A Dog’s Tale

If my dog Tucker could talk, I wonder what he’d say.

He owns tons of tales of his life on the road before coming home with me seven years ago.

Tuck was found as one stressed out two year old stray in rural Missouri, pounding the pavement on country roads.

He’d been on his own for sometime I was told back then by the rescue group. My vet confirmed the same later as he pointed to the worn out pads on those little feet.

Parts of the midwest had puppy mills failing particularly fast in those recession years.

“Tuck might have been kicked out of his puppy mill,” one rescue worker had told me.

It was a common scenario for males who weren’t fulfilling their quotas of ‘contributions’ for their lady companions.

At the time I wasn’t looking for a terrier, but was fostering small dogs until my husband’s worsening dementia made him as much of a flight risk as the pups I’d have in my care.

Though I soon became a failed foster after taking Tuck home once the transport arrived up north.

Within five minutes of sniffing out my house, the little guy claimed my lap and the foot of his bed as his own wearing a grin I’d never seen before in a canine.

Tuck is still territorial today, even more so than some terriers.

I think he figures he’s earned the right after his rough early years.

He loves to act the part of the tough guy, showing off his bravado in his watchdog role.

Yet the truth is he’s actually more fearful than fearless.

A cold stare from a donkey once sent him racing for the hills at Olympic speed while visiting a farm.

And he’s terrified of my Subaru, car sickness still his constant companion so many years later.

My ‘tough guy’ Tuck hid shaking this morning before being crated, just like every morning.

I feared he was worrying again that one day I won’t come back.

And worrying he’d be alone again on a dusty road with no companion.

Giving him his peanut butter filled Kong I asked, “Tuck, have I ever let you down?”

He slowly took the Kong from my left hand.

Then he looked back up at me and licked my right hand gently for a while.

I believe I have my answer.

Even if it was unspoken.

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