[flickr]photo:5802116955[/flickr] 9 weeks old
[flickr]photo:5802116619[/flickr] His favorite beach in NC
[flickr]photo:5802117299[/flickr] Wrestling with my husband and Micah
[flickr]photo:5802117529[/flickr] Reflecting with Micah

On June 3, 2011 we had to euthanize our 14-year-old English springer spaniel, Tucker. He’d had bad arthritis in both hips that made getting up and sitting uncomfortable for awhile, but otherwise was pretty healthy. Then in February he began a four-month bout with cancer and had been doing fairly well until a few weeks ago, but really took a turn for the worst the night before. We had him at the emergency vet’s until about 1:30 a.m. and were told all we could really do was make him as comfortable as possible.

Friday morning we made an appointment with our vet. It was a beautiful day, so we planned to have lunch outside with the dogs. My husband carried Tucker outside to the front yard and we all hung out quietly for a few hours, enjoying the warm sun and cool wind. He seemed to be fairly comfortable after he finally settled down and was breathing a little easier. Our younger spaniel Micah laid near him, their backs touching.

We went to the vet at 3:30 in the afternoon. We talked about the night’s ordeal and the x-rays, and came to an agreement about our decision. In one way it was one of the hardest things we’ve done, but in another, there was no difficulty at all; we knew it was the right time. Knowing it didn’t make it any easier and the tears were plentiful.

We were beside Tucker petting him when he died. He seemed comfortable and knew we were there with him and the vet and his staff were very kind to us, which we appreciated immensely.

It’s so quiet in the house. We spent the weekend with Micah, and each other. It seems very strange in the house; Micah looks around for him but less frequently than a few days ago. We began going through pictures for a photo album and talked a lot about Tucker, which seems to help. I posted some of the images on Flickr and a few others here, some scanned from old prints we found in boxes in the closet.

We plan to scatter his ashes at a few of his favorite places – the beach near the NC/SC border, a mountain trail near our current home. He loved being outdoors, and preferably wet and dirty, at least until the last year or two.

Tucker was a special dog and we will always love him. Micah’s a special dog too – we plan to provide her some company by adopting a rescue dog near her own age in the next month or so.