What happens when a desert rat moves out of the desert? Life, the universe, and everything! The way I see it and take it all in, anyway.
Friday, February 12, 2010
This week, I received some devastating news. My sister's dog, Toby, passed away. He was 15 years old, with his 16th birthday coming up on March 1st. When I texted my nephew about this to let him know I offered my condolences, he told me about how it happened. I didn't want to know at first, because I thought it would be something terrible, but I know my nephew needed to talk about this.
On his very last day, my sister went to check on Toby. He took one last look at her then he collapsed. He was gone.
It's so heartbreaking. The fact that he waited to see her one last time, though, was very moving. I know dogs are one of the most loyal animals in the whole world, and this example of hanging in there just to see the face of the one you love so much before letting go is very moving.
My nephew also told me that his father, who is usually not a heavily emotional person, was in tears over the whole thing. That is just one more kind of magic a dog can have in someone's life. Dogs can melt a heart of stone and change someone in ways they never thought possible.
My daughter was saddened to hear this news and she offered a tearful prayer for Toby that night.
I told my nephew that I could still remember when Toby was a puppy. Well, I said "pup" because I ran out of room to type. But when he was a puppy, I remember how he'd jump up on my legs and lick my hands. He was so friendly. His friendliness lasted his whole lifetime. This dog has never bitten anyone. He was always so kind and friendly to others. This is something I will always remember about him. He had such a kind and loving heart, even for a dog.
And I smile when I remember how, sometimes, I called him “Tobert.”
Toby left behind some offspring. On of them, Carly, is with my nephew where he lives. I am glad they will have something of Toby left behind.
As for me, his brother lives in my home. When I first heard of Toby's passing, I got to the point where I was in tears and picking up my own dog and saying, "Oh, Chewie, I'm so sorry your brother is gone." Of course, my dog, Chewbacca, probably didn't understand what I was talking about, but he still let me cry and hold him. I got a sense from him that he was offering sympathy for my own grief. If only he knew.
But I wouldn't be surprised if he does know, in some way. Maybe Toby will visit him in spirit. You know? Come along and say, "There you are. Where the heck have you been all this time, bro?" After another dog in that litter, Baby Bop, died, I had a dream she was visiting with Chewbacca and they were running around, so happy and playing. I wouldn't be surprised if Toby's spirit paid a visit to his brother, as well.
I know that, soon, it will be his time to go, too.
At first, I thought Chewbacca was the last dog from that litter to still be alive. Then after I contacted my sister about this and she mentioned Beavis, I remembered that a few months ago, my aunt contacted me to let me know my cousin, Joe, still had one of the other dogs, who he named Beavis. So those two are the only ones left.
For now, Toby is joining his other siblings at the Rainbow Bridge. He is reunited with his brothers and sisters who he has not seen for so long, and quite possibly, his mother, as well. He is finally free of any pain that had bothered him, even though he leaves behind so many, many humans, and two dogs, who will miss him dearly and always remember him.
Rest in peace, Toby. We all loved you so much and will never forget you.
Writing by the name of Dawn Colclasure (my maiden name). Author of books for children as well as poetry books, writing books and books on the paranormal. I occasionally collaborate on books with Martha Jette or Jennifer Wilson.
Former editor and publisher of Burning the Midnight Oil Book Zine. Book reviewer for Night Owl Reviews.