For some of you, this may be sad, please don’t let it be. Yesterday, we made the choice to have Tucson go to the sled dog race in the sky as she had been slowly failing. When the weather would warm up to the 30+ unseasonable temperatures, she’d do great, when it would get down toward zero, not so much. It was hard seeing her slowly losing her hearing and sight, especially when she’d go great on the warm days. We’d take her for walks and when the harness came out she was screaming to go, would pull like it was a race, but for the next two days, she’d have a hard time getting around.
After we got back home from the trip to Duluth (we used the vet that had taken care of her in her racing years), I wrote I guess what you could call a eulogy on my Facebook page. I was told I should share it on the website from a couple of people that were regular readers here. So here it is:
I found it fitting when we pulled back into town that there was a “moon dog” tonight. It was a sign from the Princess that she’s in a great place:
She’s laying in a checkpoint under a nice warm blanket with her Princess Cape (what we called her dog jacket) wrapped tightly around her just WAITING for someone to come around and pull of the blanket and jacket, take her for a warmup walk, put her booties on and hitch her into HER spot in the team, lead.
The trail in front of her has been freshly groomed and the snow is plentiful. It’s zero degrees and the hoarfrost in the trees sparkle under a full moon.
The team is brought up to the starting chute and she’s cheering on the team anxious to get on the trail and see what is around the next bend. The bag is checked and the team is given the OK to go while she rolls in the snow. The musher says “Toos, you ready?” As the musher pulls the hook and says “alright” she leans into her harness and digs in to head down the trail to do what she was born to do, pull.
See you at the next checkpoint Princess! I’ll bring your cape and a few extra dog booties.
(Photo courtesy of Dennis O’Hara. Her last Beargrease, the 2009 150. Like every other race with me, ran every step of the way, in lead)