I laugh sometimes at the emotions that we feel from losing a dog, how we can be so torn up, how we can be hurt even more from the loss of Tucker then we are in the loss of a family member. But I know that dog people understand the loss, the love of a companion and best friend, the closeness that comes with spending virtually every moment, for 12 years, with something that you have raised from a puppy, have trained to be the very best that he could be, have had him love you completely and unconditionally, have watched him step in front of a Rottweiler twice his size when he felt that there was a threat to his family, and have put yourself on the line if you felt he was threatened in any way.
Tucker was never just a dog to us, was never just thrown in the backyard to take care of himself, from the day he came home he was a member of our family, a member of our life, and a huge part of our hearts, and even though the healing has begun, and we know it will only get better, we never want to forget all the silly things Tucker did, we never want those images of him walking the trails in front of us to fade away, we always want to remember all of the good, the sweetness, and the love that he brought, and we hope that you readers won’t mind our little remembrances of Tucker to go along with our new memories that are being built everyday with Bodi.
They say that time heals, and hopefully the healing has begun in our family.
Since we all lost Tucker, Nancy and I have been a mess, the slightest thought of Tucker, which are always there since we took him everywhere, would bring tears to our eyes, the mention of the loss to a friend or loved one would bring all to tears, the hearts in this house were torn apart. We tried to make sure that Bodi’s life was interrupted as little as possible, not wanting to bring grief on him for something he had no hand in… But Bodi was feeling the hurt as well, while around the house he has been as clingy as possible, following us from room to room, waiting for us outside the door if we need a little privacy. Even stepping outside to the back yard, Bodi has calmed his hunting instincts down a few notches, and at times he would make a quick beeline, do his thing, and then run right back to stand with us on the back steps.
The toys and stuffed animals have gone untouched, the squeakers left inside the stuffed toys instead of torn from the stuffing as soon as possible, the limbs left to flop for another day. The pillow that had come to our house with Bodi has gone untouched, the stuffing left intact, the pillow un-violated in Bodi’s slightly perverse fashion.
Our home has not been the same… But over the last few days…
Bodi has started to come into his own, it may sound silly, but since Bodi was immediately placed into his position in the pack when he entered our home, and he understood it fully – we rarely had any problems from the day he joined our pack. If anything, over the last few months, Bodi had been even more careful around Tucker, even when we took them to the park to play with all of their friends, Bodi would always be watching out for Tucker – he would run and play , but he was always running back to check on Tucker, to lick his face, or to just stand next to him. Bodi was a little abrasive with some of the dogs, especially the smaller ones, and we were concerned about that.
Since the day that Tucker passed on, Bodi has been with us almost 24 hours a day, luckily I can bring Bodi on my daily excursions to work, something that I had done quite often with Tucker, and he has stepped into that role completely. He runs down the halls to greet everyone when he comes in the door, he crashes out in the chair that Tucker used to sleep in, and he gladly spends the entire day with us. Bodi has been much easier with other dogs, even the small ones, and the dogs that he had small skirmishes with don’t seem to bother him as much.
And, since yesterday, Bodi has started to pick up the toys, bringing them to the bed at night, even playing with them for small periods of time. Nancy and I can actually talk about Tucker without a box or two of Kleenex always standing by, although the deeper emotions still bring the floods. We can take Bodi for a walk and not spend the entire time wondering how we are going to get through it.
So, the healing seems to have started, and hopefully as time passes, the pain will slip into the background, and the memories will pile up with Bodi, to join the ones that we have already stockpiled of Tucker… We’re sure that Tucker wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.