This is our note to family and friends after having to put down our beloved pet – Tucker.

I’m sharing this communication with you because in some way you’ve been closely associated with the Rasche clan through the years and that includes our hound dog Tucker. Tucker hasn’t been doing very well lately as his arthritis has picked up over the past several years to where he doesn’t enjoy his walks anymore and, over the past several months, he’s had an increasing number of incidents with throwing-up, gagging, accidents, and over the past week, no appetite. We had taken Tucker in for an evaluation a month ago but nothing conclusive came from that. Due to the increasing difficulty he’s had over the past two weeks, I took Tucker in for a second opinion that included blood test and x-rays. In short (no pun intended), the prognosis wasn’t good and we knew that Tucker’s time with us would be brief. They discovered a mass that had developed in his chest/abdominal area and due to it his digestive system was compromised. The vet felt strongly that all of his recent symptoms were directly related to the mass they discovered. The only option we were given was to go to MSU for invasive and expensive surgery with no good long term outlook. Tucker’s basset hound breed usually has a 10 – 12 year life and the BIG question the doctor left us to deal with was what quality of life we wanted for Tucker? Based on Tucker’s increasingly deteriorating condition over the past week we made the decision to have Tucker put down Friday afternoon.

It was 10 years ago on Thursday when Kyle and I introduced Tucker to the Trevisan clan at the Ratliff’s celebration for Jan’s birthday. Through the years, many of our family and friends have been blessed and/or annoyed (sometimes both in the same setting) with Tucker’s presence. Either way, he’s been a staple in our home and has always enjoyed the times when extended family or friends came to visit. To him, you’ve all been more than just family – a source of additional affection, playtime, cooing, and, most importantly, TREATS.

As the Rasche pet, Tucker has watched Sarah and Kyle go through high school and college, leave home, get married or engaged, watched our Goddaughter Deidre grow from a person he could almost see eye to eye with grow into a young woman, lived through the passing and replacement of several of your pets, and watch Lori retain most of her beauty while wondering what was happening to Craig. He been a BIG – but low profile – part of our lives and we’re going to miss him

As you know, Tucker was a hound dog and hound dogs are suppose to hunt but Tucker never did. For any of you who ever experienced the 4th of July, hunting season, or any other celebrations where fireworks/firearms were present, you know Tucker would never have been happy in the fields with guns. I always said that Tucker “landed well” because we never cared that he didn’t hunt. That said, Tucker did teach us a few things along the way and leaves us with some excellent life-lessons to remember him by including:

Be happy about each new morning that comes and embrace the day ahead.
Be cheerful, ignoring most aches and pains.
Resist complaining and boring people with your troubles.
Ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him.
Resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend.
Honestly, deep in your heart, have no prejudice against, creed, color, religion or politics.
Give love unconditionally without pressure or expectations in return.

Dogs truly do earn the distinction of being “man’s best friend”.

In closing, I read in the USA Today Thursday’s edition that this weekend they were having a dog show where they were bringing in the top dogs from around the world to pick the Planet’s Top Dog – a first time event. Although he couldn’t attend, Tucker did get a few very subjective and emotional votes from Williamston.

Craig & Lori from MI