I’m not sure when the conversation with roommates will happen. But I want to reflect on raising Lukas, a bit.
No matter what my roommates may say, I am the one who raised him. They put in some effort, maybe a couple times a week, and I did the other stuff. Which is a lot of “stuff.”
I figured this picture is fitting, since it’s similar to the last picture I used– it shows how much he’s grown!
I was inspired to write this because of how he behaved when I finally did return to my apartment (where I am now sitting on the living room couch, avoiding the bedroom where at least one of my roommates is, since I can’t deal right now). It was pretty quiet, and when there were only one or two people around (less distractions), he actually did walk beside me, like I’d practiced with him a bit in Oklahoma (both on- and off-leash). It’s small, but it means a lot to me! I didn’t make him walk the whole way of course, since he’s sleepy, but I let him walk a little since I knew he wanted to.
I carried him the rest of the way. He’s maybe 13lbs now. Last weigh-in was 12.2 lbs. The first time I took him to the vet, at 8 weeks, he was 4.8lbs. My arms got slightly sore carrying him back from that first visit. Now, my arms are really sore!
I’ve carried him a lot today. Not because he can’t walk, but because of how much we’ve been moving around, and I’m not about to over-exhaust him. Also there’s too much pavement around, so if there won’t be grass for a while to make it easier on his joints, I try to carry him a bit.
Speaking of literally carrying, though, I’ve metaphorically carried the weight of training Lukas. House training, obedience training, etc. My roommates have made the weight heavier many times by doing things to make his training regress. But! He’s still turning out great. He’s almost 100% reliably house trained, now (I’ll say maybe 95%?). In the past few weeks that I’ve been with him the whole time, he had two accidents in Oklahoma only… one because I didn’t take him out as soon as he indicated he may need to (that was my fault, and I will definitely be better next time), and the other because I wasn’t being patient enough to get him to poop outside. He actually pooped inside on a towel, making the cleanup convenient.
But with roommates? I had him for Thanksgiving break with no issues, and after bringing him back to the apartment, I had to leave for another night. And came back to many “accidents,” after he’d spent one night with the roommates.
Okay, I’m getting on a bit of a rant there. But really. Lukas has certainly gotten mixed signals, so I’m proud of him for still learning the correct things.
He’s an angel. And if we’re being 100% honest, I believe that he’s meant to be mine. I think God meant to put him in my life. So maybe that’s part of why I adore him so much, and have him so close, even if my roommate may try to take him in the end (one roommate actually said he’d support me having ownership of Lukas, so if he doesn’t change his mind, it’s really only the other roommate that is the issue). If they do, I’ll know I read the meanings of things wrong… but regardless, I’ve learned from Lukas.
He’s given me hope, lead me to a wonderful community (in the SDC forums), and much more. Even if I don’t get to keep him, no one disagrees that he’s sweet, well behaved (particularly for his age), and a wonderful pet at the least. I know personally that it was partially from how hard I worked on raising him. The other part is his personality/temperament, of course. But he certainly could have come out much worse!
That said, to me, he’s not just an Emotional Support Animal. He’s a supportive companion. He’s a friend. A child. He trusts me, I can see it. Not just that, but it’s what other people say. I’m thankful for this pup, even if things turn out for the worst.
I just hope I can get myself to not break down, if they do go bad.