My Life With Dogs #15

Friends: I have decided to share with you My Life With Dogs. These Blogs taken from my book, 14000 Dogs Later, may be one page at a time, or more. I don’t want to dump too much on you at a time. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments here, or on Face Book or Twitter. Best, John

“They are our mirrors.” Edward Tuck

dog training and obedience_rFor the next couple of years, until May of 1966 when I returned to civilian life, national events and dog training consumed my life.

I met President Kennedy before he left for Texas where he was shot and killed. Following his funeral where I managed the press corps just above the burial site, I trained dogs.

On Thanksgiving Day following the Presidential Funeral I was assigned as the Information Specialist at the cemetery. Jackie Kennedy decided to visit the site before having dinner with her family. It was a rainy and muddy day. She decided to walk around the burial site and view it with the city of DC as a backdrop. While secret service agents made way through the crowd I took her arm so that she would not slip and fall. I expressed my sympathy. Later that day I trained dogs.

The same scenario is true following my military involvement as an Information Specialist for the inauguration of President Lyndon Johnson, and the State Funerals for General MacArthur and President Herbert Hoover…following each I trained dogs.

In May of 1966 I left the Army and Washington and returned to Huntington, West Virginia. The night before Mom and Dad picked me up I had a final dinner with Mr. Tuck and Carol. It was bitter-sweet. We had surf and turf on the Potomac, reveled in times past, and promised to keep in touch. After that night I never talked with them again. I cannot write a book about my life with dogs without admitting that none of it would have happened without Mr. Tuck and Carol. They were two of the incredible people in my life. They were gentle, they loved animals, they ran a small business, and they cared deeply for their friends. I was young, away from home, and they became my family.

Although Fame Tame worked on all animals, I remember asking Mr. Tuck why he chose to work mostly with dogs. It took me years to understand his answer. “They are our mirrors,” he had said.

I strongly suspect as I write this memoir that both my friends have passed away. But, if there is a doggie heaven, I hope to join Mr. Tuck and Carol there at some time in the distant future…along with their many four-footed seraphs.

What I’ve Learned:  Fond memories of the past are fond because our friends made them that way.

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