Our vendors: Rikke and Lukas (=Oslo, Oslo, Norway)

By Even Skyrud, =Oslo

Lukas is always there. You never see just Rikke in town. Lukas, the beautiful husky with the two-tone eyes was both a watchdog, quilt and pillow when Rikke lived on the street. He looked up and watched as Rikke sat with her begging cup and stared at the ground, and he charmed the customers when she sold copies of =Oslo. Everyone could see that Rikke took better care of Lukas than herself. One year they lived in a lavvu [a temporary tent-like dwelling used by the Sami] in the fields. They swam and went fishing together. It was their best summer.

Rikke managed to stop using heroin and she then got her own apartment in the suburbs. She doesn’t know if she would have managed it alone—without the warmth and company of her calm canine companion. He was the one who was always there; no matter how tough things were. They did it together: Rikke and Lukas.

Rikke and Lukas. [Photo by Tine Poppe]

Now that the days are no longer focussed on hunting for money for the next hit, they can spend their time together on what they like best: going for long walks in the woods together. Rikke also has more time to write poems now. She has always written poems, even in the days when things were at their worst on the Oslo streets. And Lukas has always been there with her.

On Facebook, Rikke wrote a tender note about her steadfast companion: “Lukas is with me everywhere I go. I can’t imagine life without my best friend by my side.”

Translated from Norwegian via Translators Without Borders