BAR HARBOR — Meet Tucker, quite possibly Bar Harbor’s most famous half–Shepard, half flat–coated retriever. Adopted nine years ago by annual visitors Tony and Dory Palumbo of New Jersey, Tucker, despite having never set a paw in Bar Harbor until this year, was often featured on the Facebook group “I Love Bar Harbor, Maine,” which has close to 13,000 members and is administered by Tony Palumbo.
Last November, the Palumbos noticed that Tucker was limping. Thinking it was a simple hip problem, they brought him to a veterinarian, and he was ultimately diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. The Palumbos were told that Tucker’s rear leg would need to be amputated in order to prevent the spread of the disease. After going through with the amputation recommendation, the couple, who have spent summers in Acadia since first visiting for their honeymoon in 1988 and who had long considered taking Tucker on one of their annual trips, made the decision to bring him along on their next trip to Maine.
When the Palumbos arrived at the Balance Rock Inn in Bar Harbor this September, they decided to take Tucker for a jaunt along the shore path. The path was slightly longer than his daily walks around their neighborhood at home, but they soon saw that Tucker was up for it. They gradually started bringing him to other places around the park. In fact, Tucker so appreciated the walks that, to the couple’s surprise on morning, he was waiting at the edge of their bed, eager to join them again.
Over the course of the trip, Tucker managed to log approximately 20 miles of walking in many spots around the park, including Sand Beach, Compass Harbor, Pretty Marsh, Hadlock Pond, Jordan Pond and Witch Hole Pond. Every day the couple would load Tucker into the back of their car and look for a new trail to explore. “We didn’t hike, but we drove him up to do the big loop at Cadillac Mountain,” said Tony Palumbo. The Palumbos added that they hope this will be the first of many trips with Tucker.