tugs came to us almost 2 years ago...his freaking bastard owner abandoned him at a very busy pound at 16 years old. his name back then was tuddles and he had a total melt down. he stared at the corner and screamed and screamed in terror til the staff called me to get him out. i changed his name to tugs cuz he always tugged at my heart.
in the last few months tugs dementia took over, he didn't know where he was anymore and he just couldn't keep his feet under him...bambi on ice was his trademark. whenever he got excited...happy or scared he literally turned into an out of control spinning mass of legs everywhere...he hit the beds, he hit the walls, he landed in more water bowls and buckets than i can count. but as soon as you placed your hands gently on his sides, he calmed himself really well. he was the most sweet and gentle dog, and gosh he absolutely LOVED his lunch.
my favorite memory of tugs is from about a year and a half ago...i was sitting on the grass in the evening in the upper field surround by a bunch of dogs just being dogs. tugs ran past me to the right, he zoomed around and served to the left, he happily trotted from one end of the pasture and back again and then from the side to the side. finally he was done and came and laid with bill and me as we watched the fading sun...tugs was so happy.
tugs died today at eighteen years old...i want heaven for him to be an eternity of that special day.
sparkles came here quietly about a year and a half ago...her owner left her at the vet because she started to pee. they didn't want to investigate but gave the vet permission to re-home. sparky had cushings disease. when she came, she had this very pretty bling collar...it was studded with rhinestones. i don't know if when her owner used to love her, she bought it for her or if the vet clinic staff gave it to her because it sparkled just like she did. anyway, she had that collar til she started that horrid series of seizures here...we so closely almost lost her and she was days in at the clinic. when she came home, she couldn't eat or drink on her own and her collar was gone, it had been lost at the clinic when she was so sick. if i knew then that sparky would continue to seizure and lose a little bit more of her sparkle each and every time...i would have told the vet to euthanize but i didn't know this back then. sparky too was this incredible sweet and gentle dog. like tugs she liked lunch time the best and would wander out into the kitchen hopefully waiting if she thought it was time. my favorite memories of sparky are seeing her and tugs curled up close and comfortably together on a blanket and sound asleep AFTER they filled those bottomless bellies....i think on the day that sparky died, she had lived for more than 15 years.
ah raymond...my rainman...how could any human ever be so cruel to you? his mind was gone before he got here but raymond still gazed out sometimes from those sweet and bewildered eyes. everyone loves raymond and that is why i named him so. that dog personified a kind and gentle and utterly destroyed soul. lately we all had to watch our fingers and hands cuz raymond quite often mistook them for food. it wasn't til he snapped full down hard and realized his mistake and then he would immediately let go. raymond was a wishful thinker and he couldn't remember to sniff first and eat second. my favorite image of raymond is when i would suddenly come into his view...his eyes would light up for a second as he trotted over to say hello. i would get a few seconds to rub his face with him leaning into my hands...when he had forgotten why he had come over to me, i used to sadly watch him turn and wander away. i have no idea how old raymond was...i suspect he was around 14 or 15 or 16, but we could never tell from his teeth because he broke them all in freeing himself from his chain.
three dogs died today who were of no value to their previous homes. and tonight i am remembering how much of a gift each of them were to me.