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A Sad Eulogy for a Dear Soul

Anyone who knows me on Facebook already knows about this, but for anyone who reads here who isn't on Facebook (or doesn't know me there), well, I had a pretty rough weekend.

The short of it is that I had to put my dog Tobey to sleep.

He had developed a limp a few weeks back which greatly concerned me because of his advanced age. He was 13 1/2 so sudden onsets of things like limps are usually very bad signs. Nevertheless, I hopefully took him to the vet where he was given anti inflammatories and pain killers which seemed to help. His limp didn't completely go away, but it was much less pronounced. I figured he was responding, so I breathed a cautious sigh of relief.

Last week, his limp returned and became more pronounced. This was particularly unfortunate timing because Lisa was due to go under the knife for foot surgery on Friday and we had a pretty heavily booked week anyway. Nonetheless, we decided if things didn't improve, we'd take him to the vet on Friday after Lisa was finished with her surgery.

Well, Lisa's surgery went well, and Tobey was his usual lovey self, albeit with a limp. I called the vet and asked what the next thing was. Later in the evening, his limp went from being a limp to being completely unable to put weight on that leg. I gathered him up in my arms and took him to the emergency vet where the problem was determined, via X-Ray, to be a fracture that was probably caused by a tumor in the bone. The belief was that the tumor was progressively weakening the bone, hence the fracture that wouldn't heal.

Cutting to the chase, I called Lisa, told her as calmly as I could that it was time, and we both cried. Our next door neighbor gave Lisa a lift to the animal hospital (not the best thing for her foot, but I couldn't let her miss saying goodbye to him), and we spent a few minutes with him telling him we loved him and trying to keep him calm and comfortable. Then the vet came in and...well...I looked into his eyes so that the last thing he'd see would be my face, and the last thing he'd hear and feel was Lisa rubbing his belly and both of us telling him how much we love him.

I'm still pretty raw from this, as is Lisa. It is particularly hard on Lisa because she has to deal with the double whammy of postoperative pain and grief. I've been doing all I can to keep her comfortable, but the surgery is the sort that is just going to carry a lot of post-operative pain with it.

Today I've been relatively functional at work, so I guess I'm dealing with this reasonably well. I loved Tobey fiercely (still do really) but I've also become somewhat more pragmatic about mortality in the years since burying my parents. It does help that we still have Tallulah, and she still seems relatively healthy. I don't know if we'll get another dog while she's alive or how soon we'd be ready. Obviously we can't while Lisa's recovering from her surgery, and that will take a long time.

Words cannot express how much I miss this being. He was a being of pure love. He wasn't perfect; he had a lot of neurotic habits and tendencies. Even so, none of this kept him from being a thoroughly loving and giving individual. I spent close to 1/4 of my life with this dear animal in my life. He may no longer be a physical presence in my life, but he is always going to be in my heart.

Thank you Tobey, for being my first dog and my second best friend. Your family misses you, and loves you.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 29th, 2015 02:27 am (UTC)
Once again, my sympathies. You and Lisa are in my thoughts.
Apr. 30th, 2015 11:22 am (UTC)
Thank you. We're doing pretty well, all things considering.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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