turned to look, it was a beautiful black Borzoi just standing there looking at me. I tried to ask him how to get out of the walls of this house, and he just kept staring at me with his big, beautiful brown eyes though he said nothing. Dream ended abruptly, and I woke up knowing I wanted the Black Borzoi listed on the NBRF site. I contacted Carol, and she asked if I did not want to wait for pictures of the dog. I told her I already "knew" what he looked like, and that we wanted to adopt him. We made our application, had a home visit with some Borzoi people in Johnson City, and proceeded with getting ready for our new family member. We were told that Lukas had a great fear of cars and that we'd have to make the 10 hour drive to Luke's Foster parents' home in South Carolina to pick him up. In October 2006, we drove to South Carolina to pick Luke up from his Foster Parents there close to Beaufort. We took our hurricane Rita survivor, Breeze, with us so she could "pick him out" and boarded our older wolf hybrid, Jamie for the weekend.

When Luke was about 4 months old, he was dumped by the side of a busy highway near Beaufort, SC, and people drove off leaving him to die. A deputy from sheriff's dept. picked him up and took him to the Humane Society of the Low Country, and he was caged with a Border Collie named Jack. Shelter had called John and Anna about Jack as they fostered the Borders and trained them for agility as well. When Anna came to pick up Jack, she saw Luke and asked what kind of dog he was. People did not know what he was, and since he was such a baby, she decided to take them both.

She took Luke to vet next day and found that he had Demodectic Mange, which is a type of mange contracted through the Mother. It is not like other mange in that it has to be treated aggressively for a long time before it can be cured. Anna and John began his baths with special dip and made sure he ate a high quality diet. Vet said that he would most likely grow out of it in time. When we came to pick him up in October, they had been treating him for 6 months. They did send the dip home with us, and our vet did a scrape in some of the effected areas and said he was clear and apt to stay that way. He stayed clear the rest of his life.

Pictures range from 4 months to almost 13 years' old, and our hearts are broken from the loss of our little Brother and Best Friend. His sisters, Akira, Morgaine and Emmy are also very sad, and it will take all of us a long time to mend our hearts from his loss. Though we knew his time was drawing near, it did not make it any easier to roll him onto a stretcher and load him in car for his last ride to vet. He had no feeling from his waist back and could only move his upper body. Vet said his spine had most likely broken near where his hip dysplasia was and that considering his great age, there was nothing we could do. All the time we struggled to load him into car and get him into vet's office, his eyes were alert and trusting, as always, that we could "fix" this like we were always able to before. His beautiful eyes never left mine in vet's office, and I told him he would be going to sleep and would be able to really rest, pain free, for the first time in a long time. He accepted that and left with that trust never leaving his eyes. How Blessed we have been to be able to live with such an Angel all these years, and hopefully he can run free and be young again with his two sisters who left us a long time ago. Thanks for reading, and give all your little brothers and sisters a hug in honor of Lukas Gabriel the Black.

If you prefer to mail your donations, you may send them to:

Liz Duncan-Burge, Secretary/Treasurer NBRF
P.O. Box 231
Dix, IL 62830