A Kindred Soul…

Pillow Tuck
Pillow Tuck

I was doing a little bit of research on the web and found this site about vizsla rescue and their “Rainbow Bridge” page. I read a few of the posts (which will bring any dog lover to tears) and decided to post this one.  This one especially hit home as Mr. Tazz-a-Razz was obviously loved like Tucker was loved, and the last paragraph just hit my heart as it is exactly our sentiments about our “little Guy”.

Please, if you get a chance, check out the site and remember how many of these “Little Guys” are out there and need that little extra love that isn’t always in their lives.

We were extremely lucky in our adoption of “The Bodester”, and we couldn’t even think of life without the little guy running around us, he has already given us a gift, as we have given him.

Please Lord, look after them all, they will give you endless hours of enjoyment and amazement, and I guarantee that their companionship will be a blessing a hundred-fold over – and I can personally attest to the fact that Tucker will always be by your side, will always protect you from harm, and will always give you complete and unconditional love – please guide him until we can be with him again…

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MR. TAZZ-A-RAZZ
Jan 2000 – Dec 2006

I will miss you my friend. You have been a joy. A blessing. A true friend. No matter what paths this life leads us down you will always be in my heart and mind. I thank you for your time and your love. Thank you for choosing me to be in your life. I have never had a pup that had so much heart and love to give to others. I am sorry for your sickness but know in your heart that I love you and will always love you. My friend, My buddy, MY LITTLE MAN! I promise I will see you again and together we will be in the end. I will never forget my little blue eye pup. I will never let your memory die. You have given me more in the short time you have been with me than I could have ever ask for. You have showed me compassion,love,understanding. But most of all you have taught me the true meaning of “BEST FRIEND”… I love you!

Lord, Please watch over my little man until we can be together again. He will love you, He will protect you. He IS a true friend. Please let him know that I loved him with all my heart and that we will be together again. Amen.

From Utah/Idaho Vizsla Rescue

Tuck and Daddy, playing in the snow!

Tuck and Daddy!
Tuck and Daddy!

This was our “snow trip” 2008. Tucker had a blast romping around in the snow! And we had a blast just watching him. He loved to get out there and dance about… as if he had, not a care in the world!

This was was such a fun time for us! It was Tuck’s first time to the snow and he was beside himself. He loved following us around and stepping in our footprints and sinking down into the deep snow. Sometimes it took him by surprise, but then he would catch a glimpse of us and realized that all was okay, because we were there to protect him.

Tuck, making pawprints in the snow!
Tuck, making paw prints in the snow!

I remember sliding down a snowy hill (on my butt of course) and Tuck trotting down the hill, right next to me. And you could just feel the excitement coming from this sweet, sweet puppy! It was awesome!

Tucker had always exhibited a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and excitement! To such a degree, that you would think that one might grow tired of it after a little while. But not us… we loved it! We loved that youthful exuberance, that he often displayed! He had brought us so much joy and enriched our lives, tremendously.

Tucker was so happy to be with us. No matter what! Even though he enjoyed the times that he “could be a dog”… he was just thrilled to be a part of us. Every time we went to the park, he enjoyed playing with his friends, but he was always looking for us. Every time we had a party, or had friends over with kids, he enjoyed visiting and playing with them, but still… always looking for us. We were his whole life, and Jim & I loved that!

Tuck giving Daddy snow kisses!
Tuck giving Daddy snow kisses!

As I am sitting here, looking at these pictures and reliving those incredible moments… my heart is filled with joy and love and warmth! I can feel Tucker’s presence here, very strongly. And even though it has brought tears to my eyes, to know that I can’t reach out and touch him, kiss him or hold him, I feel him in my heart and I feel his beautiful soul is with us and will be forever!

Tuck and Bodi in The Morning, Caught By The Sunbeam

These pictures were the final set of pictures that we took of Tucker with Bodi, as you can see – they both loved each other and, of course, loved the warmth of the sunbeam.

It’s strange, but I think there are healing properties that you get when caught by the sunbeam – even if you are wide awake and excited, slip into a sunbeam and you are suddenly relaxing, feeling the warmth and healing, your cares and worries seem to slip further into the background… all for the little beam of light.

