Today Tucker turns 11 years old. Ten years and 10 months ago (approximately), Steve and I picked him up from the CCI facility in Oceanside and embarked on our career as puppy-raisers.
I was so smitten by him. He was my first male dog. First first blonde dog — a sweetly goofy package of soft white fur that I quickly became convinced was a canine prodigy. I remember reporting to the puppy program director about how intensely he paid attention to me. Steve and I thought he learned with great speed.
I also remember the feeling of blood draining from my face when I received the call informing me he was being released from Advanced Training for excessive energy and distractibility. Asked if we wanted to take him back, we never hesitated. As soon as our pre-existing non-CCI dog (Pearl) died, we acquired our next CCI puppy, and Tucker settled easily into the role of babysitter, protector, and (often) annoyed older brother.
We’ve never regretted keeping him, even though we have since taken the pledge not to keep any more CCI release dogs. Tucker is one of the easiest, friendliest dogs I’ve ever known. He sleeps a lot these days (he’s always enjoyed a good snooze, preferably in the doorway, his favorite napping spot.) But take him to any gathering of dogs, and he perks up like a young’un. Steve and I often declare that he’s the ultimate party animals. Even now, at 11.
We should probably have organized a party for him here, but instead we’ll take him to Darby’s house, where he’ll stay with her and her family for a couple of days. He’ll love that. He always enjoys a change of pace.
While he’s there, Kyndall and I will be deep in an extended training session — in Las Vegas. How will she take to the lights, the noise, the crowds? Stay tuned.