This weekend has not been the best. On Friday, we had to say goodbye to a long time family dog. His name was Toby.
Back in 2009, I had found a listing on KSL (our local marketplace website in Utah) in 2009 that said they needed a new home for their dog. He was a Scottish Terrier and extremely well behaved. At the time, we only had a small Black poodle named Duke and I figured that he needed a friend.
That night I went over to their house and met my best friend. These people were a group of young adults who were partying it up. I could tell that they were not giving this dog the love and attention he deserved. The dog was in his kennel all huddled up because it was cold. He lifted his head and his eyes met mine. Immediately it felt as if he knew (and I knew) I was here to save him.
I took him home, smuggled him into my room and prayed that he would not bark in the middle of the night to wake up my parents. The next morning I introduced him to the family.
He had a Scottie Haircut on the face, but he was definitely no Scottish Terrier, come to find out later he is a Carin Terrier, you know, like Toto from the Wizard of Oz. He was all matted and shaggy grey and white hair. First order of business…Bath and a haircut.
As time went on, Toby fit right in. We would take him on trips to Yellowstone and people would stop us and compliment us on how amazing Toby was. You would think the poodle would get all the attention.
As time went on, we could tell Toby was a little bit different than any dog we have ever had. He never barked, he never got aggressive. He was always constantly at our feet just making sure we were ok. He was noble dog. A cut above the rest.
Earlier this year, we noticed that Toby had a growth on his leg. He was acting fine with it on there, but we did have it removed. It was confirmed as a cancerous growth and they were not able to get clean margins on the biopsy. A few months later he would only take a few steps before collapsing, have extremely labored breathing, and would not eat. To top it off, he had blood in his stools, which is indicative of internal bleeding.
After confirming with our normal vet that we could take him in at any time as a walk in, we got there and they told us they could not take him. Needless to say they lacked the compassionate care we expected from a Veterinary Clinic. We then took him in to Willow Creek Pet Center where they immediately took care of him. They were extremely professional and will have our business from now on.
After a few hours, we had to say our goodbyes. Questions run through my head.
Did we do enough?
Why was it his time?
Why can’t our pets just live forever?
Why do we put ourselves through this heartache over and over again?
As with the case with my best friend Toby, the good times outnumber the pain of losing him. He lived everyday waiting for us to get home to say hello, to make sure we were happy. Although it may seem that he is a small part of our lives, for him, we were his whole life.
I pray that he knows we love him with all of our heart. I know he is no longer in physical pain. I know that we will see him again. This separation is only temporary. He will forever be held in my heart.