Tucker and Bodi both lived for that beam – they could be running across the bed, playing in the hallway, whatever – and the beam would just reach out and grab them, throw them to the floor and beat them into a beautifully comfortable submission. We always laughed at the vision of these big, beautiful boys, trying their hardest to keep their eyes open – their heads bobbing up and down as they try to fight it, but eventually giving in and letting the sunbeam drag them into a deep sleep.

Some of our favorite pictures of Tucker and Bodi have happened because of the sunbeam monster, shots of them sleeping, or very nearly sleeping, with the perfect light and shadow playing across their features, it brought out the majesty of these dogs, and their colors are warmer and more intense then ever.

Of course, these shots, being the last morning with Tucker, are even more beautiful then ever for Nancy and I. Luckily every day we are greeted by the vision of Bodi fighting the sunbeam monster – and losing – as I am writing this, I watched Bodi walking down the hallway and the sunbeam grabbed his butt and threw him to the floor… after a good walk in the hills with Nancy this morning – he really didn’t have a chance against the beam… ahhh, realistically, he never did, and never will.

Learning To Be Bodi

Bodi, deep in thought
Bodi, deep in thought

Well, it’s been 2 weeks and we think that the toughest part has started to pass for all of us… Although picking up Tucker’s ashes definitely brought back a lot of memories and a lot of tears for both of us. I’m sure by now Bodi is wondering what the heck happened to the energy that we used to have in the house, and whats with all the nose-blowing and salty faces.

We fell in love with Bodi on the day we met him, Tucker took a wee bit longer to find that love for his little brother, but grew to love him dearly in the 6 months they were together. Bodi, right from the start, has had a huge heart and has fit right into our little world, he has a great personality, great spirit, heart and soul, but we have noticed that over the last 2 weeks Bodi has changed quite dramatically, he has gotten a lot closer, and has been more in tune to us then ever before.

Bodi working at the office
Bodi working at the office

Up until recently, we hadn’t taken Bodi into my office, except for just quick visits if Nancy would come by to get me to go with her and the boys for a walk.  Tucker spent many a day, and quite often, long into the night with me at the office, he had his own chair there, and as a matter of fact, many times we would have to pull up a chair for Tucker at meetings, otherwise he would walk around the meeting room nudging everyone, once he had his chair, he was content and would quickly doze off for the duration. For the last two weeks Bodi has spent quite a lot of time with Nancy and I at the office, and he has slipped right into the rhythm… greeting all he sees, and sleeping in Tucker’s chair just like it had always been there waiting for him.

The strangest thing is that he has started to do a lot of the things that Tucker did before he passed, things that Bodi never did until Tucker was gone, but things that were most definitely Tucker’s trademarks. As a matter of fact, the day that we lost Tucker, when we came home, Bodi did something that Tucker always did, and Bodi hadn’t ever done… When I knelt down to hug Bodi he curled up between my legs and leaned into me, exactly as he had seen Tucker do many times before.

Bodi warming himself in the clean dry clothes
Bodi warming himself in the clean dry clothes

Tucker also had a thing for clean, warm clothes. Nancy would bring them up from the dryer and pour them out over the bed, Tucker would always crawl into them, nuzzle his nose under the warm clothes, and let out a big sigh of contentment.  Up until this last couple of days, Bodi, thinking Tucker was nuts, would just look the other way and doze off.

As you can see, now Bodi has picked up on this little habit, and he is loving the warm, clean clothes.  He will get up from wherever he is laying, walk over and plop down on the clothes, letting them warm him all over, and just as Tucker did, he will let out that little perturbed grunt every time we make him move so we can fold the clothes, or, god forbid, we pull an article of clothing out from under him.

Bodi wishing he was the cream cheese
Bodi wishing he was the cream cheese

So, as you can see from the pictures (this one was taken this morning, with Bodi’s complete and unwavering attention being focused on Nancy as she sat the bagels down on the table outside New York Bagels – if you look closely you can see that the sunlight created a small halo over his head – just to try to fool everyone into thinking that he is a little angel), Bodi is coming into his own, finally being counted on as the number one dog in the house. His love is blossoming as he is receiving more and more love, and he is becoming even more a part of our family.

The walks are long, the dreams are large, the fun is grand, but the time is fleeting.  The Bodester is figuring his role out, Nancy and I are amazed at how great a companion he is becoming, how much we needed him, how much he needed us, how much we love him, and how grateful we are to be blessed with such loving and incredible friends, and such a great family.

