Column: Saying goodbye to a 4-pound friend 


Commentary by Jon Quick

Recently, I attended a memorial service and celebration of life for a boy who was loved by so many. His name was Luca.


He was everything that a good person is. Loving. Funny. Smiling. Unselfish. Always loyal. Constant and trusting. Always there during good times and bad.

For 15 years, Luca was the constant companion to a friend of mine, a very gifted WTHR reporter by the name of Emily Longnecker.

Emily loved Luca as much as anyone could ever love a living being. And when he finally passed in her arms, the grieving began. She gathered together Luca’s many friends.

The memorial was lovely. There were flowers, samples of Luca’s wardrobe (he loved to dress up), heart-felt eulogies, Bible readings, tears and laughs. So many friends were there to remember what Emily called, “The best and kindest boy in America.”

Oh, and there also were dog treats.

You see, Luca was a Yorkie. Four full pounds of love.

I know what some of you might be thinking. “A funeral? For a dog? Come on now!” Well, if that’s what you’re thinking, you’re not a dog lover.

Luca truly thought he was human. He had all the traits of a good person, including a loving heart. He just spoke a different language.

There is a reason they are called “man’s best friend.” Our loving pups are very much like good people, but it’s just that they are dressed in the uniform of a dog.

If you’ve ever seen the Disney movie “Homeward Bound,” you just might understand better. It’s a beloved story of two dogs and a cat who were boarded at a ranch while their human family was on vacation. They ‘talked’ amongst themselves and decided to escape. Shadow, Chance and Sassy weren’t concerned about themselves. They worried about the fate of their human family and begin an amazing journey to find their way back home. As good tales (or is it tails?) go, there is a happy ending as they eventually end up in the loving arms of their owners.

One day Luca will be back together with Emily again, and the love between them will start all over. Dogs do go to heaven.

You just have to believe.

Luca was just good people.

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