July 1, 2001 to August 16, 2014
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Timmy, our dog died today at about 10 am by injection.
Yesterday it was obvious that he was not well. Actually there were previous indications.
Timmy as far as we know was part poodle & schnauzer. He was a small dog, 13 yrs old and was getting feeble and on this last day had no appetite for food or water. Poor eyesight and hearing that was less than his previous selective hearing had become evident over the past year.
Timmy learned by repetition. He must have been very confused this last day during his periods of lucidity. Everything he had done before got harder and harder to do. He was dying.
Yesterday when we: Eric, Ellen, Timmy & I were coming to the Kamp for our annual vacation he could not walk to the ferry. After arriving he would not eat or drink. It got worse as the night wore on. He was never alone as we tried to rehydrate him. He went in and out of the house with our help and at one point walked into the water and paused as he often did but he did not drink. Ellen helped him back inside on her shift. At 7 am he had a convulsion and Ellen woke Eric & I. At this point it was clear that the end was near and he was suffering.
My neighbour and friend had the experience and equipment to shoot Timmy and dig the grave but we decided to have him sedated and killed by injection, then cremated - a much more costly option. We are city folk!
Timmy was part of the family for 12 years and we are grieving. Thankfully we have wonderful memories and photos. Many tears were shed today.
Timmy is no longer suffering. It was a difficult decision but we agreed.
We got Timmy from the Humane Societ. He was 1 year old and probably the quietest dog in the pound when I first met him. He sat and when talked to he tilted his head to the side as if to say “pardon, je ne sais pas?”
He interviewed us in a quiet room in the presence of a Humane Society volunteer, sniffing us as we read his adoption paper that seemed to have been filled out by a third party, not his owners. It told us that he was a Schnoodle, a schnauzer-poodle mix who it seemed has spent a lot of time alone. It said “he didn’t do it (shit) in the house when they took him out.” I had the impression of him living in a basement apartment owned by the parent of a young couple (his owners) who were seldom at home.
He was coaxed into a cab for our ride back to the ferry and was uncomfortable with the motion on the boat as we rode back to the Toronto Islands. Once on land again he was enchanted by all the smells as we led him to his new home.
It took a little while for us to get to know each other. This relationship was as new to us as it was to him. Eventually we settled into a pattern of life that included an hour of walking/riding each morning. The first day I trotted him to Centre Island and back. The pads of his feet were sore. He soon was running off leash as I biked. The wind in his hair, ears flapping in stride, like Dumbo soon to become airborne, deking off to chase a squirrel or geese then back in track parallel to me. What a joyous free life those moments represented. There's nothing like the joy of putting a whole flock of geese to flight! In winter, I’d skate when ice conditions permitted or trek through the snow. He was there as an active companion, enjoying the environment and checking all the smells that I was not privy to.
At home he was protective of us, keeping nearby, joining us respectfully on our bed, poking the door open as I sat on the toilet, lying down like a grey rug almost under foot at other times. Until this year he could sense what we could not. He would see people on the street, including us returning, and howl the notice. He would hear the gate click or the front door open and notify us when greeting guests with a few barks. Wary but always friendly in greeting.
Now there are no more kisses when we return home. No more barks as the gate opens. No more greetings from Timmy. We are sad. We are richer for being part of his life.
Note from Eric
Timmy was my buddy. In response to whether I had any siblings, I’d point to Timmy – whom, in his more quizzical years would cock his head, wag his tail, and look deeply into your soul, ever-hopeful that his loving look would bear a cookie.
Growing up with Timmy was wonderful. We’d go for walks, run through the house, yard, and parks – playing our version of tag that revolved around whomever had the stick (unless I had multiple sticks to distract him with - fetch wasn’t in his interests). We would play-fight for hours and he would growl like the toughest dog on the block until the game was over.
In his later and more stubborn years, he did as he liked – slept, ate, and took himself for walks when he pleased. As annoying as it was to hear that Timmy was ‘on the loose’ – it’s wonderful to know that he took the Island as his home and had the knowledge that he could enjoy it on his own.
Being away from home now, I feel very lucky to have shared the last day of his life with him, comfort him, and bring him joy by scratching him in juuuust the right spot. I will continue to cherish the times we shared.
Note from Ellen
Don't forget that he could also tell time. At 5 o'clock he would come to my desk and woof, alerting me that it was the time to give him 3 of my home baked dog cookies (or more if he was lucky) before dinner.
(The woof got louder as his hearing failed)
Also the runs with David and I, when he would range on ahead to check out a smell and then turn and wait for us to catch up with him.
Click here to view a video compiled of photos taken of Timmy over the years. There is no sound track.