Two days after Christmas was one of the hardest days of my life. I had to say goodbye to my best friend of almost 13 years, my sweet sweet baby boy, Tucker. I still have trouble talking about it, so this post will probably not do him justice, but as one of his advocates here on Earth, I know I need to try.
Tuck, you were my tiny, precious puppy. I remember going out to the country to get you when I was 12. You were so cute! We brought you home and you were so little and perfect. You were so little, in fact, that you hid under a small antique desk and I thought I lost you. I was sobbing and had the whole neighborhood, including the mailman, Horace, looking for you. When I found you, you were curled up under the desk, content as could be. Horace still laughs about that day.
Tuck, you were my devil puppy! When you got a little bigger, you ate everything in sight. The couch, the kitchen table, my ankles. I was so mad at you sometimes, but you grew out of it.
Tuck, you were my miracle puppy. At three years old, you were diagnosed with lymphoma, an aggressive cancer of the lymphnodes. The doctor said that even with chemotherapy, there was a less than 5 percent chance you would make it more than a year. You showed them. You barked your head off every time we got off the highway to go to chemo treatments. I'm pretty sure you were barking in their faces. You did what no doctors thought you could do and beat cancer and lived another ten years.
Tuck, you were my spoiled puppy. During chemo, you had to eat chicken and rice because it was so bland. After that, all you wanted was people food. From that day on, you always got a big helping of hamburger, chicken, even filet mignon with your dog food. The dog food was really for show.
Tuck, you were my saving grace puppy. Few people know that there were a few times in college and right after when I would just cry and hold you. I was probably being dramatic and over the top, but there was nothing better than having you in my bed, cuddling with you and knowing that your love was unconditional.
Tuck, you were my stubborn puppy. The last few months of your life were so much harder than you let anyone know. Even two days before the last day of your life, we went on a walk and you wagged your tail with everything you had. On that last day, you barked at the vet's office with all of your heart. You wouldn't let us know how much you hurt. You were stubborn and strong and my best friend.
We grew up together, Tuck. I'll miss you more than you'll ever know. I can't tell you how much it meant to me when we were sitting on that floor in the vet's office a few minutes before you had to leave that you took that extra effort to curl up next to me. I'll never forget that. I love you too, baby boy.
When we got to the vet's it was pouring rain. When we left it was pouring rain. But on the way home, the sun came out. It started getting brighter and brighter until it was almost blinding. I've never seen the weather change that drastically in that short of time. There is no doubt in my mind that sunshine was God smiling as you arrived in Heaven. You always had the ability to make everyone smile. Watch after us, sweet baby boy, and know that you were my best gift ever.
Tuck, you were my perfect puppy.