Christmas with Tucker

 

Christmas with Tucker **** by Greg Kincaid

I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, a delicious blog for readers with an appetite for the written word.

 

“It is the winter of 1962, and Kansas is hit with one of the worst blizzards in its history. It is during this cruel season that twelve-year-old George is called upon to endure more than even most grown men could withstand—the death of his father and the upkeep of the family that his legacy. When his mother and sisters leave for Minnesota, George has only his grandparents and the companionship of Tucker, an Irish setter, to help him persevere through these most difficult challenges. Can he find the strength to walk the road that leads to healing, find his true self, and ultimately become a man? A coming-of-age story for readers of all ages, Christmas with Tucker is a classic Christmas tale about a young man’s love for his dog, his family, and his farm.”

I know we are tuckered out at my house from the busy holiday season. . .

. . .but I couldn’t let the Christmas Season pass without a review of this book. My eyes were bigger than my tummy AND the 31 days on the calendar this month for sharing all the Christmas books I wanted to share. I’ll finish the year with one final book that will bring a close to the holiday season ending 2010 with this happy tail :-)

 

Young George has a lot on his plate with his responsibilities helping out on his grandparents’ farm. Snow days may mean a break from school, but there is no rest for the weary on a dairy farm. . .

Dairy cows require lots of water, with each cow consuming 25- 50 gallons of water a day depending on the weather. When the electricity goes out and their stock tanks freeze, their next available source of water is a pond that needs to be ice-free so they aren’t trapped by the ice in their search for water & drown.

 I hung my glittery snowflakes on the tree for a snowy effect for this review. . . not dreaming we would be gifted with a White Christmas, the first one here since 1947.

Our snow was not paralyzing like it was for the Northeast. It started Christmas Day and continued through the following day, but quickly melted, but not before providing me with an opportunity to photograph some snowy barn scenes. . .

“There was this vague but growing conclusion settling in my young mind that life does not always bestow upon us everything we want or think we should have. We are forced to move away from hoping others will give up what we want, to a new place where we must discover how to find happiness on our own. Santa was the last vestige of youth where all our wants are magically delivered by some other.”

“It was like being in the middle of a really great Zane Grey novel, and when I got to page 100, just as I victoriously led my mare over the top of the windswept hill after outwitting the bad guys, someone switched in fifty pages of the bleakest scenes by Charles Dickens and messed up my perfectly good life.”

“Farm boys operate machinery, big machinery, by the time they were thirteen, and I was no exception. I’d learned to drive a tractor as soon as I was tall enough to reach the pedals.”

 

“He kept the harness and the old horse-drawn blade stored in the implement shed along with other McCray prized possessions:  an International Harvester and a Massy Ferguson tractor, plows, cultivators, seed drills, rotary and sickle-bar mowers, hay rakes and balers.”

“My guess was he kept the horses and old blades around for a reason. If the maintainer ever broke, he was prepared to clear the roads with the horses, though by 1962 they were far too old to do the job. If the horses couldn’t pull the blades, he owed countless shovels and we would get at it one scoop at a time.”

 

George’s grandmother bakes chocolate chip cookies to fortify him for his wintry weather chores~

“He backed a few feet away from me and started barking, demanding that I play with him. I started to run away, hoping he would chase after me, but he was so excited that he set out circling the house at full speed, his big, floppy, red ears going up and down as he bounded by me. I wondered if doggie Christmas had arrived early for this pooch.”

 

“His warm body helped me feel safe and secure. I pulled him close to me, buried my face in his coat, and realized that all I could do was hunker down and get through the winter. I would have to accept that things did not always turn out the way they should. Maybe that was the new rule.”

 

The author, Greg Kincaid is a pet-adoption advocate who lives on a farm in eastern Kansas with his wife, two cats, and two dogs, including Rudy adopted from a local shelter. My searches for adoptable dogs on Petfinder not only pulled at my heartstrings, but led me to search for dogs named Tucker that ultimately landed me on Dogster.

 Dogster lets you create a profile for your dog, upload a photo and show off your pooch. The most popular pet-based social network with nearly half a million visitors each month, you can find advice on dogs, connect with other dog owners, find a breeding partner and even adopt a new dog. Shhhh, don’t tell Chloe & Gracie there’s a place in cyberspace to receive virtual bones & make friends :-)

 My search led me to 1,164 dogs named Tucker on Dogster. . .let me introduce you to a few of them~

Blazes of Glory Tuckers~

The Toy Group~

Tuckered out Tuckers. . .

 The Sporting Group . . .

I’m dreaming of a white Tucker. . .

To find adoptable pets near you, visit Petfinder.com.

