I wrote in my book about our family getting our first dog- I was 20 and my Mom had fallen in love with a sad little Schnoodle at a pet store in the mall. No one wanted him and he was days away from probably being euthanized, but my Mom saw something in this pup’s sweet eyes that made her want to save him. We had only had cats until that point, so to get the call while at college that we had gotten a dog, finally, was a bit of a surprise.
Tucker was a funny looking little pup- with spotty skin and wiry hair, but the sweetest disposition. After lots of love and good meals, he filled out, his hair grew in and he transformed into one heck of a cutie. Tucker and I had a special relationship- even though I was out of the house, I was in school nearby and we spent lots of time together. He’d get so excited when I pulled my car down the driveway, as would I. I would venture a guess that he would say that I gave the best doggie massages on the planet too.
But the best thing Tucker ever did for us was show us how much better life is with a dog. He turned a family who had never had a dog before into some of the most solidly dog-crazy people out there. He opened our eyes to the incredible gift of unconditional love and companionship. How much more joyful things are with a furry friend by your side. My parents went on to get three more dogs, and as you know I have two (and would have twelve if I realistically could). One of my brothers has gotten one as well and at Christmas we would have SEVEN in one house all at once. And it was awesome.
Yesterday Tucker went to doggie heaven. He was almost 16, blind, deaf, arthritic, in diapers and covered in tumors. It was time, but even so, making the call to say goodbye is such a heartbreaking one and I don’t envy my mom for having to do it. But it was the right things to do before his life got really painful. I got to spend last weekend with him and give him lots of treats, some walks and lots and lots of ear rubs (he had the best ears to rub).
He had the kind of life all dogs could only dream of. My parents gave him the best of the best and I know plenty of people who hope that if they are reincarnated they come back as one of their dogs. And while his life was long, it feels too short at the same time. I know he knew how much we all loved him and hope he knows how much he’ll be missed.
Thanks for being our first dog Tucky. We were lucky to have you.