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Monday, December 28, 2009


The Misadventures of Tucker

Anytime I see a missing pet poster at the grocery store my heart cringes. One day I was faced with printing up my own posters for my missing one-year-old German shepard named, Tucker.

Our three legged husky Rocky suffered from separation anxiety after our senior dog, Rigs passed away. Rocky’s anxiety was so severe that he would have a tantrum resulting in a destructive rampage when left alone. My husband and I arrived home from work one afternoon and it appeared as if it had snowed in our living room. Rocky had chewed our futon into countless pieces. We decided it was time to find a friend for Rocky. We went to an area farm and visited puppies. Out of the three dogs left on the farm, the runt of the litter followed us to our truck and would not return to the barn. So, I would have to say the fuzzy butterball we named Tucker picked us.

With only three legs, Rocky appeared apprehensive about jumping over obstacles, but after following Tucker he was able to conquer his fears. Since the first day we brought Tucker home the two dogs became inseparable; on one particular day while working out in the yard, I called for the dogs and only Rocky appeared. He was anxious and visibly frightened. We walked the emerging cornfields and called for Tucker, with no avail. As evening fell, I could not suppress the fear churning like a cement mixer in my stomach.

Questions about Tucker’s whereabouts stalked me. Did someone steal him? Was our puppy wondering around hungry and lost? For the next few days, every spare minute I had was filled searching each street of our town. I called the local shelters and the police, and as darkness surrounded us on the third day my hopes of ever seeing him again began to dwindle.

Rocky once again appeared to suffer from separation anxiety; he sulked around and whined, which only served to make my heartache more severe. It had been four days since Tucker’s disappearance and in my depression I didn’t feel like attending church, but I forced myself go. I decided to drive the long way home and traveling along the county road I scanned the fields, and five miles from home, as I arrived on the outskirts of town my prayers were answered. In a field, which appeared similar to ours stood a muddy, soaked, thinner Tucker. In my desperate desire to find my beloved dog I questioned my eyesight. Was it possible the mangy dog in the field was my Tucker?

I stopped my car in the middle of the county road, opened the car door, and hopped out. Before I could even call his name, Tucker locked eyes with mine and began sprinting toward me. His usual color of silver and black fur glistened in the sun. I held out my hand to signal to the car approaching behind me to stop. I glanced at my own car and realized in my excitement that I never put the car in park. It began to creep down the road without us. I’m certain Tucker and I were a strange sight to the people I halted. Rushing to my car with the door still open, Tucker dashed past me and jumped inside. I hopped along beside my rolling car, placing one leg in and then scooting into the driver’s seat.

He positioned his mud-caked self in the passenger seat as if he were a king on his throne. I pulled over to the side of the road to let the other car pass me, and to have the opportunity to hug my dearly missed friend. Five minutes earlier, it was an opportunity I believed I would never have. Injured, soaked, shaking, and hungry, the first thing Tucker did when we arrived home was to wrestle with his friend Rocky. Rocky appeared as relieved and overjoyed as I had been.

Tucker was unable to tell me about his haphazard adventures, so as a precaution I took him to our veterinarian. The vet believed a raccoon had attacked Tucker and bit his tail multiple times. Even more disheartening than the raccoon attack, the vet removed multiple BB pellets from his tail. In four days Tucker had managed to survive a raccoon attack, maneuver through our nearby town, cross two highways, and with his collar and tags still intact he endured a run-in with an individual with a BB gun. We are thankful to be reunited, but when I see those dreaded posters I certainly can sympathize with countless families that haven’t been as fortunate.

Please stop by my website to learn more about me and read an excerpt from The Dream House Visions And Nightmares and Bolt Action.

Victoria Roder Bio:

I am a camping, hiking, 3D bow shooting, snowshoeing, and motorcycle riding kind of girl. I enjoy spending time with my family, which includes my husband, two cats, three dogs, and a lizard. I have three grown sons, each making their own way in the world.

Novels: The Dream House Visions And Nightmares, Asylett Press June 2009. Bolt Action, Champagne Books April 2010.

Short stories: "Why I Believe In Angels", A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families, June 2009 and "A Gift Among Sisters", Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s Soul in 2007. REAL Canadian Kids Magazine will feature my article on Savannah Monitors, one on Sled Dogs, and one on Steam Engine Trains, and my short story, "Snowday" in 2010. I have had two articles published in Farm Life Magazine, one in Lifelines, one in One Way Street, and one in The Highground. I have puzzles published in Guide Magazine and Pockets Magazine, and an article in The Little Lutheran and The Little Christian.


debbie haupt said...

Hi Victoria, I'm so glad you found Tucker and that he survived his escapes relatively in one piece. My heart always hurts when I see those posters too.
The link to your website doesn't work but I scoped it out anyway and I can't wait to read The Dream House Visions and Nightmares. It looks to be right up my alley.
Thanks for the touching article.

Michele said...

We also had a dog go missing for about 3 days. Came home thin, dirty, and limping with a cut paw. I don't know who was happier, him or us!

tealady said...

How blessed you are to have found your dog,and what a story to tell

robynl said...

I am there with you when our beloved pet(s)go missing. Ours went missing for a couple of hours one day and I was frantic; called dh at work and of course he couldn't get off to help look. I hollered his name, drove around, etc. and in the end found him down the back alley a block away doggie talking to 2 other dogs. What a relief.

Victoria Roder said...

Thanks for sharing everyone. I think all us pet lover's can relate to the heartache.

Virginia C said...

Hi, Victoria! I am so very glad that you found Tucker! My big, beautiful butterscotch tabby "Buddy" disappeared last year the day after Thanksgiving. He was friendly and not afraid of strangers. He acted more like a dog than a cat. I have never found any trace of what happened to him.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Victoria Roder said...

Hey, Virginia.
I am so sorry to hear about Buddy. A very tough loss.

LeslieJane said...

Glad you found Tucker. I had a cat go missing for about a week. He would periodically disappear for a day or two, but I was starting to worry after 3-4 days. Went to the SPCA to see if he had showed up there. He came home just as I started to really worry. I think he had too good a time, or had a "argument" with a car, since he broke his tail and half a dozen bones in his back pelvis. The vet had to amputate his tail, so I then had a man-made manx. Never bothered him, seem to get along just as well without his tail. Did notice he would not disappear as much afterwards.

Victoria Roder said...

I'm so relieved you found your cat. Wouldn't it be nice if they could tell you what happened!

Patricia Lieb said...

Hi Vicky. I tried to leave a comment yesterday but I see it never showed up here. So, here we go again. Enjoyed your blog and love the photo of your dogs and you. I am an aminal lover also and I really love my dog Blacky about 13-14 years old... Happy New Year!

Victoria Roder said...

Thanks Patricia,
Happy New Year. What kind of dog is Blacky?

Sherry Gloag said...

I'm so glad you found Tucker again. Our cat went missing for two days, and I searched high and low round the area. I never discovered where he went, because he was sitting on the doorstep on the third day looking at me as if to say 'What's all the fuss about?'
Best wishes for 2010

Michelle Kafka said...

I'm glad you were reunited. I once had a dog stolen along time ago. The thief took the dog the chain and left the spike in the yard. My dog's name was Millie and she was black and brown. I was about five years old. My dad realized she had been taken. Sad what some people will do! :(

Jennifer Johnson said...

Wow. Powerful story. Our kitty came up missing. We never found her, but hope she's having fun where ever she is.

sherry said...

I glad you found Tucker I haven't had a pet in a couple of years with the way I work it would not be fair to a pet, because it would have to spend so much time by itself.