ARCHX U-CDX TUCKABEE RAY OF LIGHT CDX RL3 CGC
DELTA SOCIETY PET PARTNER
8/8/98-9/19/08
"Our Beauty"


Tucker gets his wish .........
It's the least we could do for a dog who was the quintessential perfect dog in our eyes. From day one, he never gave us any problems. He was always obedient, loyal, loving and certainly courageous and brave, likely the bravest dog I will ever know. But most of all, he was a caretaker who had seen our family through so many trials and tribulations. From a young puppy all Tucker ever wanted to do was run like the wind, and that dog had more fun just running around in circles than any dog I'd ever had. He loved to chase, be chased, and most of all loved to fetch a ball over and over again. When he tore his cruciate ligament at a year and a half, his crazy running days were over. Being the cautious mom, I didn't want him to re-injure his leg, or God forbid, injure the other leg which is always compromised after that kind of surgery. So we'd let him run a little bit, here and there, but no more full out sprinting unabashedly. But being the compliant dog he was, Tucker accepted that rule, always sensing the fear in my voice when I'd call for him to stop! So for the past 8 1/2 years Tucker has not been able to do any carefree sprinting but I know he always missed it and longed for the day he'd get to do it again. Today at 5:15pm, Tucker got his wish. We said our goodbyes and helped him pass over the rainbow bridge, releasing him to the heavens where I am sure he is running and playing right now as I type. He has his little green jolly ball in his mouth and is laughing his head off while he runs, jumps and plays like he did as a puppy.

I know this may come as a shock to most of you. About a month ago, Tucker had a relapse of his ruptured disc injury. He woke one morning wobbly and over the next day or so he lost the ability to walk again. We, too were hurt, shocked, and felt betrayed by this occurrence, but tried to remain positive that he'd be able to fight back once again. We didn't want to worry everyone, so kept this information mostly to ourselves. We kind of had to do that for our own sanity. Rehashing it over and over again would have been too hard. So Mike and I would have to carry him outside to eliminate, and hold him up with just our strength since he had none. But we were committed to keep doing so as long as necessary for him to get better. Unfortunately that was not in the cards this time. Over the past few weeks rather than getting stronger, Tucker was growing weaker and weaker and wasting away, his muscles experiencing severe atrophy. Even worse, his gums were growing pale, he was losing the will to eat, and his organs appeared to be failing. I had promised him that I would fight as long as he was willing to and this morning he gave me the clear message, as only a dog who loves you and is connected to you can do, that he was ready to rest.

I know I shall never have another dog like him, and truthfully, I'm okay with that. He was that one in a million dog and boy am I lucky to have had him in my life for 10 years. He was magnificent and majestic and together we were like peas and carrots, a comfortable, dynamic pair. I never felt better and more confident in a competition than when he was by my side. Oh God how I will miss my Beauty. His presence in our lives was just so incredibly strong. Our home will not be the same without him. Pup 'N Iron will not be the same without him, but I am glad that he will be forever immortalized in all that Pup 'N Iron is, from our logo, to all the little white hairs that will linger within our walls forever. I know I will shed many tears. Today my eyes are so swollen I don't know how they will ever return to normal size, but along with the tears I will cherish the memory of all that he was and celebrate the magnificent, majestic dog that will live on in my heart. To Tucker: I love you my beauty. I will miss you forever. I will honor you for the rest of my life. To my friends: All I ask is that each of you who have had the opportunity to meet and know him, please write a good memory you have of him so I can read them over and over again. And when you see me, tell me more good memories of that beautiful, magnificent, majestic dog who now is running with a big smile on his face.

So please join us in the celebration of the life of the dog who was and always will be the inspiration behind Pup 'N Iron and our desire to promote loving, mutually respectful relationships between dogs and their people.  We are so grateful that God allowed us to find him on that little Mennonite farm in Madison County ten years ago.  We shall never, ever forget this magnificent, majestic being who surely is an angel now who we will count on to watch over our family as we continue to go through life on earth.

