Monday, October 19, 2009

Warm Fuzzies.

Don't let the name on this post fool you. This isn't a happy post. For me to tell you about what happened today is killing me right now, but before I get to the horror, Let me tell you about the happy first.

Toby came to us a bedraggled, leaf and stick covered mess while we lived in Memphis. One day, in the dead of winter, while I was at work in Miss Cordelia's, HHH came up to the door and motioned for me to come outside. I told my boss that I was going to go outside and as I did, HHH opened his coat and took out something that looked like a weird squirrel. It turned out to be Toby, a small 4 pound Yorkshire Terrier. HHH had come to me in the hopes that I knew who he belonged to. He had been wandering the streets in 28 degree weather. See, in Harbor Town, everyone brought their dogs to me at Miss Cordelia's because I was the inventor of home made, organic doggie treats that the store handed out to all of the neighborhood pooches. If anyone was going to know who he belonged to, it would have been me!

Off hand, I didn't know who he belonged to. After my shift was over, we took him over the bridge into Memphis to see the local vet and find out if he had a chip. Toby was a young, altered, healthy looking dog. Someone had to be missing him terribly!! We got to the vet and there was no chip! OMG! We left our phone number with the vet and started the process of making flyers and putting out ads in the paper. I carried his photo with me in case someone happened to go by saying how they lost their dog.

30 days passed and no one called. Wait, plenty of people called, but they all wanted me to give them Toby if I didn't find the owner. Uh... nah! He had grown on me. In just 30 days, this little 4 lb scrap of fur had snuzzled his way into my heart. I knew when a thunder storm was coming because he was scared of them and would climb under the covers with me way before the storms actually cracked their first bolt. He didn't like taking a bath, but he LOVED the hair dryer afterwards and would do a dance in the warm air as it blew at him! He loved to dress up in warm sweaters, a must for the frigid Memphis winters. He had a Christmas one, a football one, and an argyle one. He had a bomber jacket for when it snowed! He had t-shirts,and Halloween costumes, and as recently as yesterday, Halloween PJ's that I got for him at Target! The boy had his own wardrobe and his own drawer in the dresser!!!!!

Even when we were homeless, we took Toby. I can't even begin to account for all the funny things he did, from peeing on some one's leg he didn't like, to almost getting picked up by a hawk out in Wauchula. He was my little clown, my darling prince, Mr. Bad Hair Day!

Shoot on over to today. 6pm, in the waning dusk of a beautiful fall day in Florida. We get back from the market and as I go inside I tell one daughter to clean out the cat box and I tell the other daughter to walk Toby. They go about their assigned tasks as I unpack the bags. Suddenly I hear this screaming and crying from outside the door and there is my 10 year old screaming and crying that a dog attacked Toby and bit him. I take Toby from her arms and see he's bleeding from the nose and mouth. I yell for my older daughter to run and get HHH as I see the woman who was walking the dog that attacked Toby walking them up to my front door. All she can say is my daughter walked right up to her and her dog. Thanks, Lady. Make my 10 year old who is already screaming and crying feel even worse! I look down and see the life drain from my sweet baby's eyes and in the next moment..... he's gone.

And I can't stop crying.

The other dog broke his neck. One bite and that beast snapped my baby's neck in two. I know it's what dogs do, and I know it happens all the time, but damn it....THAT WAS MY PRECIOUS TOBY!!!! I held him for about an hour after he was gone. I wouldn't give him to HHH. I couldn't. I could. not. let. go. He was still wearing his Halloween PJ's and his Gator bandanna collar. We buried him in that. Wrapped in the towel I always dried him off with and covered in a beautiful pillow sham, I carefully placed him in my Skate box and closed the lid. Then we buried him. Well, HHH buried him. I couldn't do it. I had 3 children who were crying, with my 10year old feeling worst of all because now she thinks it's her fault for walking Toby over by the other dogs! This is a life lesson I was hoping was waaaaaaay down the line and I wouldn't have to teach them about any time soon.

So now I am sitting here, crying on and off. Not hungry, not thirsty, missing my best friend in his glow in the dark doggie Halloween PJ's. I love you Toby, I always will. You were the best little guy in the world and I couldn't have asked for a better dog. You were more than man's best friend, you were MY best friend.

Good Bye, Toby.


Bluepaintred said...

Im so sorry for your loss blondie. And you make damn sure your daughter knows that the adult dog walker with the large vicious dog was entirely at fault.

As an owner of a big dog myself, it is MY responsibility to watch for other people, cats, dogs, a squirrel, everything, and when I can - cus I've never been good at talking to squirrels- it is MY job as the adult to warn the other people away from my dog.

it was NOT her fault.

Anonymous said...

I was so sorry to read this. It is heartbreaking. Toby was an adorable little guy. For his life to end like that is just....nothing can describe it. My heart goes out to you but especially to your daughter. I hope she is OK. I am so terribly sorry.

Bubblewench said...

I am so sorry this happened. It's just so awful. Hugs to you and your family.

kapgar said...

Oh my God. I'm so sorry. That's horrible!

*wishing good thoughts your way*

Jan @ Struck by Serendipity said...

I'm so sorry to read this. Toby sounds like a wonderful dog.

Keep focusing on the positive and reassuring your daughter that it's not her fault.


RNO said...

You know every time I read this I'm brought to tears. I'm so sorry for your loss and the way your daughter feels. Keep moving forward and the pain will lessen.


Finn said...

This has haunted me all night and into this morning. The thing about the PJs is just putting me away. I can't even imagine what you must be feeling.

Your poor little girl. There was no way she could have known. Of course it's not her fault.

I feel horrible for all of you today. xoxox

Putz said...

i am so sorry

Russ said...

Sorry is all that I can say. As a dog owner, I know what you are going through.

Bubblewench said...

I hope your daughter realizes it is NOT HER FAULT. She did nothing wrong. I really hope she is ok.

phinz said...

It was NOT your daughter's fault. BPR is absolutely right--the other person was totally at fault for letting that big dog get away from her. If that dog is not trained to be friendly to other dogs, he needs to go live in a caged area and NEVER be let out in public AGAIN--leashed or not.


My deepest sympathies and hugs to you all. God bless.

marvy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I too own a small dog who is the bright spot in my day, so I understand how you must be feeling. And I hope your daughter soon realizes that the incident was not her fault.

Poppy said...

I hope your daughter can finally one day understand that nothing about this was her fault. Life takes on a power of its own and lines up the sequence of events in just the wrong way sometimes. It's sad, though. I cried so hard when I read your tweets. Thank you for sharing the good parts about Toby.

Lynda said...

I have a very friendly dog, but if I see someone approaching, or looking nervous, then I pull her to the curb. This totally was not your daughter's fault. The other dog walker should have been aware and pulled the dog over, or walked across the street.

That is just awful and I am really sorry for your loss.

Christina LMT said...

I'm so, so sorry, Blondie! Nothing I can think of saying is adequate. :(