Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies. ~ Gene Hill
A month after Shannon graduated from high school in 2004, I got a call from Guy Mauldin, who breeds, trains and shows Shetland Sheepdogs. We had gotten our outstanding Shadow from him in 1996, and now eight years later, he was calling to say that he had a new puppy for us, which of course ended up being our Bailey, another beautiful, spirited and memorable dog.
When we returned home after leaving Shannon up at Bard College in NY, I had some sad moments in my oh too quiet house, but having Bailey helped me through it, and I focused on raising him up right. His and Shadow’s presence filled my days with routines that we all thrived on, and their antics made me laugh out loud.
Fast forward to a year ago- in the summer of 2010, Shannon and her then fiancé, came to live in our garage apartment for a transitional year. It was fun having them back, and they brought their enormous Great Pyrenees, Lucas to add to the mix.
As faithful readers know, soon afterwards, both Shadow and Bailey passed away over the span of seven months time. We have had many sad moments since then and miss them both dreadfully, but having the kids and their dog here have helped fill the void.
But now they have headed to their new home in Lexington, VA where Kat will be attending Washington & Lee Law School. Their presence will absolutely be missed, however, I know it is good for them to get away and live separate lives. It’s the way God intended things to be.
So I called Guy.
I told him that I was ready, thinking it would take awhile for him to find just the right puppy. But he said he had the perfect one available right now! So Joel and I went to meet the little fellow.
“Tucker” is a 12 week old tri-color boy dog. He was hand raised when his mother was unable to nurse her puppies, so he LOVES people. Cute and sassy, smart and sweet… can’t beat that combo.
I think I had been experiencing some mild depression after we lost both dogs, and the prospect of not having the kids and their dog around was not a happy one. But now, all of a sudden, I became motivated and excited.
Joel and I both fell in love immediately. It was a little harder to teach him commands without an older, mentor dog to lead the way, but he learned how to “sit” on the very first day (I have a video of it!). I was so proud of him, and looked forward to working on the next command.
Then Tucker got a runny nose, so I decided to introduce him to Dr. Young, thinking that he would have a non-invasive visit at the vet and come home with some antibiotics or something. But it turned out to be a sinus infection. Dr. Y was really sorry to have to tell me that it was due to a cleft palate. He said he’d need to have it repaired or he wouldn’t live a good, long life (he’d keep having problems).
Guy was HORRIFIED about this outcome, and told me to bring him back and trade him for a new puppy, but we declined. One, we already loved him to pieces, and two, he likely would have been put down, and I just couldn’t bear it.
So Tucker had surgery yesterday and came through like a trouper, although he is pretty pathetic, as you can imagine. He needs a feeding tube, since he can’t eat anything by mouth just yet, so I went and learned how to do it today. He’ll come home tomorrow, which I know will do him some good. We had barely established a routine, so I am anxious to start over again, albeit on a slower pace, given his recovery needs.
We will figure it all out and shower him with love. Watch this space for future Tucker Chronicle follow up reports!