Oh Tucker. I finally got time to sit down and capture my feelings and put them on paper. When you came to me at just 8 weeks old you were a fuzzy little Tasmanian Devil. You quite simply were the craziest little puppy I had ever had. You were smart but I had to be smart enough to learn how to train you. Potty training you was a little nuts! You showed me early on that when it came to other dogs, there were friends and there were foes. We learned how to get around all that though. And from there we had so many memories together. You were a snuggler and loved to snuggle whether it be in bed or while sitting in the sun on a warm rock while resting from a long hike or backpacking trip. You used the bottom step as a chair. You were a 55 pound lap dog and immediately planted your butt in whatever lap you could. Had I known your propensity for in inhaling food I might have named you Hoover. As a puppy you would dive for cover if you saw a bike coming….the mountain bikers thought I had you trained amazingly well! You loved carrots, popcorn, and ice cream. You were an Australian Shepherd that was afraid of cows and once got chased across Wilson Mesa by 3 calves. It really was a hysterical sight Tucker. You loved puppies and babies. When we brought little Annika home from the hospital you wanted to meet her and smell her so badly you took a flying leap into her bassinet so that you could bury your quivering nose in her blankets and take in that new baby smell. You didn’t leave her side for 7 months! You were the best backpacking and hiking companion I could ask for. You were so patient while I shot photography in some high alpine meadow. You gave many a Marmot a run for their money. You were a poop eater to the end (sigh). You were stoic and tough. You cheated death years ago after melamine poisoning, beat cancer in 2012 and didn’t show your suffering until it was physically impossible recently. You never destroyed anything under $100 in value as a puppy. You never left a friend behind. You nibbled other dogs behind the ear giving them love bites. You thought frisbee were caught with paws, not mouths and couldn’t figure out how to navigate a boulder field. You had big, brown, soulful eyes. You were a kitchen dog and always, always under my feet when I was cooking. That spot on the kitchen floor has been achingly empty this week Tucker. You were a puppy through and through and never lost your bounce. Yes, you had a Tigger kind of bounce. You never left a friend behind and when Nacona was attacked by that Pit Bull and 3 grown men couldn’t get him to release poor Nacona’s neck, it was you that ran in and bit that dog on the butt and he FINALLY released Nacona. You were so afraid that day but you found the brave heart inside of you to come to your best friend’s aid. Did I mention how much you loved to snuggle in the warm sun on a rock while we were resting on a hike. I’m thinking of that now Tucker and can almost feel it. You loved to slide down snow fields and scare me to death that you were going to cause an avalanche or keep on sliding down the mountain. You welcomed my husband and babies into your life despite the way it changed yours. You were so endearing of little baby Annika and so tolerant of little baby Joshua despite how he pushed your buttons. Brian always laughs remembering how you would refuse to follow him on a mountain bike ride. After all, you were smart and knew someone on a bike had a decided advantage. Tucker, I suppose I could sit here writing forever but right now frankly I can almost feel you pressed against me on a warm rock in the sun during a hike. Oh my Tucker, who will I hike with now? I know you suffered at the end and hope you are free of pain and old age that crept in. I know you are in heaven with Nacona. I know he greeted you there and you played and played the way you used to in our Windsor backyard. I know you’re giving those marmots in heaven a run! I know you’ll be waiting for me when I get there and we’ll hike together again my friend. I miss you so much. I want you to know. The whole family does. Annika talks about you every day. Joshua is a little confused being so young but said, “this chair is Tucker” and then hugged it and kissed it. You made such an impact on our little ones lives and they hurt now you’re gone. We love you Tucker. May you be at peace and Tigger bouncing again in Heaven.
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