Today, I said my last goodbyes to a friend. I never got to see him very often, and the time we did get to spend together was always sadly limited. But nonetheless, his cheery face and excited demeanor were always quick to bring a smile to my lips, even if it came at the price of the big dummy rubbing up against me and making my parents batty from having to get rid of the ton of fur that found my clothes like a magnet.
My grandparents first got Toby when they rescued him as a yearling who’d just been run over by a car. His hind legs were badly injured, and even the best veterinary care had left him with a vulnerable hip for the rest of his life, a condition only exacerbating the already common affliction plaguing yellow labradors like him. Nonetheless, this didn’t stop him from living the next 13 years to their fullest, running around in the massive countryside like a puppy with the rest of my grandparents’ many dogs that also found a loving home with them. And he was always certain to rush to whomever approached his home, tail wagging forcefully like a beater and just whining to get a good licking at any newcomer or old friend’s hands and face.
I spent many hours with my good friend, playing with him, yet mostly just lounging around like two lazy old dogs, content with the tranquility of the countryside. As time went by, however, his weak hip began giving him more and more trouble until today, where he requires a shot to even be able to walk at all for the day. With my grandparents’ impending move to a newer place, no longer able to take care of their own house, both bringing him along or giving him away weren’t viable options. So tomorrow, as planned, he will go to the vet and be eased out of his pain once and for all.
|Toby during happier times
The beagle is Candi. She was put down several months ago (though not sure when). Photo credit: my aunt
Sleep well, Toby. You’ve been a good boy. You’ve earned it.