Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Tucker

Last Thursday, I received a message from my friend Jeffrey that was nothing short of heartbreaking:
Dop  - since you were one of T’s most important friends, I thought I’d let you know that we’re taking him in to the vet at noon on Friday to be put down. His Multiple Myeloma is in full force and he’s getting weaker by the hour. It’s all so sad and MK and I are very, very upset. But we know it’s for the best, as painful as it is. Thanks for all your love and support over the years. You guys are really part of T’s family, and ours too.
Tucker, or "T", was a gorgeous golden retriever owned by previous neighbors of mine in DC.  Back in 2001, I lived in an English basement apt next door to their townhouse.  One day while sitting in my living room, I heard scratching at my door.  I opened it to find a yellow ball of fur smiling up at me.  From that moment, one of the great love affairs of my life began. Jeffrey and Michael (both of whom I had yet to meet) apologized to me that Tucker had jumped through the fence and wound up at my door.   This became a trend for the next few weeks until Tucker was big enough to leash and take for walks.  Occasionally I would walk next door to see if Tucker could come out to play.  He had a history of being mischievous and undisciplined, but when he walked with me, he never pulled on the leash and he sat at every intersection.

When Jeffrey and Michael would travel, I would move into their house and babysit the T-man, sometimes for a few weeks at a time.  Even after I moved to Chicago in 2005, I would fly back to DC to stay with him for a week or so.  We'd go for very long walks, lay in the sun on the back deck, sit on the front steps and people-watch. 

Two years ago, Tucker began fighting multiple myeloma.  And on Friday, December 30th, the fight ended.  Despite that I've not seen Tucker in over 18 months, my heart has been hurting ever since.  I mourn him as I would mourn any friend who listened to my problems, greeted me with love, walked by my side, and just sat with me watching the world go by.