On February 27, 2011, this 45-pound undernourished pup, Tucker (AKA Thunder), with no personality, no social skills, no knowledge of how to play nor any commands entered our life after he was discovered on the JR Pups website. We were told he had had been chained to a tree in North Carolina and had been abused – his teeth were chipped from chewing on the chain that bound him to the tree and he had scars from other dogs taking advantage of his submissive demeanor. But, we saw potential. And, were we ever right. He turned out to be the smartest, kindest, gentlest, goofiest, most stubborn family member one could ask for. He went from being afraid to walk over a stick held 6″ off the ground to running agility races in front of a huge audience at the Pet Expo. He used to visit the firehouse and walk around like he owned the joint. He was up on stage at the American Red Cross Brave Hearts Awards when Carolyn received her award. In fact, when the Red Cross told Carolyn to bring Tucker along, I refused to since it was a very nice, formal gathering. When the Red Cross heard my answer, they told Carolyn to leave me at home and bring him !!

However, the last few days were not kind to him . . . he looked and acted sick, wouldn’t drink water and had very little to no appetite – even for his favorite treats. We thought at first it might be an infection he was taking meds for (he had terrible allergies that often led to infections), but this evening (8/7/2021) we took him to the vet clinic and they did an ultrasound of his belly and discovered several large lesions on his spleen and signs of bleeding into his abdomen. Although it would have taken much further testing and prolonged misery for him to determine if the lesions were cancerous, all indications were that it was and the prognosis for a dog we think was 12-1/2 years old was very, very dim – even if we opted to remove his spleen. Carolyn and I promised long ago that we would never be selfish enough to make him live with a poor quality of life and the decision was made to let him find peace. So, we did and he is no longer suffering. Thank you, JR’s, for making this connection. We’re gonna miss the big, blocky headed guy. RIP Tucker.