Tucker is Three
June 12, 2014

8weeks 

Halfway up the stairs Isn’t up, Isn’t down… ~A.A. Milne

Three years ago, this wee pup melted our hearts, despite a birth defect (cleft palate) that required some major surgery at that very young age. It was ultimately a good decision. Tucker has matured into a confident and happy dog, who has won the hearts of many with his happy dances and his sunny nature.

Every morning, I let him out the back door, where he invariably heads to the northeast corner of our yard to bark at a neighbor’s dog, who always barks back. His path through the pine trees is well marked. On the morning of his birthday, oh boy! He interrupted two cats, one of which managed to scale the fence, but the other one failed. I’m not sure what happened out there behind the ginger lilies, but Tucker emerged, energized and primed for breakfast. I think that the cat must have squeezed its fat self under the fence somehow.

After breakfast, it’s always time for “walkies”. On that same morning that he surprised the cats, we encountered a man walking a seven week old Golden Retriever. The pup was petrified by all the cars and noise, and had parked himself on his owner’s foot, just frozen there. I totally understood the situation, because all of our country raised dogs felt the same way at first, too.

So I approached him with Tucker, who wagged his tail and distracted the puppy from his fears. It was like magic. That puppy wiggled and waggled, jumped and kissed both Tucker and me, and then, when Tucker and I walked on, I looked back. That fat little fellow was walking along his owner, just as confidently as could be. What a good teacher you are, Tucker!

It began to rain on us as we were heading for home, so we stepped up the pace a bit. But I wasn’t too concerned about getting wet, as I knew that our ace groomer, Susan was scheduled to come give Tucker a bath, trim and manicure later that morning.

Whenever the doorbell rings, Tucker races to see who’s there, and gets so excited whenever people come visit (he thinks they are coming to visit him). But he knows what Susan’s van looks like, and once he saw it, he retreated to the kitchen, where he was cornered without much difficulty. Thirty minutes later, he was fluffed and buffed, with some extra treats to make him feel better after his trauma.

tucker may

After that, it was time for errands, which means a ride in the car to go to places that are dog friendly. First stop, Twin Oaks Cleaners, where he loves to visit his friends who work there. They make a big fuss over him, and honestly, if I go there without him, they are very disappointed. And here I must say that I’ll never opt for home delivery/pickup, because Tucker loves to go to the cleaners so much!

And the drive through bank, as well. I am well aware that I could deposit my checks via an app that would allow me to do it online, but there would be no cookies that come with it, like they come with the deposit slip at Bank of Texas. Tucker LOVES Bank of Texas, and I would suggest to all banks that they stock up on doggie treats to keep those canine customers happy!

On other mornings, our routine may involve working in the garden, with my faithful companion. He never strays, and I love having him keep me company as I pull weeds or transplant things, etc.

june

As you can tell, Tucker’s mornings are always filled with activities. If I am eating lunch at home, it usually means tuna or chicken salad, and Tucker gets to lick the spoon… a big deal to him! And then comes nap time. He probably snoozes a few hours. On a good day, I may snooze, too, albeit just for 30 minutes or so.

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Later, it’s time to wander down to the mailbox or patrol the perimeter. 5:30? Time for a cookie! His stomach clock seldom fails. Then when the dad gets home, oh boy, it’s playtime!

Tucker gets sleepy pretty early; I think his body clock goes by the sunrise/sunset. Daylight means it’s time to wake up, and sunset means it’s time to go to sleep. I need to get into his rhythm for the summer months, because in Houston, it’s too hot to walk/run a dog after 8 am.

You may be wondering about that quote from A.A. Milne. That’s Tucker for you. His “brothers” Shadow and Bailey quickly learned about stairs and ran up and down with abandon. Tucker? That’s the one area that he hasn’t quite mastered, even after 3 years. He will go up and down with coaxing, but he hesitates as if he isn’t quite sure about it.

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I think he’s waiting for us to install an elevator.

Happy birthday, Tucker… What a good dog!

Tucker’s First Road Trip: Part Two
September 13, 2013

Note: This is the second installment of a series about Tucker’s first road trip; he was a champ in every way, and we had so much fun!

sunday

I think I can, I think I can… ~The Little Engine that Could

(Read the post below this one for the first installment, which ended with:

“The next morning, the sun was shining, the air was COLD and look here! I got breakfast, just like at home! It’s going to be a good day…”)

Day Two

But then we got back in the car again. Once more, I sat up in the back seat most of the time and looked out the window to memorize the way home (just in case). Hmmm. I wondered what were those funny looking things sticking up out of the ground? My mom said they are called “mountains” and that we’ll get to hike on some of them when we get to a place called “Wyoming”. I was so confused! I was learning all sorts of new things I never knew existed. Like, what does “hike” mean?

new mexico

WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! Yikes, all of a sudden it felt like we were on a roller coaster! I wanted to say, “Dad, slow down!” Mom explained that we were going over the Raton Pass, and she always tells everyone she ever has ever met about her experience driving a U-Haul truck and hauling a car on a trailer over said pass.

Old Raton Pass Scenic

Going UP the Raton Pass is no fun in a U-Haul truck; she was seriously channeling the “Little Engine That Could”. Going DOWN was such a huge relief. Then she drank wine that night and slept soundly in Amarillo.

Now, where were we? Ah. Back to our current road trip, I kept flapping my ears, and Mom wondered if dogs’ ears pop when climbing in altitude. I’m not sure what that means, but I think the answer is yes.

All of a sudden, I discovered that if yipped a few times, the car would stop for a break. Dogs rule. But mostly, I just kept sitting up and looking out the window (memorizing the way back home, just in case).

Once I got to sit in my mom’s lap in the front seat, as we were driving on a very windy (not WINDY: marked by strong wind or by more wind than usual, but rather WINDY: WINDING- there is a difference!) road through the Snowy Mountains. She was worried that I’d get carsick with all the lurching, because of course, Dad was driving in his usual fashion.

FINALLY, after being in the car for another nine hours, we made it to the Old Baldy Club in Wyoming! Our room was on the 2nd floor, which was a bummer, because I don’t like stairs, and I especially don’t like open stairs. I don’t like elevators much, either, but they sure beat open stairs!

At first, I wasn’t sure about this new place that required my using the stairs or elevator. And the screen porch was kind of scary at first, too. I wouldn’t cross the threshold from the carpeted living room to the flagstone porch. But with some yummy temptations, I did it, and discovered that it wasn’t all that bad out there! Soon I was hanging out there with my mom and dad. It was great to feel the cool breezes and sniff the interesting smells. I decided that I will like Wyoming, too.

cool breeze

Later that evening, we all took a walk to see the lot where our new house will be built. This will be my new yard! We stood there and watched the sun going down in the western sky.

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After we returned to our room, a man suddenly brought dinner for my mom and dad. It turns out that my mom didn’t want to leave me alone that first night, so they ate dinner out on the screen porch. That was interesting. I’ve never seen a man who delivers dinner at home (well, I guess the pizza guy does, but he doesn’t set the table and do all that other stuff).

It had been another very long day, so I was happy to go to bed, even though I had to go up and down in the elevator to “do my business”. My mom and dad let me sleep in the bed again, and ahhh… I remember thinking that I was going to like Wyoming!

sleepy