Monday, September 19, 2011

Our House Got Quieter...

Yesterday our house got a little quieter. Yesterday we lost Tucker. Tucker was the first real “child” we ever had. The first being we were 100% responsible for. Part of me feels like we gave him so much – spoiled him when he was little, took him with us to Philadelphia, on most vacations, let him sleep in our room, gave him so many treats. You could argue that so many other families wouldn’t have put up with his wild years as a puppy and juvenile. My hatred of his shedding almost led to his banishment. But we took care of him until the end. On the other hand we could have done more. We weren’t the best at making sure he got his flea and tick treatments. It became harder to walk him and take him on day-trips with us once we had kids (especially 3 of them).
Through it all, Tucker was a great dog for our family. Fond memories we will always treasure of him:
-How gentle he was with the kids, especially Jack, as they tugged at him, crawled on him, and tried to ride him like a pony
- His obsessiveness with tennis balls and fetching – when he saw a body of water, he would jump in and immediately start looking for the ball or stick that he assumed we must have thrown in for him
- His desire to be in the middle of us at all times, especially in his later years – he would always be found under the dinner table, next to the couch, next to the bed – lying there just happy to be with us
- When he was a pup Sarah got him his “little friend” to keep him company while we both went away for work. It was a life-sized chocolate lab doll that she would leave in the backyard for him. He would drag it around the yard with his jaws and do other unmentionable things. The neighbor behind us thought we had two dogs doing who knows what all day. We thew the nasty toy away after a week, but have had endless laughs about it...
- That his tail wagged so hard it would bleed at the tip from whacking into walls (we referred to it as a paint brush and would have to wipe down the walls in our Philly apartment)
- Our walks with him around our neighborhood in Oakland and his backpack with 2 large bottles filled with water to tire him out after we started watching Cesar Milan dog whisperer – our neighbors probably thought we were crazy
- How fast he could run – I remember taking him to the dog park by Sarah’s Mom’s house and that he could outrun any other dog out there to get to a ball – chunks of grass and dirt would fly up behind him as he sprinted to the ball – in Philadelphia in the dead of winter I would take him running by the Schyukill river at night to get him exercise – we would go down through the Riverloft garage and I would be riding my bike with him on a leash besides me – we would get out onto the bike path late at night and then I would let him loose – I would ride as fast as I could and he would chase me at full speed, often passing me
- Driving across country with Tucker 3 times – out to Wharton with Sarah pregnant, back for my summer internship, then back out for second year. The final voyage back for Tucker was by plane to stay with Chris and Casey when we were in France at INSEAD – I think this severely traumatized him and may have taken some of the time off of his life clock – he wouldn’t go in his plastic crate again after that – only the metal one

-He made me chase him 10 blocks, on one of the hottest & most humid days in Philly, through city streets filled with people and cars, when I was 7 months pregnant, as he bolted toward our apartment.
-His many trips to the ER because of stomach problems, he's cost more to keep running than our car (seriously!). One time he had to had IV fluids. The doggy ER gave him fluid under his skin in his back. The fluid collected in his neck; stretching out his skin which always hung low and was never the same.
-He has destroyed important things, including Marty's orthotics- Martin couldn't run for months.
-Taking him Saturday early morning and afternoons to hike on the Oakland hills. He would run ahead of us then back to check on us, ahead and back.
-The one time I stopped at a rest stop in Oregon. We saw cows for the first time. Tucker was curious and less than a year old. He started toward the cow and it mooed and he ran away as fast as his feet could carry him. So startled and scared he tripped over me to get out of the way.
-How he would "boot scoot" all around our yard or house in Oakland when he got excited.
-How he "swept the floor" with Rocket. Rocket would literally get stuck beneath Tucker, as he ran out the door.
-Jack's first belly laugh was at Tucker playing ball.
-How much he loved to be with the boys- wanted to sleep in their room, sit under them at the table and chase them around the yard.
-My cousin Haleigh came to stay with us this summer. She'd sit in the yard under the umbrella in the shade and play ball with Tuck while holding Victoria. Victoria loved Tucker and it soothed her to sit outside watching Tuck play ball.
-My best of all was the kids playing tee ball with Tuck. They'd hit the ball off the tee and Tucker would retrieve it.
Tuck was all instinct, but has patients and a heart of gold... We loved him! Tucker NEVER snapped, growled or bit a child or an adult. He loved to play ball. Tucker had a big scary bark and made me feel safe when Marty travels. He got sad when we'd argue and would leave the room (usually to hide in the basement), reminding us that we are being ridiculous anyway.

Here are some old Tucker pictures and new Tucker pictures. The 1st video is from 2009. Tucker was in the Christmas spirit and helped us all unwrap presents. The 2nd a game of tee ball with the boys.

Tucker's last swim. Elk Lake, OR


Casey or Chris said...

This is a great tribute! He was much loved and will be much missed. We will never forget "Tuck-a-buck!"

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful, heart warming tribute to the TuckMan

Casey or Chris said...

This is a great tribute! He was much loved and will be much missed. We will never forget our "Tuck-a-buck."