Karen L., a preschool teacher, walks her puppy named Lukas on the playground-cum-walkway in a high-rise condominium in Taguig City. “It’s difficult if you don’t have a yard. Lukas likes to run,” Karen says. Lukas, just three months old as of this writing, is a tricolor beagle: tan, black and white. He is one of six puppies adopted by Karen from a friend.

“For me, the size of the beagle is just right for a condo companion. And my baby Lukas is so demure, gentle, and mild-mannered, quite different from his siblings,” Karen enthuses. “Save for the first two nights when he [kept] whining, he’s so sweet and adorable.”

“He loves to sleep most of the time,” she adds. The warm relationship of the cheerful master and her four-legged friend is unmistakable.

Obviously a fan of Luke Skywalker of Star Wars, Karen shows us a picture of Lukas. “Look at the white heart-shaped mark on his forehead when he was a month old. Sadly, after a month, the heart… disappeared and became just a white vertical streak,” she says.

Lukas plays with the frolicking kids in the playground. A young boy teases Lukas with a twig, and the puppy jumps up and down with gusto.

“Yes, chew toys keep Lukas busy. And he’s [in the] teething stage, so he’s preoccupied chewing these toys for hours…and also chewing our sofa,” Karen laughs.

“I feed him only organic food, oatmeal, barley; that’s why he smells good, and even his poo as well. Of course, condo rules say that [a] plastic bag and paper is a must to clean up the poo,” she laughs.

He has a set daily routine. Karen shares, “At 4:30 a.m., Lukas makes his first pee then takes his breakfast, walks around the playground, [and] sleeps. 9:30 a.m. [is] lunchtime, and 5 p.m., dinnertime.”

All told, having a pet dog in a condo can be both challenging and worthwhile. “Lukas loves to be coddled and he gives me lessons on patience and happiness,” she explains as she tightly hugs Lukas, Snoopy’s blood brother.

Oh well, as Charlie Brown says, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” And may I add, that’s true whether you’re living in a condo or not.

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s January 2016 issue.