"Dear Beauty, we will see you again.  And when we do we will play tug, and fetch and you can run til your heart's content.  Wait for us sweet boy at the bridge, we will be there in God's time."
Love always and forever,
Mike, Laurie, Bryan and the rest of the boys

Tucker's 10th Birthday Party

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  • Nancy Zalokar

    Nancy Zalokar

    Laurie, Your tribute was beautifully written. Life for a dog pretty much boils down to whom you get for an owner, and certainly God had a plan for Tucker when he sent him to your family. When Bob filmed that agility class at Calypso Kennels, I am so glad he got some footage of Tucker and you. Nancy

    Laurie,

    Your tribute was beautifully written. Life for a dog pretty much boils down to whom you get for an owner, and certainly God had a plan for Tucker when he sent him to your family.

    When Bob filmed that agility class at Calypso Kennels, I am so glad he got some footage of Tucker and you.

    Nancy

  • Pamela Roberts

    Pamela Roberts

    Laurie, I'm so sorry to hear about Tucker! Thinking back on all the classes I've taken with you, I'm going to miss his pleasant, happy personality. My sympathies... Pam Roberts

    Laurie,

    I'm so sorry to hear about Tucker! Thinking back on all the classes I've taken with you, I'm going to miss his pleasant, happy personality. My sympathies...

    Pam Roberts

  • Debbi Loveland

    Debbi Loveland

    Dear Laurie, I am so very sorry for your loss of Tucker. Boy did I shed some tears when I read your tribute e-mail to Tucker. It was moving and fitting for such beautiful friend. I've thought daily about my memories of Tucker. I will have to re-iterate what you already know. The memory that stands out when I think of Tucker is watching you two work as a team. He would gaze up at you, reading your face and unheard thoughts with his very happy smiling face and work so hard to do whatever he could do to please you. If he had words, I would interpret his words as " hows that sit Mom, a little crooked here let me fix that for you, how's that?...aren't we having a great time Mom?...how about a nice treat Mom?...Man I'm having a great time Mom..." "Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as I were beside you. Do not let the thought of me be sad, For I am loving you just as I always have. You were so good to me! I loved you so... 'Twas heaven here beside you." You have my deepest and heartfelt sympathy. I thank Tucker for introducing Thandi and I into the world of APDT rally-o. He embodies the spirit of what I understand APDT RAlly-o to be based on: trust, love and kindness, Debbie

    Dear Laurie,
    I am so very sorry for your loss of Tucker. Boy did I shed some tears when I read your tribute e-mail to Tucker. It was moving and fitting for such beautiful friend. I've thought daily about my memories of Tucker. I will have to re-iterate what you already know. The memory that stands out when I think of Tucker is watching you two work as a team. He would gaze up at you, reading your face and unheard thoughts with his very happy smiling face and work so hard to do whatever he could do to please you. If he had words, I would interpret his words as " hows that sit Mom, a little crooked here let me fix that for you, how's that?...aren't we having a great time Mom?...how about a nice treat Mom?...Man I'm having a great time Mom..."

    "Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears,
    but laugh and talk of me as I were beside you.
    Do not let the thought of me be sad,
    For I am loving you just as I always have.
    You were so good to me! I loved you so...
    'Twas heaven here beside you."

    You have my deepest and heartfelt sympathy. I thank Tucker for introducing Thandi and I into the world of APDT rally-o. He embodies the spirit of what I understand APDT RAlly-o to be based on: trust, love and kindness,

