At the beginning of this year, we lost one of the best dogs – best friends – on the planet to the Rainbow Bridge and Doggy Heaven. Tucker Layne was truly one of the most special beings ever put on God’s green earth. Coming into Derek’s life when he was needed the most, Tucker became very quickly his best and most faithful companion.
I awoke early last Tuesday morning before the crack of dawn, somewhat restless mentally in preparation for an exciting day filled with one meeting after another, I decided to put the finishing touches to an acrylic painting of Tucker set in the foreground of the Lands End view in the Presidio, a stunningly beautiful part of San Francisco. Tucker just happened to be on my mind. Coming back home that night, extremely exhausted, I ate and fell asleep almost immediately. Taylor had been moping around the house in the morning and his mood wasn’t much different after coming home. I awoke at 8:25 PM or so to two missed calls from Derek, as I spied Taylor’s sad eyes from his chair. I fell back asleep after Derek’s news, empty inside and sad for my buddy. Tucker had passed away an hour prior to heart failure.
At 1 AM, Taylor came to the couch where I had fallen asleep, wet, completely out-of-sorts, and at certain moments, noticeably crying. I thought perhaps, he was agitated because it was raining outside, but quickly dismissed those thoughts as Taylor has braved plenty of storms more torrential than the downpour we were experiencing at the time. I’m quite certain, he had been in some sort of communion with Tucker. He had gone outside into the balcony facing the storm (which in and of itself was strange, cos Taylor, while he loved the rain, he only loved it as an observer) to have a talk and make his peace. Perhaps he was saying sorry to Tucker for biting him at Derek’s the time we were over their place last year when Tad was visiting. Perhaps he was saying sorry over their brief nanosecond altercation in the RV at Yosemite over New Years three NYE’s ago. Perhaps instead he was thanking Tucker for all the other times they were together where they did get along famously, mostly on hikes whether in Yosemite, Santa Monica or Sausalito. Perhaps he was telling him that while he could never replace Tucker, he would do his best to be there for Derek. Whatever the conversation was between Taylor and Tucker, Tay was out-of-sorts from 1 AM till the early that morning. Most of that time, he had his heavy head pressed against me, giving me a paw – his strong.paw, whimpering, just so very sad. (This was significant because I can count on less than one hand the number of times Taylor had whimpered. He can and does sleep thru anything and everything, going to bed earlier than me and waking up well after I get up.) When the rains let us, we went out several times in the middle of the night just in case there was in actuality something physically wrong, which I would come to find out there was nothing. The walk outside didn’t really help. It was all mental and emotional and spiritual. Tay knew his buddy was gone. And he was sad.
Dogs just know.
At almost 6 AM, Taylor and then I finally fell asleep.
Taylor and I felt so very blessed to enjoy so many adventures together. The last three years ever since we moved to the Bay Area, the two of us had driven down to Los Angeles to visit our best friends so many times; Derek and Tucker were so much a part of our lives. Aside from growing up with Lawrence the first four years of his life, the dog he’d spent the most time with was Tucker. One of the best times was when we spent New Years 2013 in breathtaking Yosemite together. The last time the four of us were together, we spent a week in the Bay Area searching for Zen. We realized that, just being with Tucker and Taylor, brought us closer to the Zen we wanted far more than we ever could have reached without them.
Taylor finally slept, and I could tell dreamt about hiking with Tucker.
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ALWAYS BE EPIC.