Ode to Tucker

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Earlier this year, I informed readers of some sad news: My 13-year-old golden retriever,

Earlier this year, I informed readers of some sad news: My 13-year-old golden retriever, Tucker, had died. He’d made an appearance in the column when I unkindly outed him as a Platonist. Tucker went downhill quickly with two cancers. As he lost strength, lost the use of his hind legs and his pain increased, I knew I had to take him to the vet. He really was a good friend to me. Useless in all ways but a great friend. The influx of letters that I received following this news was truly moving. One reader went so far as to write a poem in Tucker’s memory, which we’d like to share below.

Golden

at end of day
when all is done
and u walked
wired and tired
from the michigan hospitals
and desks
and suits

he heard you coming
didnt he
from blocks away
had been waiting patiently
all day
from the moment
you
left that morning early
or night
for so many years
and his golden tail wagging
now
as you drove up

so happy to see
that you have returned.

and now
that he is gone
it is a different home
house to which we return

the world is different
the ground harder
the cool evening air less forgiving
the steps heavier

as though we too have gone
as though
we too

have left with Argos
have gone
that day
we said good bye

by Thomas Fiero

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greg Henry, MD is the founder and CEO of Medical Practice Risk Assessment, Inc.; past president of ACEP.

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