Sunday, August 6, 2017

Long live Toby


We get attached to our pets. They become part of our lives until they aren't there anymore.

I'm having a particularly hard time letting Toby go. I hurt my knee at work in 2011 and have been home since. He's been with me through two arthroscopic surgeries and a full knee replacement. Under my feet, mostly and I had to watch out for him while I was learning how to walk and strengthening my leg.

The past year Toby was failing. He needed insulin shots twice a day, and finally a tumor started near his intestines, he was in pain and never could get comfortable. Finally he stopped eating altogether. So the family had to make a hard decision to let, as we sometimes called him, Sponge-Cat-Tobe-pants go.

  But this isn't about Toby, or me. It's about my brother and his wife. They've been only married for a few years, but my sister-in-law came into the relationship with two wonderful dogs. Now in 2017, both dogs were well over 15 years old and getting sick. The humans had to make some tough decisions.  My family had to put one down the week before I put down Toby, and just last Friday they had to let the second one go. I sat down this morning and wrote out a pet sympathy card. I'm not going to use their names, but they don't need to be included:

Sorry for your losses.

Pets are animals, but they are also family. Like family, they are always there for us when we need them the most.  In happiness, a partner in crime, a compadre who shares our sense of humor; their antics comfort us, bringing us joy and laughter. A true friend who loves us unconditionally, a friend who we share and understand private jokes with. In sadness, they are a furry friend, a shoulder to weep upon.

Saying goodbye to our pets is one of the hardest things we must face. The decisions we face in their final days are heart breaking, we always rationalize that it is better for our friend, but that doesn't make the decision any easier. The emptiness we feel afterwards is sometimes worse than losing a human.

Always take comfort in the memories you store and lock away in your heart. Love and hug those still in our world. It is said that time heals all wounds. There is a small piece of the wound that will never heal. Be grateful that it never heals completely, for that small sliver, is the gateway to your long lost friend. 

 The last picture in my favorite. I had ordered floor mats for my Prius, threw the box on the floor and Toby claimed it as his own. I always made sure he had a towel to lay on, and he used that as his bed for an entire year.  Please excuse any grammatical errors in the post, I'm crying while typing.

 So. if you have a furry, feathery, even slimy best friend- count your blessing and give them a pat from Toby.

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