While his hips and breathing prevent the long walks he used to enjoy, the sparkle in his eyes flickers as it did when he was a puppy. Tucker is still awkward looking, his long nose more like a hound than a yellow lab, but he is one of the most gentle creatures I have ever known. Our children used to ride him, paint his toenails pink, and have even dressed him in a tu-tu, but he was still their best friend. Now, our grand daughter loves her “tutter,” and besides stealing her peanut butter sandwiches, he has become her best friend too.
I’ve come to realize this is probably his last autumn. Some days he struggles to climb the stairs and sleeps more than he used too, but I know he still enjoys life. If the day comes when he stops raiding the trash or begging for our pizza, then I will know it is time. We will miss him dearly, but am so thankful for the years he has been part of the family.