Saturday, August 14, 2010

Step One: Get a Puppy

In preparation for the impending doom--I mean, the coming of our empty nest, I spent the year of 2007 considering the idea of a puppy. Surely a puppy would fill the empty hours of the long, dull days that loomed ahead of me. I thought long and hard about the time and effort involved in the training of a puppy and whether or not I was up for the challenge. In early 2008, I decided that I was indeed up for it--after all, what else was I going to be doing?--and began my search. I thought a small dog would be best since, admittedly, I was going to take the pup everywhere with me. You know, in a Vera Bradley dog carrier (which, by the way, sits empty because he will have NO part of that whatsoever). Yes, I was going to be one of THOSE dog owners. The search was on and, in no time at all, I found just the type of dog for me- a Yorkie Poo. I chose this breed not only because of their size and extreme level of cuteness, but also because they do not shed, and found a breeder in Spartanburg, SC (the website is and she is a wonderful person and breeder).

Tucker in June 2008
Hubby, two of our daughters, and I went upstate to look at a puppy on Mother's Day and it was love at first sight for us all. After a grueling wait, we finally picked him up on June 10, 2008. I am not sure that I've ever seen a more spoiled dog in my life! I am often tempted to tell people who ask what kind of dog he is that he is a 'stinky poo' because of how spoiled he is. And, the thing is, hubby cannot put all the blame on me for the spoiling of the dog. After a few days of mulling it over, I settled on naming him Tucker. Of course he now responds to Tucky poo, Tucker Bug, puppy-wuppy woowoowoo, and the like. He will maul you when you come in the door and, by maul I mean climb all over you and lick you all over your face; he will high five you; when you say, "Tell me" he barks; when you point your finger at him and say, "bang, bang!" he rolls over and plays dead; he will dance for you and give you smoogees (kisses). But, when you say, "Come Tucker" he looks at you like you have lost your mind--after he sits down, of course. No matter. He is loyal and sweet and we just love him.

Helping haul topsoil in 2010
Tucker and I enjoy combination bike rides/walks every single day of the week (because, once you start something like this with a dog, he WILL NOT let you skip a day EVER). He has a basket on the front of my bike that he sits in like royalty, enjoying the bike rides while I pedal and sweat. After we bike a few miles we walk a mile or two so that Tucker can enjoy marking every single bush and tree we pass.

Now, I realize that a dog is not a replacement for a child. But this dog has really filled our hearts- including our daughters' hearts. And the empty nest is not quite as empty as it would have been without him.

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