At the beginning of the year, my husband and I decided to get another puppy. Her name is Zumi and, like Luther, she is an Olde English Bulldog. It never crossed my mind that she might one day have to fill in for Luther on the Max and Luther book tour. Tragically we lost Luther this past March and we were devastated. Luther was larger than life, and had left an equally large hole in our hearts. Fortunately, at the same time we were mourning the loss of Lou, we had sassy little Zumi to care for and love. She has been the perfect medicine for me. It is hard to stay sad when you have this little black and white bowling ball of a Bulldog rolling around your house. Watching her play with her brothers never fails to bring a smile to my face!
Losing Luther left me with so many questions. First and foremost-now what? Luther was my best pal and we went everywhere together. He made the most mundane of chores fun. I no longer have Lou in the back seat to keep me company and to listen to my terrible singing. I hope Zumi will embrace the daily car rides and the loud music. Secondly, what is going to happen to Max and Luther’s book tour? Kari and Max were equally devastated at the loss of Luther and it took all of us awhile to adjust to his absence. Zumi being a crazy little puppy with all that energy loves to play with Max and will not leave him alone! She is always in his face wanting to play and while he is very tolerant, Max at the ripe old age of 4 is not always so thrilled with her. I know he misses his lazy buddy Lou as they grew up together and knew each other’s quirks. Now Max is starting over with Zumi. Let’s just say our car trips are quite eventful! The harness for Zumi in the car has really paid off, mostly for Max’s sanity. He can now ride in peace.
Our first book signing event without Luther felt strange. How were we going to explain Luther’s absence? How were we going to introduce Zumi? Where do we go from here? We had lost our rhythm and were trying to find our way. By our second event, things started to run more smoothly. Zumi, for her part, has been great. At 6 months old, she is very well behaved in the bookstores and loves meeting new people. I am thrilled by that! Now I need to relax and let everything else fall into place. I need to accept that things will be different without Lou. Change has always been a challenge for me, but I know that it is healthy and can be positive. We will have plenty of new adventures and experiences for a third book and hope that we will make Luther proud!
Luther will forever be in our hearts and thanks to our two books we will never forget him.