Off topic: This one’s for Tobi
I never wanted to write this, and I still don’t, but I’m told it’s cathartic, so here goes.
On 11 February, a little dog blundered into my life. Scruffy little street pup. He was three months old, covered in ticks and dirt, but seemed otherwise in good sorts. T–. and I gave him a bath, pulled the ticks off, and gave him three very important things that every dog should have: a home, a name and love.
I took him to the vet to have him checked up, and he got a clean bill of health and his first injections, and so all seemed well, apart from the fact that we didn’t really have space for him.
A few days later he took sick, and at that point the decision had long since been made for me, and so I took him to the vet. The worst-case scenario turned out to be the case: Canine Parvovirus, complicated by tickbite fever. Did not look good.
He was immediately put on a drip in the quarantine ward, and that was all we could do. T–. and I visited him daily, so that he’d know that whatever this new terror was that fate had thrown before him, he was no longer alone.
He was a miserable sight, covered in faeces and vomit, and it just wouldn’t stop; the diseases had taken all the fight out of him. In the end it was just too overwhelming.
Just past seven this morning the phone rang, and it was I–. from the vet clinic, who gave me the sad news. Tobi had died in the night.
Tobi deserved a fair chance, and I did my best to give it to him. For a few days at least, he knew what it was to be a dog with a home, with a name, and with people and other dogs who loved him. For a few days at least.
I console myself with the belief that, insofar as there is such a thing, I can think of no more deserving a creature of heaven than a dog. Tobi’s in a better place now, with no more sickness, no more beating, no more loneliness, no more ticks. Tall grass, water, stuff to chase and people to be with.
Happy trails, buddy. You were only with us for a little while, but you touched out hearts. We’ll meet again.