I'm getting really, really tired of saying goodbye.
This morning was a normal morning. Everything was going just as it always does. My mom stayed with us last night, so she was helping me get out the door this morning. She let our little dog, Tucker, out for me. As she went to let him back in, she opened the door to hear him yelping. He had been hit by a car. Tucker has never/would never walk(ed) on a leash. When you put it on him, he would freeze...not move at all. When we moved into this house, we were worried that this would happen. We had considered a shock collar. We have an invisible fence for Gracie, but she is bigger and can handle the collar. I was afraid that with Tucker being so little, the collar just wouldn't be good for him. Plus, it's likely he wouldn't have moved with it on either. So, we knew we would just have to take our chances. Most of the time, he was good about not going across the road, but others....he was a typical dog. He liked to explore...especially if he caught the scent of another dog. This time, he wasn't so lucky as the other times he dodged cars.
Obviously, we feel terrible. We feel like we should have done something to prevent it from happening. But - he wouldn't go in the backyard because Gracie is there. And as I said...no leash...and the collar seemed to extreme for such a little dog.
When I realized what happened, I ran out as quickly as I could. My mom managed to get him off the road, and I covered him with a towel. He was able to move himself with his front legs, and as soon as I got to him, he scooted himself right underneath me and rested his head on my leg. He could not get close enough to me. He just looked at me with those big brown eyes....as if to say, "Please don't leave me. I'm so scared." At that point, he was quiet and breathing heavily. I had already called Jeremy and told him to get home. I stayed with Tucker until Jeremy got there. My mom got his kennel and he got himself into it with very little help from me. He has always been such a tough, strong little guy.
I decided to take Collen and Charlotte to their babysitter's house. Collen was asleep through it all, so he had no idea what had happened. I preferred to keep it that way, too. Once I got to the emergency vet, the vet explained that his injuries were extensive. He said he could possibly go in and do repairs, but it would mean numerous surgeries and a lot of money.....and Tucker would probably never have use of his back legs. We knew that his quality of life would be miserable if we took that route, so we made the very difficult decision to have him put to sleep. I don't know how many times I told Tucker I was so, so sorry that this happened to him. I know these things happen, but when they happen to you.....it's just awful. This was my first experience with seeing the aftermath of a dog being hit...one of my dogs...and it honestly traumatized me a bit. He was so brave, and he stayed so calm. I don't know what to believe about pets/animals and heaven, but I know they are mentioned in Isaiah in an image of Heaven. If he is there, my dad has his best buddy back with him. Tucker and my dad shared such a bond. Tucker loved visiting my parents' house because he loved my dad. Even after my dad passed away, I could tell that Tucker wondered about him....he would look for him and could always be found in daddy's room.
Jeremy and I got Tucker in 2006. He was born July 2, 2006, and we got him as a little puppy. He has always been such a loving dog (with us). He was very leery of strangers or people he didn't know well. He has been known to nip at people. He never knew he was so small....because his bark was so big. He saw himself as our protector, and when Collen was born, he took on being Collen's protector as well. We were worried that Tucker would not do well with Collen because he normally did not do well with kids. However, he took to Collen quickly. He liked to watch him and smell him and give him kisses. As Collen got older, Tucker would eat any food Collen dropped on the floor. And just recently, Tucker began giving Collen hugs....and Collen would gladly return those hugs.
We are going to miss our little buddy so much. He was the best snuggler....you could always find him snuggled under a blanket, especially if one of us was using one...he'd come running to get under it with you. He loved a ball and would chase it as long as you threw it for him. He would give hugs on demand and was so eager to please us. He listened well and obeyed us as a dog should. The unconditional love of a pet is truly amazing, and it creates a bond that is not easily broken. And when it is broken by something like this, it breaks the heart in ways you never knew possible. Is this loss comparable to others? No...but no loss can compare to another. Loss is loss...and it hurts.
Collen has only asked where Tucker's bowls are since he noticed they are missing. He has not asked about Tucker, though. We don't plan on telling him anything unless he does ask. At 2, I know he won't understand, so in this case, ignorance in bliss. Please pray for us as we try to get back to another "new normal" without our little guy. Gracie has been a light today, and I've given her so many hugs. She's the only fur-baby we have left. Collen and Charlotte have kept us busy and made us smile and laugh. I will continue to count my blessings....our family is healthy....our kids are with us....we are being provided for. Things like this rock your world and knock you down for a little bit, but the memories will remain, and Mr. Tucker will never be forgotten.
snuggled up with me
Letting Collen hug him
I'm going to miss his cute, sweet face
And this little boy will miss his buddy....
Love and miss you, Tucker...my sweet companion.