For Tucker

by Lisa Wentz
(De Pere, WI)

Tucker & me

Tucker & me

My Tucker Buddy,

I miss you so. You have been my faithful companion for 11 years, and I am so sad that you are now gone. Grandma Joyce once told me that one day you would break my heart, and now I understand what she meant. You brought an incredible amount of joy and laughter into our hearts, and so I try to remember those things now.

We found you after meeting a Norwich Terrier breeder, Laura Huber, in Arizona. We already had Lucy, and she called to invite me “just come out to see her new pups.” I knew I was being baited – and I fell hook, line and sinker for the sweet natured puppy who wasn’t “show quality.” We brought you home on Christmas Eve Day, and named you Jumpin’ Friar Tuck – or Tucker. We bonded on the ride home, and from there on you were truly my dog.

All through the years, you were always right beside me. You were there for me when others weren’t… especially when Todd was travelling. I loved it when you’d snuggle up to me in bed and place your little head in the crook of my arm, resting on my shoulder, and I could scratch your little ears. Or when I would wake up at night and be comforted feeling you right next to me.

It was so funny to watch you drift off to sleep and start to dream. Your little paws would flutter, and tiny little ruffs would make me think you were chasing squirrels!

While you may have been a terrier, you didn’t always act like one with me – you were putty in my hands. I could hold you like a baby, and rub your belly, and you absolutely loved it! Or you would sit up on your square bottom to beg for attention, and drop to let me pet you. You loved to be loved! These are the tender moments I will miss the most.

You and Lucy learned to live with each other, though you weren’t always so nice to her. You would cut her off from her games of fetch, and we’d hold your collar so you could take turns. And when she would try to get close to me, you would often cut her off, till I intervened to give you both the love you deserve. But I remember your crazy chases after each other – tearing around in circles with excitement till you’d drop – exhausted and thirsty.

I loved our walks, the three of us. You were always the racehorse – leading our pack off on our walks - all the sniffs, searches for soft grass, good bushes and trees to mark, nice people to pet you, and chases after birds. You were always in charge of the backyard when I’d tell you to “go get the birds!” And you loved that job! When the kids were in the pool, you were right there to participate in the fun, chasing the splashing water and always loving getting soaked!

You and your snacks…you were a scavenger! Every day, you and Lucy got 2 carrots for lunch – certainly Lucy’s favorite time of day – but you loved your carrots too. You had many treasure hunts for Kleenex and food crumbs in somebody’s trash – it was so obvious you were the guilty one!

I think your funniest treasure hunt was the time you found Twinkies & Ho Ho’s in our closet and tore the packages to shreds! You got caught before too much damage was done. Or the scariest time when you found Christmas candy including lots of chocolate – of course you chose the dark Belgian chocolate! I learned my lesson that day, and thankfully you didn’t get sick. But ahhh, popcorn – I think that was your favorite – you were a great catcher!

Birthdays were celebrated with a special Frosty Paws Ice Cream, and this was the last thing I gave you to eat as a special treat for my best friend.

We went through a lot when you hurt your 2 rear legs…what a painful time. It’s only been 2 years this Christmas since you jumped off the bed and tore an ACL. It was Christmas weekend, so it took 5 days before we could get you in for a repair. And I had surgery at the same time – we recuperated in bed together. Then the next knee went a few months later. I was so worried about you, but you recovered, probably because you knew I needed you to!

You had many special friends in your life. Grandma Joyce and Grandpa Harold held a special place in your heart and you loved having them visit. Grandma had a special touch and you loved being with her as much as you did with me, I think!

She is so grateful that one week before you passed, she was here for a visit…she gently cradled you in her lap and softly petted you - you were so peaceful and content.

Remember Peanut? Grandma Gerri’s little shitzu? You three used to play like crazy together – tumbling around when you were a puppy. Then came Baxter – you tolerated Baxter and constantly followed him around in a tizzy when he came to our house. Grandma Gerri always took good care of you while we were away.

And let’s remember Mike, Kathy and Bungee…we had a few wonderful autumn hikes in the Flagstaff woods with them. I like to picture that right now, you tearing up some meadow in heaven, with Peanut & Bungee, having the best time!

Blaise and Ellie miss you too! Blaise really became quite attached to you as he grew older. He loved to come up on you when you were resting and give you a gentle hug and pets. And Ellie loved to help take care of you. She took good responsibility feeding you.

Thank you for being gentle with my children, even when you didn’t want to share me. Speaking of sharing me – you certainly had a hard time sharing me with Daddy. My fault – I know. But you were very funny when we’d tease you in the kissing game – you would jump up at us like crazy when we’d smooch over and over – just to drive you bonkers! Sometimes at night, I’d try to take the middle of the bed so I could snuggle with Dad…you didn’t much like that. You’d wait for us to fall asleep, and then gingerly creep across the bed so you could get between us. Yes, you needed to be as close to me as you could, and I always loved that!

Our time together was too short my little buddy – 11 years is too young. I feel so cheated and my heart and arms are simply aching for you. I will always treasure our final days together – you were so at peace and content when I laid you in my lap to rest.

I miss your smell, kissing your sweet little head, and looking at those big, brown eyes that told me so much. You did break my heart Boo Bear…there will never be another you. Your sweet, loving, gentle nature won the hearts of so many, and especially mine. I pray that God takes good care of you until I can see you again. Good bye my best friend.

Love, Mom

Tucker, aka: Tucker Buddy, Boo Bear, Buster Brown, Jealous, McNeedy, and Prince Poopsalot.

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