Saturday, August 3, 2013
Dear friends, I am very sad to report that
my dog Toto has died at the age of 14.
Thursday, Toto suffered a heart attack.
Her lungs filled with fluid making it hard
for her to breathe. She couldn't walk.
She couldn't even stand. Early Friday
morning, Mrs. Shady and I made the
agonizing decision every pet owner
dreads. We loaded Toto into the car,
drove her to a veterinary clinic and
had her humanely put to sleep.
Toto had been a loyal friend and companion
since August 1999 when she joined our family
as a tiny puppy. Her first official act as our
new pet was to pee on the rug. There
would be many more piddle puddles to
deal with in the years that followed.
Early on, we tried to train Toto to stay off the
furniture. She refused to obey. Eventually she
staked her claim to a rocker recliner and raised
a fuss if anyone else dared to occupy it.
We enrolled Toto in dog training school but
but she turned out to be the class clown.
She made a nuisance of herself, depriving
all the other dogs of the opportunity
to get an education.
Along with her stubborn resistance to training,
Toto enjoyed playing mean girl, growling and
barking at me like a junkyard dog confronting
a trespasser. To sum it up, Toto wasn't perfect
but she was perfect for me and I wouldn't have
traded her for any other pooch on the planet.
I have never known a dog with as much
spirit, spunk and personality.
Through the years Toto brought immeasurable
happiness and laughter into our lives. Always
the center of attention at family gatherings,
Toto knew she was special. She thrived on
affection. If she had her way, I would have
petted and scratched her every minute of
every day the entire 14 years.
In later life, Toto slowed down, developed arthritis
and a heart condition. She also started to go blind.
Last fall she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor
on her paw and underwent risky surgery to have it
removed. Toto recovered and went on to enjoy a
few good months during which she recaptured the
energy and enthusiasm of a puppy.
In March, Toto suffered a seizure and nearly died.
She bounced back one more time and had a good
spring, but in recent weeks her health steadily
declined, forcing us to face the inevitable.
It was surreal and very painful to watch Toto
slip away as the doctor administered the
injection that stopped her heart.
We take comfort in knowing her
suffering has come to an end.
There is no greater joy than that which
comes from giving pure, unconditional love
to an innocent, appreciative animal.
Toto, my grouchy, grumpy girl...
my good girl, my great girl...
I will miss you.
I will fondly remember our happy years
together and I will forever love you.
Nighty-night, dear Toto. Rest in peace.
Dear friends, I need to take a week away from
blogging to collect myself and process this loss.
Please understand if I do not visit your blogs
during that time. Thank you very much.