Visit Food for Thought for a recipe of Happy Reading~

I’m also joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday~

 & Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday~

  20 comments for “Christmas with Tucker

  1. December 30, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    oh you know the title alone is breaking my heart… and you 2 little tuckered outs, so precious, nothing better then sleeping dogs~

    omg i gasped at your snow pics, sooooooooooooo beautiful! you must have been over the moon excited and happy in your wonderland. i am “borrowing” every pic. so serene, so perfect… how did you find such a perfect fully loaded barn… FABULOUS!

    omg the horse shots… I AM OVER THE MOON! i am truly squealing with delight… i love love love every single shot… pure snowy magic~ and you even found a cow weathervane. you must have had a ball collecting your pics… then eating those COOKIES! so delish, my very fav, anytime of the day. i even have that same container series… twins!

    i have never seen such cute tuckers, i would snatch a few if nearby! i adopted all 3 of my dogs thru petfinder, love that website. love your collages… what a wonderful way to end our food for thought year, you never ever let me down, dazzled my senses every single time, its been a pure honor playing with you this year, a toast to a new year and adventures whatever they may bring!

  2. December 30, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I love that you included the Boxer in your Glory Tuckers collage :-) We have a Boxer and adore her! Christmas with Tucker is on my to read list. Happy New Year!

  3. December 30, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    When I saw your title..I immediately thought of Jain’s T and knew this would pull at her heartstrings..Mary..your winter photos are fabulous..every single one.
    What a great post. Happy New Year.

  4. December 30, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Mary, the title immediately made me think of Jain’s Tucker, her glory dog. The snow scenes are incredible! The barns full of tractors and a red one, no less. Then the horse barn with those beauties with big brown eyes. How did you find the perfect snow covered lane? Amazing ~ each and every photo. They could be shots from a movie.
    Now I’m craving one of the CC cookies. Thank you, Mary. This was a delightful book to end your holiday reviews. Loved seeing each and every one of those sweet Tuckers! ~ Sarah

  5. December 30, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    What a terrific review!! We often go on Dogster to check things out!! Happy New Year to you and your family…Chloe and Gracie included of course!!

  6. Pat
    December 30, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Mary your beautiful and serene snow photos would make a delightful calender or greeting cards! What beauty you captured! Our two feet plus of snow was not so beautiful as this city is always on the move and gets cranky when it can’t.
    I’d love some of your chocolate chip cookies to go along with my glass of warm milk right now :)
    Those “Tucker’s ” were all such cute dogs! They all have such wonderful personalities!

    Happy healthy 2011!

  7. December 31, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Your photos are amazing.

    – The Tablescaper

  8. Pondside
    January 2, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    What a sweet post.
    So you’ve had a White Christmas after more than 60 years!…..once in a while it’s a good thing as it reminds us that we live in the Northern Hemisphere!

  9. Pondside
    January 2, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Strangest thing – I had a very difficult time leaving a comment, but we were commenting on one another’s blogs at the same time……spooky!

  10. January 2, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I have truly enjoyed my visit here. Your pictures are so grand!!! Well done! Happy New Year!! Cathy

  11. January 3, 2011 at 7:14 am

    We had a Golden Retriever named Tucker – great dog. Your blog is stunning and your photography is just outstanding.

    Happy New Year!

    Carol

  12. January 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Wow, what a great post. I would love to read about Tucker. Your photos are great and the cookies look delicious. Being a dog lover , the dog photos were my favorite. Thanks for sharing the review. I wish you and yours a very Happy, Healthy New Year.

  13. January 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Gorgeous gorgeous photos!!!! I love the snow photos, they are fairytale beautiful. The pups are wonderful and this sounds like a wonderful book!!!

  14. January 4, 2011 at 11:38 am

    That was one of the most interesting and beautiful posts that I have ever read!
    I thought that your pictures were so lovely, and then I got to the mosaics of all the Tucker’s. Thank you for all of this information, and eye candy.

  15. January 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    oh what a beautiful collection of images! LOVE that old truck in the barn! thanks for sharing at MM. Hope your new year is happy! :)

  16. January 4, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Your barn/snow images are gorgeous. Especially with the truck and tractor!

  17. January 5, 2011 at 10:06 am

    your photos are really awesome and your review of the book got me really interested especially so that I love dogs. happy new year!!

  18. January 5, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Everything sounds really lovely and your photos were gorgeous.

  19. January 5, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    This must have taken forever! What fabulous images. Snow makes everything look fantastic doesn’t it and you certainly captured it. That barn and the red tractor peeking out is gorgeous and that beautifully magnificent horse just stopped to pose.

    I have to admit, although my stomach still is hurting a little from sweets, the cookies look so tempting too.

Thanks for your comments~ they make my day :)

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