Even in pain and not understanding what was happening you wagged your tail when I asked if you wanted to go for a car ride. You climbed into the car yourself.

I'm glad it was an unusually nice day. Fifty degrees and sunny in February. You put your head out the window so you could feel the wind on your face. I was stressed and worried about you.

You were just enjoying the moment.

I have so much to learn from you.

I miss you so much. More than I even thought I would. I was your world. What a big responsibility.

I would complain to myself sometimes about having to get home after my commute and take you for a cold walk. The truth is, I loved them. Like any good dog, you loved a walk. You'd stop every three feet to smell something different. Crabby, I'd say "TUCKER! Can't we just walk!?" You'd ignore me and keep sniffing.

You got sprayed by a skunk twice in as many weeks because you just couldn't help yourself. The shame with which you slunk back to the house made me laugh. You smelled like burnt rubber. But it was a good way to get me to FINALLY give you a bath.

And there was that one time when I had too much to drink with Jake and you made me take you for a walk at 1 am when it was zero degrees outside so you could poop.

These sorts of things are the ones I'll remember. You just being a dog and enjoying every moment, forcing me into the present.

I had tears streaming down my face before I even crawled out of bed this morning. I would always give you a kiss on the head as I got up after fighting for bed space all night. You found new and creative ways to lay and take up as much space as possible. I'd let you.

I knew you just always wanted to be by my side. If I went to the bathroom you'd get up off the couch and walk the five feet with me and lay down outside the door. If I was in the kitchen cooking you'd sit at the edge of the kitchen just watching me. You'd follow me to the basement when I did laundry.

I didn't know I needed you for all of those things. You did. Thank you.

I've been looking at the blinking cursor now for ten minutes. I really didn't know I needed you for all of those things.

Things will be less hairy now. But things will be more lonely. The house feels empty and quiet. I don't hear the clicking of your nails on the floor as you pace. I don't hear you drinking water at an unreasonable decibel level. You're not barking at the mailman or huffing when you hear the neighbor's car door close.

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for making me laugh, filling me with joy, and forcing me to be here in the present even in some of the most difficult times in my life.

I love you, Tucker. I miss you.

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