The week following Tucker’s demise we were left dealing with a potpourri of emotions. The most prevalent one being the deep void we now felt in our lives. Tucker was always such a big part of our day to day goings on, without him our home seemed empty. One morning when Don was acutely feeling the vacuum he approached me with the idea of getting another Golden Retriever. He was surprised to learn that I too had been entertaining that same notion. So Don began researching breeders in Michigan and the surrounding states. That research led him to Carol Ruby. Carol heads up the Michigan Golden Retriever AKC and she in turn, led us to Leeah Chew of My Buddy Goldens.
Leeah, a veterinarian, not only breeds Goldens, she also shows them. We learned that two of her females had each given birth to a litter of pups about two weeks apart back in March. Leeah had one male pup left from each litter for adoption. We felt blessed to have found her as our only other alternative would have been to get on a waiting list with a breeder or breeders for a puppy from a future litter. Since time is of the essence for us in this gypsy lifestyle we would have felt pressed for time, waiting to learn if indeed there was a pup available for us, waiting the requisite 8 weeks before actually bringing the new pup home with us, and then having the time to get the puppy housebroken before we got back on the road again.
Once it was confirmed that we were indeed getting one of Leeah’s puppies, it was off to the Traverse City PetSmart we went. We had a whole list of items to purchase, a crate, a travel carrier, a dog bed, puppy food and vitamins, training treats, a short leash and collar, and a numerous assortment of toys. Oh yes, don’t forget the bitter apple spray! Lord knows we’ll need that to help us through the teething stage.
The Caribbean has nothing over Lake Michigan. we have the same tropical hues here.
Since we were in town anyway, I suggested to Don that we take a ride out onto Old Mission Peninsula to see the cherry blossoms before they faded away, after all, Traverse City is the Cherry Capital of the World. I also bribed him with lunch out. It was a lovely Spring day for a ride. Blue skies and bluer water. We did make a stop at the Old Mission General Store for a couple of Faygo’s to quench our thirst. It had been many, many years since we had Faygo pop. I couldn’t decide between two old favorites, the Redpop or the Rock & Rye, so I did what anyone would do…..I bought them both.
Lunch was burgers from Slabtown Burger, a favorite restaurant with the locals. A delicious and filling way to end our outing.
I have cousins that live in Lewiston, which is about 40 miles away from the family property in Kalkaska. They had recently purchased and remodeled a building to open up a retail and repair shop in. It was time for their grand opening. Dad, Don and I attended as we wanted to wish Vito and Carol good luck on their new venture, Sun ‘N Snow. Other family members were in town to do likewise. Yea! It was an impromptu mini family reunion! A few of us met afterwards at Tally’s Tavern for a beer and a burger. The Tally burger has a reputation for being delicious. It didn’t disappoint.
The day finally came when we got to pick up our newest addition. We drove down the night before in order to be on time for our 9 am appointment with Leeah. The welcoming committee met us at the door. Three golden retrievers with tails wagging and one very nosy one who immediately stuck his nose in my bag to see if I had brought any goodies for him. What a delight they were, each striving to get our undivided attention. We met our pup’s mama, grandma, and grandpa in this bunch. Our visit took a little longer than planned as Don and I did have a few questions. Some things have changed since Tucker was a puppy. One of which could’ve been a contributing factor in Tucker’s death and that is waiting to neuter until the pup is 18 months to 2 years old. A reputable study has found that doing this procedure at an earlier age may affect the animal’s risk for certain cancers and tumors. We want our little boy to have the best chance possible for a long and healthy life.
Our days (and nights) haven’t been the same since bringing our little bundle of fur home. He’s been our main focus. Housebreaking, learning simple commands, leash training, and teaching him that neither mom nor dad are acceptable chew toys. And what did we name our little boy you ask? Well, let me introduce you to, Believe in 2hearts Beauregard. Beau for short, and he is quickly filling in that empty space that was in our hearts.
Lastly, Memorial Day was the day dad chose to inter my stepmom Dottie into the family plot. A very simple service was held in which my stepbrothers Tom and Larry spoke. This was followed by the small gathering of family and friends each taking their turn at the final ritual of saying good-bye, the tossing of dirt into the grave. A nice tribute to a life well lived and a woman much loved.
Here’s lookin’ at you kid……