by Kendra Luoma
(Hudson, WI )
Tucker came into my life when he was 3 months old. He was so tiny and SO adorable! He went everywhere with us and quickly became the 'co-pilot' in my husbands pick-up truck. At age 3, Tucker was diagnosed with a Portosystemic Shunt; it's vessel that bypasses the liver leaving toxins in the body. We considered surgery, but the risk of losing him at such a young age was high and so we opted to 'medically-manage' his symptoms. Tucker did so well. He played like any other dog would play, he barked like any other dog would bark and he loved...like any other dog would love. We said often that had Tucker not lost hair on his back, you'd NEVER know he was sick. Tucker loved the indoors- he wanted nothing to do with the outdoors and we would joke that he got so excited to go to Grandma & Grandpa's house...just to sleep on a different couch- that's how he got the name Tucker. On Monday, December 24th, 2012 we had Christmas at our house. We opened gifts and each of our dogs, we have a cairn terrier as well, opened their stockings. Tucker was excited that he received two new bones from Santa and a new coat (to cope with the cold WI winters). The next day was Christmas and we woke to go spend the day at my in-laws. Tucker didn't seem himself; he paced from room to room, stumbled and had a high fever. I called a friend that is a vet tech and she advised me to take him in- which I did. When we got to the vet he continued to walk circles for the hour or so that we were there. We decided to keep him overnight there until we could meet with our regular vet in the morning, if he made it. Thankfully, our Tucker was strong and made it thru to the next morning. My husband and I went to pick him up. The vet had explained to us that Tucker had been almost unresponsive the entire night...but when they brought him out, he looked so happy (but sad) to see us. I told him that we would NEVER forget about him. As we drove to our regular vet his little body shivered and I held him tight to let him know it would be okay. We arrived at our vet and it was like he was a whole new dog! He was up and walking, he came when I called his name, he sat in my lap, we took him out to potty. My family came to see him and brought our 5 year old son and our 6 year old cairn terrier, Chloe. Everyone was there and Tucker seemed so happy and 'normal'...or at least I wanted him to be. After everyone made there way into the room it was like he said, 'okay, I've said my good-byes and now it's time for me to go'. He laid down beside me and didn't get back up...he wasn't gone, he just was done. I made the decision that I have regreted from that day...I felt as if I had given up on him. Tucker took his last breath in my arms...it was the hardest day of my life. I miss him terribly everyday. Over this past weekend my husband and I shared our moments of ups and downs. we spoke of the good times and discussed Tucker's last moments with us as a family. I said that I just wished that I could get a 'sign' telling me that Tucker is okay or that he is still with us. On Monday, December 31st I was getting ready to leave for work...I was alone in my house, with the exception of Chloe. I filled my coffee cup and went to grab my coat off of the dining room chair. Mind you, I ALWAYS hang my coat on this chair... For whatever reason, my eyes took me to the floor...and what I saw was amazing...Tucker's profile picture had appeared out of now where. How was this possible? Even if an object had cast that shadow onto my floor...how could it have made an image that resembled his profile so closely. I have been in awe since. I know my Tucker was here...whether to say one last good-bye or to say 'Hi Mom, I'm here...I will always be here'...he was here. I will love him until the day I die and until then, I will miss my Monkey forever.