    Debbie

  • Sylvia Neely

    Sylvia Neely

    By Kathleen Highfill As the hot long days of summer are coming to an end, the pace of training will start to pick up in the crisp fall days. Before the conditioning, before the polishing of contacts and weaves, there is a lesson that it would be good to remember in this hurricane season. Dogs live too short of lives, many are starting to get old at four. You never know if the run you are about to enjoy is the last one you will every have together. You had better enjoy every single minute of every single run, practice or competition. For each time might be when that grand dog is taking his last run with you. I have known friends that had a minor car accident on the way home, but the crate came open in the crash, and the frightened, bewildered dog was under another car's wheels before the driver knew what was happening. A beautiful young white boxer collapsed at an agility run and died the next afternoon. A cocker broke a shoulder and leg and was never able to jump and run again. These small tragedies happen, as well as much larger ones. Remember this at the starting line. This run may be what your loving, loyal canine will have in his heart at the last, make it the one you would want him to remember. And the one you will want to remember for the rest of your life. He gives you his love and loyalty to make it over the first 3 jumps, let alone a complicated course. Take a moment at the start line to remember what a remarkable thing it is that a dog runs agility with you without a leash. Please remember in your frustrations in dog training, what really matters. Run the course like each one is your last. And make it a run that leave you smiling, if not laughing aloud for the joy of the sport. Otherwise you will have missed the most important thing in agility, the love and companionship of a trusted, loyal, and loving canine partner. If you finish with a blue rosette or nothing at all, you still go home with the best dog there - the one that loves you. 'Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened'

    By Kathleen Highfill

    As the hot long days of summer are coming to an end, the pace of
    training will start to pick up in the crisp fall days. Before the conditioning, before the polishing of contacts and weaves, there is a lesson that it
    would be good to remember in this hurricane season. Dogs live too short of lives, many are starting to get old at four. You never know if the run
    you are about to enjoy is the last one you will every have together.

    You had better enjoy every single minute of every single run, practice or
    competition. For each time might be when that grand dog is taking his
    last run with you.

    I have known friends that had a minor car accident on the way home, but the crate came open in the crash, and the frightened, bewildered dog was under another car's wheels before the driver knew what was happening. A beautiful young white boxer collapsed at an agility run and died the next afternoon. A cocker broke a shoulder and leg and was never able to jump and run again. These small tragedies happen, as well as much larger
    ones.

    Remember this at the starting line. This run may be what your loving,
    loyal canine will have in his heart at the last, make it the one you would want him to remember. And the one you will want to remember for the rest of your life. He gives you his love and loyalty to make it over the first 3
    jumps, let alone a complicated course.

    Take a moment at the start line to remember what a remarkable thing it is that a dog runs agility with you without a leash.

    Please remember in your frustrations in dog training, what really matters. Run the course like each one is your last. And make it a run that leave
    you smiling, if not laughing aloud for the joy of the sport. Otherwise you will have missed the most important thing in agility, the love and companionship of a trusted, loyal, and loving canine partner. If you finish with a blue rosette or nothing at all, you still go home with the best dog there - the one that loves you.

    'Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened'

  • Jackie Pratt

    Jackie Pratt

    Tucker is one of those simply amazing dogs that I've come across so rarely in my lifetime that I remember everything I learn about them. The way he would steal a rope toy and sneak in a few laps around Pup N Iron before you would make him stop. The way he'd just sit behind the desk listening to you teach a class, chin resting on the counter as if he knew exactly what you were talking about and was trying to send it out to all the other pups via mind control. The tail that constantly wagged, the never ending Happy Tail. Watching him run out for his dumbbell and picking it up and looking like the cat that caught the canary on the way back. Bouncing, skipping almost. I had the privilege to spend more time with Tucker than others and it will always be something I cherish. When I first met you Laurie, that's who I met. Tucker. Laurie and Tucker, the dynamic duo. During the AACR training, if there was a dog that was ready for anything it was Tucker. The airplane, the firetrucks, the bus...nothing phased him. There are so many instances that it's hard to think of just one that I want to write about that I know will bring a smile to your face. It's almost like I'm trying to think of funny "bad" things all of our dogs have done, and sadly I can only think of "bad" things Phoenix or Piper has done. Tucker was the quintessential companion in my eyes. One day I can only hope that Phoenix and I will reach that level of partnership, trust, and companionship. I can't imagine what you're feeling but I'm here for you should you need anything. I'll miss getting whacked by that tail of his, but now he's up there whacking everyone else. Love, Jackie

    Tucker is one of those simply amazing dogs that I've come across so rarely in my lifetime that I remember everything I learn about them.

