Tuck’s 84 in dog years, still he’s such a little boy.”
His stocking’s hung on high again. He’s asking for a toy.
“A raw hide too would sure be sweet,” he told his sister Tink.
“So get that list to Santa quick! You’ll miss him if you blink.”
Over the years we’ve both shared the loss of two immediate family members, two corgis, a senior chihuahua, one cairn terrier and a hospice cat.
My boy Tuck’s definitely not a kid, but his exact age is unknown.
Tuck was found 11 years ago as a stray traveling country lanes in Missouri,
not too far from a puppy mill.
The pads on his little feet were worn down from his life on the road.
“Probably dumped because he was no longer useful as a breeding dog,” my kindly vet had speculated back then, shaking his head
I’m seeing more gray hairs now framing Tuck’s face with eyes increasingly cloudy as he sits next to me this morning.
Just where he’s chosen to be.
After all, Tuck’s always been my loyal little lieutenant.
He’s also been my anchor in an often stormy sea the last decade.
They’ll likely be a sunset before too long when I’ll have to lift that anchor and finally set Tucker free.
But in the meantime, I’ll be celebrating this courageous and constant companion and the great comfort he’s always given me.
It seems this senior pup finally found his purpose.
How lucky am I?
My terrier Tucker never lets me leave his sight, unless he’s crated.
He senses my moods. He feels every ache. And he shares any pain.
My senior boy truly looks out for me.
And today he was extra busy.
I have the flu (in spite of the flu shot), and have been home recovering.
Tucker was so happy to have me around today, but looked very concerned when I attempted to go out and shovel the 12 inches of heavy new snow in the driveway.
He once again stole my warmest old muffler in an effort to prevent me from going outside.
But being stubborn I, of course, went out anyway.
Luckily, I didn’t last long.
Tucker had started barking at me outside the window and wouldn’t quit until I did.
Some days that dog sure is a whole lot smarter than me.
Actually maybe most days.
It was supposed to be my chihuahua Tinkerbelle’s costume.
A pretty tutu it was, bought second hand from the rescue group for Tink’s very first Halloween.
But Tink was terrified and absolutely refused to wear it.
Sometime on Halloween night my terrier Tucker found that tutu on the dining room table, and thinking it was some kind of a tasty treat pulled it right down on the rug.
Once I turned on the lights in the morning, I jumped.
I saw Tuck had learned a very spooky new trick.
Somehow he’d managed to get the tutu up on his head just like a crown.
Now Tuck’s a senior and has never been fond of Halloween. Typically he’d hide under the couch shaking his fears away until the last of the door knocking ghosts and goblins were gone.
But I guess you can always change, no matter if you’re young or old.
And looking at Tuck’s face I believe that my old boy is mighty proud of himself, just as he should be.
My terrier Tucker is tenacious in getting what he wants.
He’s also territorial.
Take this morning for example.
The canine clan and I were enjoying the cool morning breeze on the porch when I went into the kitchen to grab a refill of coffee.
I first stopped to move a few magnets on the refrigerator to accommodate my latest art acquisition.
It’s a cheery brightly colored portrait of a brown pup created by a little six year old friend of mine.
I’d left it on my writing desk out on the porch.
When I returned there with my coffee, I saw Tuck had grabbed my blanket and the new picture was up on the loveseat next to him.
Maybe the breeze had carried the art over in his direction.
Though my eleven year senior boy is still quite an athlete and counter surfs with the best of then.
When I tried to take away the picture, Tuck let our a gentle, guttural growl.
“All right, you can keep it for now but don’t let it get dog eared,” I told him. “And I get the blanket.”
I took his snoring as an acceptance of my compromise.
And soon this senior was softly snoring away as well.