When I was five, my mom took me to pick out my very own puppy. It was right after my pre-school graduation, at which we walked across the stage to “Love Can Build a Bridge” – still not sure why that was the song of choice, but I haven’t forgotten it. Here I am with my pre-school class (that’s me, front & center).
As we drove t0 the house with the puppies, I informed my family “If he’s black, I’m going to name him ‘Blackie’, if he’s brown, I’m going to name him ‘Brownie’, if he’s grey, I’ll name him ‘Grey’, and if he’s white, he should have blue eyes and we’ll call him ‘Blue.'” He was a rusty shade of reddish, brown and the cutest mixture I had ever seen with my puppy dog loving eyes. I scooped him up with both of my 5-year old teeny-tiny hands and proclaimed, “His name is Brutus!”
He was THE BEST DOG. He followed us around and let us hold him like a baby. He ran through the fields with us, never leaving our sides. He slept with us each night (or at least laid there until we fell asleep). We loved him, whole-heartedly. On December 10th of my 8th grade year, Brutus disappeared. We looked for him through tear-filled eyes for days, weeks, months. We wonder if someone shot him because he looked like a fox. If someone stole him because he looked like a puppy. We never wondered if he found a better home, because he couldn’t have found people that would have loved him more. He was ours. He was mine.
Everyone knows that I am a dog lover. That’s probably an understatement. I have a slight obsession when it comes to dogs and most dogs seem to have an equal affection for me. On June 20th of 2007, I found the next dog that would truly be mine. A beautiful 11-week old yellow lab puppy that I have fallen head-over-heels in love with.
We affectionately call him “Baby Tuck” because he is the world’s biggest baby. He 100% believes he is a lap dog and does not understand why all 108 lbs. of him cannot sleep in the bed with mommy. He’s my running partner, my cuddler, my people-pleasing puppy. And it just so happens that I share the same anniversary with him as I do with my soon-to-be hubby.
Tucker was involved in the proposal (melt my heart!) so it’s only appropriate that he be involved in the wedding. While I haven’t quite figured out the details of this yet – I know that both Tucker and our sweet, Bud (Landon’s pre-relationship dog) will be part of our big day, because they are a big part of our lives. And this folks, is our happy little family!
Also, if you’re looking to give back this holiday season – consider “Operation Christmas Pet” at the animal shelter. It breaks my heart to say this and know it’s true, but the animals at the shelter don’t have anyone to love them and snuggle them on Christmas. They don’t get to open stockings and stay in a warm house. All donations are appreciated.