    The way he would steal a rope toy and sneak in a few laps around Pup N Iron before you would make him stop. The way he'd just sit behind the desk listening to you teach a class, chin resting on the counter as if he knew exactly what you were talking about and was trying to send it out to all the other pups via mind control. The tail that constantly wagged, the never ending Happy Tail. Watching him run out for his dumbbell and picking it up and looking like the cat that caught the canary on the way back. Bouncing, skipping almost. I had the privilege to spend more time with Tucker than others and it will always be something I cherish. When I first met you Laurie, that's who I met. Tucker. Laurie and Tucker, the dynamic duo. During the AACR training, if there was a dog that was ready for anything it was Tucker. The airplane, the firetrucks, the bus...nothing phased him. There are so many instances that it's hard to think of just one that I want to write about that I know will bring a smile to your face. It's almost like I'm trying to think of funny "bad" things all of our dogs have done, and sadly I can only think of "bad" things Phoenix or Piper has done.

    Tucker was the quintessential companion in my eyes. One day I can only hope that Phoenix and I will reach that level of partnership, trust, and companionship. I can't imagine what you're feeling but I'm here for you should you need anything. I'll miss getting whacked by that tail of his, but now he's up there whacking everyone else.

    Love,
    Jackie

  • Helene Skopek

    Helene Skopek

    Laurie: I have not been keeping up on my post and decided to check out the groups today. I was socked to see one titled Tucker gets his wish. I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Tucker was one great dog. Those are the dogs that come along once in a life time. I first met you and Tucker at a BAD trial. It was the first time you were judging rally. Tucker was the first Dalmatian I saw compete in rally. He was wonderful. I got to know him from other rally and obedience trials. He trusted you and trusted that you would not let anything happen to him. That was apparent at the Maryland AKC trial where another dog came over to him during the out of sight sit stay. He loved you. As long as you have his memories, he will live in your heart forever. I will miss seeing him with you at the trials. You now have another guardian angel with you at all times. Helene Skopek Karlie and Christy

    Laurie:

    I have not been keeping up on my post and decided to check out the groups today. I was socked to see one titled Tucker gets his wish. I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Tucker was one great dog. Those are the dogs that come along once in a life time.

    I first met you and Tucker at a BAD trial. It was the first time you were judging rally. Tucker was the first Dalmatian I saw compete in rally. He was wonderful.

    I got to know him from other rally and obedience trials. He trusted you and trusted that you would not let anything happen to him. That was apparent at the Maryland AKC trial where another dog came over to him during the out of sight sit stay. He loved you.

    As long as you have his memories, he will live in your heart forever. I will miss seeing him with you at the trials. You now have another guardian angel with you at all times.

    Helene Skopek
    Karlie and Christy

  • Karen Quillen

    Karen Quillen

    Hi Laurie, I just got the thread regarding Tucker. Tears are streaming down my face as I write to you. I am heartbroken for you. Tucker was the most incredible Dalmation I have ever seen. I loved watching the two of you work together. It was magical. I did not realize that he was ill. He seemed so young. Your eloquent good bye to him will touch every heart that reads it, what a wonderful way to say goodbye to your beloved boy. He will run in heaven everyday and just think of all the wonderful friends he will make. I am thinking of you, Karen

    Hi Laurie,
    I just got the thread regarding Tucker. Tears are streaming down my face as I write to you. I am heartbroken for you. Tucker was the most incredible Dalmation I have ever seen. I loved watching the two of you work together. It was magical. I did not realize that he was ill. He seemed so young. Your eloquent good bye to him will touch every heart that reads it, what a wonderful way to say goodbye to your beloved boy. He will run in heaven everyday and just think of all the wonderful friends he will make.
    I am thinking of you,
    Karen

  • Linda Wandrick

    Linda Wandrick

    Laurie, I just got back from spending 4 days in Cape Charles, VA. I was so sorry and sad to hear this news. Tucker will be missed by many. My prayers go out to you and your family. I understand that dogs have a way of letting you know when it's OK to let go. You both will feel the power of love and the bond between you. Boston, our dal for 15 years, told me and we spent her last morning laying on the floor hugging and crying and eating M&Ms. I also told her I would be with her till the end that I would never leave her alone. It was hard but I had to do it for her after the many years of love and devotion she gave me. I remember the first time I met you and Tucker. It was at one of the Pup N Iron's Christmas Open Houses. Muffin started her training the spring after. I told you how beautiful and well trained Tucker was. You told me that that's years of love, patience and training. Now you have years of great memories to cherish and keep close to your heart. Our prayers are with you at this time of sorrow. May he forever run the fields of green. Linda and Muffin

