Vonneguet “Butts” Tucker.
You were named after your mom and I’s favorite shared author.
Vonn to most. An ode to our time at Purdue.
Butts to your family. But like all good nicknames I can’t tell strangers why. Somethings are better left to the imagination.
By the numbers:
1,000,000’s of memories shared.
100’s of thousands of smiles, laughs, and moments of pure joy we shared with you. Whether it was here at home or on the trails, parks, creeks, streams, reservoirs, and river beds throughout Westfield, Hamilton County, and Indiana as a whole.
At least 8,000 miles walked. Probably more but that number seems right. Considering:
365 days a year. Almost 8 years of walking at least a mile. For your first 5 years it was more like 3-6 miles a day.
Our most spontaneous was when you and I walked home from Holiday Park. It was exactly what I needed at that moment and you were more than a willing participant.
9 years ago we welcomed you into our home.
2 surgeries to remove mast cell tumors on your arm before you were 3.
One life well lived and countless others touched by your time here with us, our crazy butts.
You loved the water almost as much as you loved people. You’ve swam Lake Michigan, Cedar Lake, the White, Wabash, Mana-Pine, Colorado and Tippecanoe Rivers just to name a few major water ways. Even in the winter you’d jump right into Cool Creek or the Kirkendall. You also got the most use out of our pool each summer.
We have seen each other at our absolute best, our absolute worse, all those points in between, and we have spent an incalculable amount of time together since our lives intersected almost a decade ago .
It’s ok to cry,
That means you have loved someone,
and that a good thing.
That’s what makes the end so very hard. I’m truly sad. But, I’m also glad for all those little moments of pure joy you have brought to our life each and every day.
You far outlived the doctors guesses, and even surpassed my hope by almost 4 years.
You had such an incredible spirit. You were always the first to greet anyone new to our home.
You were excitable, loving, and always wanted to be around.
You have left large paw prints all over our hearts. Most notably on your mom and I’s left forearm. Our dual meaning tattoos. Mine is the tree of love. Your moms is the spiral. Symbols we selected from the Warrior’s in Pink Logo. In a much bigger sense they represent Nana. But, your mom and I placed them on our left forearms to mark our cancer journey with you as well.
To say I’ll never forget you would be an understatement.
Not just for the miles we shared walking but for one of the scariest moments in my life.
Whenever I tap my second toe a quick bolt of lightning shoots up my spinal column. Or, whenever I try to curl or stretch my toes my second toe just doesn’t do what I’m asking you. Much like you it is stiff. It reminds me of the time I pulled you and Wrigley out from under that fallen tree in the White River. Thankfully that is still the only time I put myself in a life or death situation. There was no way I wasn’t going in after you two.
I still remember the speed, power, and coldness of the river against me, you, and Wrigley as I tried to figure out what to do. Then, you both went under.
Just moments earlier we were all enjoying a nice break during one of our many visits to this spot on the Whiter River. Your mom and I lobbed the tennis balls into the water, just as we had done countless times before. We agreed to give you one more good one. But we threw them to far into the river. We noticed you were in trouble even before you did. We could see the tree and realized the angle at which the current was taking you two and it seemed to line up.
I shoulda either taken my pants off,
or left my shoes onHindsight is usually 20/20
But, I didn’t have a lot of time to think. So I just took my shoes off. We were still a few miles from the car. I didn’t want to walk in wet shoes. It’s a weird thought to have at a moment like that. I took my shoes off and began racing towards that tree. I didn’t think about a rocky river bottom.
I remember the fear in your eyes when we reached the fallen tree almost simultaneously. I remember the adrenaline and the fear shooting through my body when both of you went under. As soon as we all got back to shore safely I finally noticed that my foot hurt. You two seemed to forget about it 5 minutes later. I limped all the way back to the car in wet pants. I had a hitch in my giddy up for months following the incident.
Your life hasn’t always been easy.
You seemed the most happy and comfortable while in motion. If not in motion you always looked uncomfortable. Especially if you weren’t right next to us. That’s why the last week or so have been such a struggle. The snuggling has been great but your life kinda flipped this last month. You couldn’t make it around the block. Then, even getting back from a short trip in our yard was a struggle. These last few days watching you struggle getting up and down was painful to watch. You seemed most at peace while at rest.
I’ll miss your hugs the most : ^ )
I’ll also miss how each morning you and I would share the couch, sometimes with a friend, and everything would slow down. You’d lay your head across my lap. I’d pet you with one hand, sip my coffee with the other, and make a plan for the day. It was always a peaceful moment of quiet reflection.
Other times we have just cuddled together. On the floor, in our bed, yours, the couches, and even our chairs. You always thought you were a lap dog. At 75 pounds you never really were. But that never stopped you/us from the joy that came from petting you while watching a game, or listening to music.
I’ll also miss the water always around your bowl that trailed in whichever direction you went.
You can’t prepare yourself to loose a friend. Over the last seven years I have had time to process and work through the seven stages of grief. I accepted your death long before we made the trip to the Vet this morning but it hurts just the same.
I hope these last few weeks weren’t so miserable for you. I just couldn’t bring myself to part with you. But, I knew it was time. We made a pact long ago and I fear I have selfishly broken it.
Good bye, Vonn.
Say hi to Ninnies.
We love you.
You were a great companion to me, your mom, our kids, moo’s, and Pune.
I hope your finally comfortable.
I’ll see you in my dreams and remember you always.
I hope to see you again.
Thank you for all the fun,
If you truly didn’t know her name. I wonder what you thought you were going to see on this link.