The Game Is Afoot – Bodi The Grand Hunter

Nancy and Bodi, bonding
Nancy and Bodi, bonding

Luckily we live in a slightly less populated area then most in SoCal, and this affords us the unique ability to just leave our door and be in the hills, away from people, and able to stretch our legs a little bit.

Bodi loves getting out and up into the hills, smelling all of the new smells, looking for new friends, or old friendships that need to be renewed.

Bodi is a hunting dog true to his breed, and down to the core, he thinks the most special thing in the world is leading us on little excursions into the brush as he sees a lizard dart off the trail, jumping at the chance to chase a bird, or a birds shadow at times, making sure that all in the immediate vicinity knows that this great hunter has entered their space and they should be fearful.

Bodi Terrorizing a Lizard
Bodi Terrorizing a Lizard

We, of course, try to reel him in when he goes off the deep end, we actually baby him to no end, worry that he will get into something he shouldn’t, work diligently to make him pay attention to us, all of the things a “Pack Leader” should do (at least in our minds).

One of our favorite hunting grounds is a water tank trail that is near our home, Bodi loves to get out there, criss-crossing the trail looking for critters, running back and forth, ahead of, and behind us… waiting for us to call him before he breaks off of the hunt. As we get higher on the trail, we get a great view of our little corner of the world and we can watch the sunrise or sunset from our viewpoint. The air is clean and cool in the morning, we can stop and give Bodi a little water and when he isn’t paying attention we can squirt him with the water from our water bottle.

Walking out here never fails to bring joy to all of us, working out, breathing the fresh air, we are all lucky to be here, be safe, and enjoy the good company of friends and friendly puppies that we run into up here.

Bodi, mugging it up for the camera
Bodi, mugging it up for the camera

And Bodi, well he is off chasing something down, standing proudly on the rocks, letting all who pass know that he is the master of his domain, and the hunter extraordinaire…  at least until we call him back to reality and put him back on leash.

Tuck Enjoying the Warmth of the Sun

"Under the Tucker Sun"!
"Under the Tucker Sun"!

I just wanted to share this great picture of Tuck! I love it! I took this picture a few weeks ago, in our backyard.  Tuck loved to go out in the backyard with me… and just lie down and soak up some rays.  I am quite sure that it felt good on his tired bones.

Tucker had led a VERY active life.  He and I used to run on the trails everyday, for years.  He loved his walks, he loved the 3 hour hikes and runs we used to do every weekend.  I think, most of all, he just enjoyed being with me and the special bond that we had as “trail running buddies”!

I must say, that it had been tough for us to see him slowing down in his later years.  But his youthful spirit and sweet, sweet, loving soul, kept him going (us too)!  And he still greeted us with the utmost enthusiasm!  Toy in mouth, tail and butt wagging as his “springy” feet danced about and his signature, “Roo, roo, roo” that came out of his mouth!

What an awesome feeling that was for us!  As it is not just a memory, it is a feeling that will be with us forever!

The Healing and the Journey Begins…

As we are only 1 week from Tucker’s passing… and though it still weighs heavy on our hearts, and we feel the emptiness in our home,  we are finally starting to feel some sort of comfort.

That comfort comes from seeing our sweet little Bodi.  Jim & I realized, that, as much as we are hurting from the loss of Tucker, and as much as we miss him and wish every second of every day that we could have “one more day” with him, we have another “child” to raise.

Tuck on the left, Bodi O on the right, in my office
Tuck on the left, Bodi-O on the right, in my office

So as the healing begins, we embark upon yet another journey with the “second, Vizsla child”, Bodi.

Bodi-O (that’s what I call him, Bodi-O) has stepped up to the plate and assumed his new role in the “pack”.  He had been moping around the house, (as we were too) for the first few days after Tucker passed.  Bodi picked up a toy on Friday morning and starting throwing it to himself (yes, he does this) and having a blast with it!  It was so nice to see this and it gave us a certain “comfort” for that moment.  We miss Tuck, terribly, but to see Bodi playing with his toys was such a joy for us.  Seeing that he is beginning to heal, is helping us immensely.

Bodi loved Tucker very much, and he respected him.  Bodi gladly stepped down from his role as the “dog of the house” from his previous owners, when he came into our home and saw that Tucker was the dog of the house in our home.  He let Tucker go through the door first, he let Tucker start to eat his food first, he let Tucker greet us first when we came home and he let Tucker get the first hug and kiss from us!  He never argued, he knew his place, but most importantly, he knew Tuck’s place (and ours of course)!

