In loving memory of Toby

In loving memory of Toby

Date of passing: 15th March 2017, age 14

The hardest part is saying goodbye. Our JRT Toby was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease a year and a half ago. On 15th March we couldn't see him suffer anymore. His quality of life had rapidly deteriorated with regular seizures. He was 14 years old. We rescued him as a 1 year old pup. 

He was a little dog with a big personality. His mischievous antics and boundless energy and love to play have left us with many warm and cherished memories. 

Our last day together I couldn't make him his favorite food as he'd no appetite (hadn't eaten proper in weeks)  and his favorite treats he gagged on. I couldn't take him for a walk to his favorite places as he just wasn't able for it and any excitement or stress caused him to seizure. So I spent the that morning and afternoon with him at my side with plenty of cuddles. And I made the last thing I could for him, a cardboard coffin. Feeling somewhat overwhelmed and with tears in my eyes I drew out the plan on cardboard. When I'd cut it and started assembling it on the floor who stepped into it and curled up only himself. The irony of it made me laugh through the tears. It was like he was trying to tell me I'm ready. 

But for me the time came too fast. And before I knew it we were on route by car to the vet. The wonderful caring staff that had diagnosed him and regularly tended to him in appointments for the various tests and treatments and medications he needed now helped us with his last appointment. He got very stressed and sadly had his fourth and last seizure of that day entering the vets examination room. I knew we were doing the right thing. But it didn't make it easier. So glad I held his paw till the end and spoke softly the words I felt from the heart encouraging him to be brave one last time. It won't leave me for a long time. That unnatural experience it crushed me but was what he needed.  Miss him so much. The staff were so understanding and sensitive towards our Toby and ourselves. It meant so much. 

The first few days at home after his burial was so hard.  There was silence when we expected him.  No paws tapping across the floor to greet me. No more hugging my leg when he wants my attention. No more barking when the doorbell rings. No more hopping up beside me and cuddling on the couch. No more dropping the ball at my feet and giddily jumping backwards wanting to play fetch, no more begging at the table or hovering up the crumbs. No more wagging stump (his tail was docked when we got him). No more getting away with mischief with those big brown eyes. No more growls whether he's happy, sad, giddy or anxious. Missing and craving that unconditional love, companionship and routine he gave. The heartbeat at my feet is in spirit form. And I hope has run over rainbow bridge and met all his old pals. 

Hope he is at peace and pain-free. I take comfort in that. 

Our handsome furry friend Toby forever loved. He certainly left his paw prints all over our hearts. 

Submitted by Sue Byrne