In Passing

Today started off hard.  My elder dog, Torin at 17+yrs., has bone cancer and today was a bad day for pain.  I kept ahead of it as best I could, but she was hurting off and on.  More than she should have probably because she insisted on following me upstairs and down, no matter how I tried to hold her off of them.  She kept wanting to be let out and then back in all afternoon.  She was edgy, but I figured it was the wind being up as that always did set off her “Alaska storm sense”. She even escaped the back yard one last time today too.  I expect she did her round of the block, talking to the little old ladies, squirrels, birds, the neighbors’ cats and dogs as she always did, though she missed the postman today.  Perhaps, on what would be her last escape, she stopped to let Brent, the disabled boy down the street, pet her and talk to her as she always would if he was out when she went past his house.  She always had a soft spot for kids or grown ups who thought like children.

After her evening pain medications, just a bit after 8 p.m., when “her boy”, my son, usually got home, she wanted to go out again.  I tried to get her to go out the front as there are only 3 steps to the yard there, but she turned and bounded for the back door because it was time for him to be home and she always greeted him.  Suddenly, in mid-stride,  she screamed and stood shaking with the bad leg hanging in mid air.  My worst fear had come true, her leg had snapped and it was after hours at her vets’ office.  Luckily for Torin, Dr. Stahle, had given me the name of a veterinarian who did house calls 24/7.  I’m so grateful that Dr. Woodruff could come and ease Torins’ way out of pain.  She was surrounded by almost all of her human friends tonight and the cats all came by one by one to say goodbye before she had gone.  Four of them stood in the open doorway watching as Torins’ body was carried out.  Torins’ dog, Kenai, is totally lost right now as she walked Torins’ remains out to Dr. Woodruffs’ car, but doesn’t know where she went or when she’ll be back.  That will take time.

Tonight there is a hole in the Universe where a dog named Torin used to live.  She was from Alaska, born and misbred, as dogs there are often wont to be.  A mix of husky and beagle, she looked to be a very large beagle.  Tri-color, hound ears, white tipped tail and all.  Her greatest talent was the ability to climb a chain link fence.  Yes, paw over paw, up and over she’d go.  We put in a board fence, but she figured out how to push one side of the gate with her hip to get her head through and she was off on her adventures. She loved snow and playing in snow, so I’m glad we finally had some good snows this past winter.  I know it was one thing she missed what with not living in Alaska anymore.  She loved to run, oh how she loved to run.  Her favorite playmate, when she was 9 & 10 years old, was an Australian Shepard pup of 1 year.  She’d run circles around him and leave him panting in the grass whilst she kept on running.  If there was one thing she loved more than running, it was digging.  She dug tunnels, bunkers, trenches and pitfalls throughout all of our backyards over the years.  We used to joke she was a reincarnated sapper from some war or other, though she was one of the sweetest tempered dogs I’ve ever known.  Perhaps that is why the hole she left in our lives is larger than she ever was.


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