Every toy that Tucker had, Bodi was sure that, that toy was the best toy ever and he had to have it!  Bodi-O would take the toy out of Tucker’s mouth (Tucker would let out a little grunt to let Bodi know that he did not entirely approve of this behavior) and frolicked about, as if he had scored big time in the hunt!  But all Tuck had to do, was pick out another toy and there was Bodi, to take that toy from him!  I think it was a respect thing (stay with me here) Bodi thought so highly of Tuck, that what ever toy Tucker had, had to be “the best one”!

Okay, I am reminiscing again!  I can honestly say, that this feels good.  It feels good to write all of this stuff down.  I do believe that it is helping us to cope, and to heal.  We have lost our very best friend Tucker, but we have gained a beautiful, sweet baby boy, Bodi and we will extend our love that we had for Tuck to Bodi and nurture him as we did Tuck and make sure that he will be the best Bodi ever!

Time Heals…

Tucker and Me Getting Some ShutEye
Tucker and Me Getting Some ShutEye

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.

Tucker and Me - Sweet Dreams
Tucker and Me - Sweet Dreams

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.

Bodi Showing Us All How To Sleep
Bodi Showing Us All How To Work

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.

Getting Old…

sunbeam
Tucker, After Being Caught By The Sunbeam

This is a post that I had started back in May… I thought that it had started to flow to melodramatic and set it aside… But now it seems kind of prophetic. I’m not going to finish the post, just wanted the picture and the feeling to be shared.

We miss him every minute of every day, we know things will get better – but damn. the hole in our hearts is big.

We thank god for all of our friends, and for the dear, dear love of Bodi, and soon the mood of the blog will move forward, but in the meantime, please bear with us, and enjoy the love that we have for our little family.

***** Original Text *****

So Tucker is going to be 12 this year, very soon as a matter of fact, and he has been slowing down a little over the years.

We always let him jump up into the trucks, even our M715 which is about a 3 1/2 to 4 foot jump for him into the seat and back down, he always jumped into bed etc… About a year ago he started to have to work a little harder to make the jumps, sometimes he would only make it half way up onto the bed and have to try again. For the last year or so we have stopped him from doing all of the jumping figuring that would be a little less strain on his joints. He has taken easily to just putting his front feet up on the item that he is getting on, or into, and then we lift his butt up for him.

So now he for the most part doesn’t…

Bodi – Understanding His New Role

Bodi (in front) and Tucker out for walk
Bodi (in front) and Tucker out for walk

Bodi has been thrown for another loop, started a new family 6 months ago, now having his new best friend disappear from out of his life, then having to take the role of our canine emotional saviour.

Bodi is doing his very best, he normally is the happy-go-lucky boy that we are always trying to calm down just a bit, now he is much calmer, always stopping to look for what our next move is, looking for Tucker throughout the house and backyard frequently.

The toughest thing is when we feed him.

We had taught him right from the beginning that Tucker gets his food first and on his food stand, then Bodi would get his dinner in the kitchen – they eat at the same time, but even with Tucker starting first Bodi would always finish first and then stand by to clean anything out of Tuckers bowl that may be left (which usually was nothing).

Bodi sleeping in my office
Bodi sleeping in my office

Now we feed him at Tucker’s old food stand, and when we put the food down he runs back to the kitchen as he had been taught, and waits for Tucker to come in and start eating so he can get his food. It takes us a little while to coax him back to the food stand and convince him that it is his and he can start eating, he keeps stopping and looking around, sure that Tucker just hasn’t gotten there yet, and convinced that if he starts eating he will surely be in deep trouble – it is really quite touching, and slightly heart breaking.

Bodi is now the “man”, and we are laying a lot of love on him to help us to get through the pain… The wounds are still fresh and deep, the tears flow freely whenever we think or speak of Tucker, and I’m sure his little heart is feeling pangs of sorrow that his new-found brother has slipped out of his life and doesn’t seem to be there for him anymore.

We love Bodi with all of our hearts and we don’t plan on bringing another puppy into our lives for quite a while, we want more than anything to take the time to bond even more with Bodi, to not split our love with another dog, and to allow Bodi to become the very best Bodi that he can possibly be, we don’t want him to be another Tucker, that would be totally unfair to Bodi, and to Tucker’s memories, but we are excited to bring Bodi along to be his very best.