September 5, 2000-February 10, 2014

I got her for my 13th birthday. My mom looked in the papers for a breeder for weeks. I picked her out myself.

I remember that day. We drove for what seemed like hours. When we finally found the breeders’ house there were only two puppies left. I wanted to take them both with me but my mother didn’t have enough money with her. The boy puppy was very energetic and friendly but the girl, the runt, was shy and something drew me to her. I remember my mother’s face when I picked her up. I didn’t know it at the time but runts usually have the most health problems. Looking back on it now, I can understand her face. I picked up the little girl puppy and held her close. She laid her head on my shoulder and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so relied on by another living creature.

We got back in the car and Precious, as was her name now, sat on my lap all the way to my soccer game. She kept trying to run out to me on the field.

Her ears and nose were too big for her head. One of them didn’t even stand up until she was 5 years old. She would perk her ears up but the one just flopped.

She followed me all around the house that week. I never had a moment of privacy from the moment we brought her home. She hated closed doors. She would ram into the door until it opened. When she grew up a little she would just push at the door handle. Toward the end of the week my sister had something to say about Precious.

AUDREY: You know–that puppy follows you around like–a—

ME: Puppy?

AUDREY: I’m leaving now.

If I wasn’t careful with my food, she would take it from me.

Precious game to almost all of my sporting events. She was my biggest supporter. Once she got away from my mom on the soccer field and she went after the ball. I remember laughing my head off watching her run around with the huge soccer ball in her mouth; I’m still curious about how she managed to do that. She used to run back and forth at the fence of my tennis matches, just following the ball.

After my senior year of high school, I had a lot of left over tennis balls in my equipment bag. I dumped them on the floor in front of Precious. She managed to fit 3 in her mouth and carry them over to her spot by the bow window.

I went to college in Vermont for a year. I missed her so much. Now, I feel guilty for ever being away. I called home one time in the Spring.

ME: How’s puppy girl doing?

MOM: She’s fine. She’s been sleeping in my room. Why don’t you ever ask me how I’m doing?

ME: Because there are dogs everywhere and I miss my baby.

MOM: Well, what about me?

ME: No one walks their mom around here…

Mom brought Precious up to Vermont one weekend. I was going through some things and just wanted my Mommy. While Mom was getting some things out of the car, Precious saw me come around the corner of the building. Mom couldn’t even see me yet but Precious knew. She came at me full gallop and wagged her tail so hard I thought it was going to fall off. She walked me all the way back to the car and looked at me constantly. My sister called me once while I was in Vermont to tell me

I snuggled with her a lot when I was home from school. I think she wondered why I took so many photos. There is a print of this photo hanging in my room.

I let the dog out while Mom’s at work. Every time I let her back in she just runs up to your room. And then she comes back looking for me like ‘Where’s Jessi?’ And then she goes back in your room and just lays on the floor. I don’t think I can take much more of this. You need to come home.

And I did. I was home for a year at a local college and then I went away to Connecticut for college. Mom came up to school for visits a lot then. She always brought Precious. Precious scared a football player on my first day in Connecticut. Four football players actually. They helped us move into the dorms… she barked… it’s still hilarious to think of those huge men jumping sky high.

She got Lyme in Connecticut. Mom didn’t tell me but I knew something was wrong when Precious put her head on my lap. She was on antibiotics for the Lyme from then until…

She’s slept on me.

She’s comforted me.

She’s woken me up with a paw to my face.

When she used to sleep in my bed she always pushed me off and took my pillows.

She has been my best friend for 14 years.

This is one of the last photos of her. In her last month, she napped a lot. I always felt bad waking her up even though I knew her days were 75% nap.

She had a stroke. No one else was home. My sister and mother were at a class they take on Japanese Tea ceremony. I was home alone with Precious. Her body started to seize and her head tilted to the side.

I hate not being able to help her. I just want to make her feel better. I just don’t want her to be in pain any longer.

She hasn’t walked in a year.

We are taking her today. We are having her put to sleep.

I just hope she is happy.

I know where ever you go that you will be happier not being in pain anymore. You have been a large part of my life and my identity and I am a better person for having you in my life. Some people may not understand why I feel this way about my dog, but in many ways you have been my best friend, my mother, and my child. I love you, Precious. You may be gone from this world but you will be in my heart forever. 

Rest in Peace.

Categorized as Blog

By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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