The Best Christmas Present Ever...

When I was a little girl I remember reading a book by Eric Carle called The Secret Birthday Message - where the little boy goes on a scavenger hunt to find his birthday present and it is a puppy. Ever since I can remember I have always wanted a dog. So much so that for about 3 years I think the ONLY thing I asked my parents for for my birthday and Christmas was a dog. I remember telling them - I do not want anything else. If I can't have a dog, then I don't want anything. One amazing year when I was six, I got my first dog...but ever since I had always wanted to be surprised with a puppy as a present.

Enter my amazing husband. When I met him I had Mack my yellow lab...and he had Chloe his lab mix. They got along great. Randomly I'd mention about how I'd always wanted a puppy as a surprise. We lived in Arlington at the time and there was a Orvis store we'd walk by when we'd go out and before the holidays one year they had a display of different photos with chocolate labs in it. Every time I walked by it with Jimmy I'd say 'I want one'. He say...yea yea ok. Then our first Christmas came. We were renting a small ranch house and I came home from work a few days before Christmas to find Jimmy at home. He was sitting by our Christmas tree with a big wrapped box...and inside...was an adorable chocolate lab puppy!! I was SHOCKED!

He was so tiny and sweet. It took the other dogs a little while to warm up to him...Mack I think was a little mad about his arrival...but he finally warmed up to him.

We ended up naming him Tucker. We had a lot of laughs with Tucker... We called him houdini because he could escape from any crate. We tried bungee cords, he'd get out. We tried zip ties, he'd chew through them. Finally we found child proof cabinet locks that were hard for us to open...we could finally keep him in his crate. We still wish to this day that we would have video taped his antics to see how he got out.

He had hip dysplasia at 6 months...we called his breeder, they told us we could 'bring him back'. No way. We got him surgery and ever since his back legs shook...just like Elvis. It was one of his many traits. He was a licker. He loved to lick you. Kisses all the time. He loved to wake Jimmy up at 530 every morning with a paw to the arm. I'm just glad he chose Jimmy's side of the bed   ;)  

He'd jump and bounce and put his tail up in the air and snap his jaws at Mack to get him to play - it was hysterical. He loved to lay on Mack and Chloe too. He was such a sweetheart. Many, many times we'd tell him...'good thing you are cute!!' as he'd cleared the counters in the kitchen just to see what was up there. Then stand there and look at us with his adorable head all cocked to the side like he was saying 'how can you get mad at me?'.

Oh Tucker how you will be missed. The last few weeks have been hard knowing what was coming, but today was by far one of the worst. Today we said goodbye. Goodbye to one of my best friends. It was hard. Really hard. We know his is in a better place now and not in pain, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. We will miss you our sweet boy. It was an amazing 9 1/2 years, you brought so much joy and happiness to our lives and we will never forget you. Rest in peace sweet Tuck. We will never forget you buddy. Love you!!


me and tuck 2

sweet boy

tuck sleeping

Girls and tuck

Tuck at Creek

Me and Tuck

Tucker Swimming