    Laurie,

    I just got back from spending 4 days in Cape Charles, VA. I was so
    sorry and sad to hear this news. Tucker will be missed by many. My
    prayers go out to you and your family. I understand that dogs have a
    way of letting you know when it's OK to let go. You both will feel
    the power of love and the bond between you. Boston, our dal for 15
    years, told me and we spent her last morning laying on the floor
    hugging and crying and eating M&Ms. I also told her I would be with
    her till the end that I would never leave her alone. It was hard but
    I had to do it for her after the many years of love and devotion she
    gave me.

    I remember the first time I met you and Tucker. It was at one of the
    Pup N Iron's Christmas Open Houses. Muffin started her training the
    spring after. I told you how beautiful and well trained Tucker was.
    You told me that that's years of love, patience and training. Now
    you have years of great memories to cherish and keep close to your
    heart.

    Our prayers are with you at this time of sorrow. May he forever run
    the fields of green.

    Linda and Muffin

  • Sharon Strange

    Sharon Strange

    Laurie, I know Jewel and I hav eonly been part of the pNI family for about a year, but I do remember the first time I met Tucker. I was in awe of what a Dalmatian could be and how much of Arsin (our Dal) I saw in him. Loyal with unwavering stares to you for approval and direction; always waiting to see what you wanted next and this was reciprocated by you - anticipating his every need. I also must say I remember him at last year's Halloween party in his Harley hat and vest. How perfect! He strutted with the Harley Man attitude, too! How fitting I just received an email about a letter to God from the Dog.. I'll only put part of it, but the part that makes the most sense: "Dear God: Is it on purpose our names are the same, only reversed?" No, I don't think it's a coincidence at all. "Dear God: We Dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID's, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?" From what you two have shown us, humans understand love, compassion, devotion, and respect from our four- legged friends. "Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened" Sharing in your loss and supporting you in any way. -Sharon, Chris & Jewel

    Laurie,

    I know Jewel and I hav eonly been part of the pNI family for about a
    year, but I do remember the first time I met Tucker. I was in awe of
    what a Dalmatian could be and how much of Arsin (our Dal) I saw in
    him. Loyal with unwavering stares to you for approval and direction;
    always waiting to see what you wanted next and this was reciprocated
    by you - anticipating his every need.

    I also must say I remember him at last year's Halloween party in his
    Harley hat and vest. How perfect! He strutted with the Harley Man
    attitude, too!

    How fitting I just received an email about a letter to God from the
    Dog.. I'll only put part of it, but the part that makes the most
    sense:

    "Dear God: Is it on purpose our names are the same, only reversed?"
    No, I don't think it's a coincidence at all.

    "Dear God: We Dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand
    signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID's,
    electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do
    humans understand?" From what you two have shown us, humans
    understand love, compassion, devotion, and respect from our four-
    legged friends.

    "Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened"

    Sharing in your loss and supporting you in any way.

    -Sharon, Chris & Jewel

  • The Millers

    The Millers

    Hi Laurie: I am so, so sad to hear about your loss of Tucker. He was such a beautiful boy. I can only imagine how devastated you must feel. I mostly see you at trials, so I really never saw as much of Tucker as I would have liked. The few times I did see him I was taken aback at what a beauty he was. I'm sure you'll miss him tremendously. All the best from your friends in NJ, Steve, Denise and the Shih tzu clan.

    Hi Laurie:

    I am so, so sad to hear about your loss of Tucker. He was such a beautiful boy. I can only
    imagine how devastated you must feel. I mostly see you at trials, so I really never saw as
    much of Tucker as I would have liked. The few times I did see him I was taken aback at
    what a beauty he was. I'm sure you'll miss him tremendously.

    All the best from your friends in NJ,

    Steve, Denise and the Shih tzu clan.