Good dog…

Part Black Lab, and part Cairn Terrorist, Turbo joined our family in 1998.  Mr. Pickles came along a couple of years later as a rescue pup, completing our clan.

“Canine custody” became an issue as my husband and i worked through our disillusionment* in 2006.  Turbo had been his dog from the very beginning, and when he moved into our vacation home, she was his sidekick.  The family joke became our argument over who had to take Mr. Pickles. We had our attorney convinced it was really an issue!

One of the best “Turbo Tales” involves her assault on a two-pound box of chocolates, neatly wrapped by my children and placed under the Christmas tree.  Arriving home from work, we found a huge mess on the floor of the office – an obvious crime scene.

With two dogs, you’re never quite sure who is responsible for such a mess – much like having more than one child.  At the top of the stairs, the mystery was resolved, as Turbo sat tweaking like a crack addict.  Having no idea how long it had been since she’d bashed the chocolates, i called the vet – who asked if she’d expelled any of the chocolate, or if it was still in her system.

“Expelled”?  You might call it that.  In the living room, splattered across my favorite Dutch Kilim throw rug, was the most unspeakably disgusting muck i’d ever seen come out of a dog.  No idea which end it came from, but ummm… “Yeah.  She’s expelled all over the place, Doc.  Now what?”

Her heart was racing, and she continued to twitch.  He suggested i bring her in, since chocolate can kill a dog.  He would  give her doggie ipecac, and keep her overnight for observation.

About an hour after i dropped her off, the vet called.

“Good news!  I found the cherry!”

i might have laughed a little harder if i hadn’t just come inside from throwing my completely destroyed rug in the dumpster.

Although i lost custody of her in the divorce, i’d usually ask after her on the infrequent occasions when i ran into my ex-husband.  And the kids kept me up to date on her doings.

My ex-husband cared for both of his parents.  As his mother went further into dementia, Turbo was her constant companion – not only for the food that Grandma offered.  They were apparently inseparable.  Turbo got pretty fat – earning the nickname “Tubbo”.  After Grandma died, The Tubster got her weight down, with the help of some Puppy Uppers and a controlled diet.

Over the past few years, she went blind.  The kids said their dad was trying to find a helmet for her because she was starting to walk into things.

Sad news this week.  Talking with my daughter, i learned that my ex had to put Turbo down.  She was a good dog.

*”Disillusionment”.  Legal term used to ‘dissolve’ a marriage when both parties agree to all terms and negotiate their own settlement.  i cannot communicate how much i love that word used in this context.

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36 thoughts on “Good dog…

    • had two more before Turbo! Slightly and Rupert were our two previous mutts… had lost Rupert about a year before we got Turbo. After Slightly died, the kids (and their dad) started lobbying for a new dog within a month. i held them off for three…

  1. What a good dog, indeed. How nice that your ex’s mom had her companionship. At my mother’s retirement home all the residents brighten up when the therapy dogs come visiting. Turbo truly was a “Super Dog!” Sending hugs your way…

    • There were days when mother-in-law didn’t recognize people – but she apparently always knew the dog. And always fed her! Turbo got HUGE, with a big sausage body, stick legs, and a teeny-tiny pin-head. She looked like an armadillo! But she was Grandma’s dog, and had a very important job…

  2. Like family. With all the perqs, benefits,…and loss thereto. Keep the memories, with the smiles that go with them. Hugs to you. And give an extra thump to Mr. P. tonight.

    • It is brilliant, isn’t it? After 25 years together, in a perfectly comfortable marriage, it truly seemed to fit. He’s happier. i’m happier. The kids have adapted, and are old enough now to see that we were not much of a couple, despite being a pretty decent family…

  3. I had a disillusioned marriage once…. Sorry about Turbo. That is the worst thing about pets, we almost always outlive them. And they do draw themselves deep into our lives. I am already wondering what in the world I will do without Ruby when she leaves me permanently. She is such a grand dog, but so good that I will never have a wonderful story like the christmas chocolates to tell. I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time, but “I found the cherry” ??? Too funny.

    Bless you Daisy, for being a serial dog rescuer.

    • yep. i realized after i posted this that i’d just written a eulogy for a dog i haven’t seen in about 4 years… but i still loved her. this dog grew up with my two human pups. she was family…

    • they are probably cheaper from the veterinarian. i asked our vet if he could ‘spay’ me. would have cost a lot less than the tubal ligation procedure… i would have had to wear the ‘cone of shame’, but it might have been worth it.

  4. “Good dog” may be redundant, and hey, almost an anagram. Or palindrome, or something. Even the evil ones — not going to mention any names — are good. And they pack so much love and excitement in their short little lives. There’s a lesson there, I think.

    • it is redundant. although one of my nieces dogs has few redeeming qualities, it’s not that he has a bad heart… when people ask me to describe my dog Mr. P, it’s pretty simple. He is love. Pure, unqualified, slobbery and fur-covered love.

  5. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for good dogs being ‘put down’. My sister just went through the same thing.
    My husband asked me, “How old was Scooter?”
    “Well he was a puppy at our wedding” I replied.
    Yep they’re family all right…so sorry for you loss. There’s still a hole, even when we haven’t seen those sweet little buggers for a while.

    • Part of the reason i wrote this eulogy was to have a good cry while i rooted around in the old pics. Found some pretty amazing things while i was there… i’ve had some good animals in my life.

  6. They don’t come to us because we make them, they come of their own free will. What is more amazing, is that they stay. They give unconditionally and receive ten-fold in return. But God only gives us love like that in short, bright bursts.

    I am sorry.

  7. Turbo looks like she could have been my Jacks sister! :)
    Sadly, Jack had to be put down a few years ago, but he was the biggest chunky love while we had him!
    It’s good to remember our furry family members …. they become so much a part of our lives!

    I finally relented and got another ‘child’; Princess Rainey.
    She was a rescue and came to us by way of Tennessee.
    She’s also the only other female in this house of testosterone.

    I’m sorry you didn’t get a chance to see Turbo/Tubbo before she was put down.

    • there’s a common ‘skinny black lab’ street mutt that has that look. one of our prior dogs was a taller, thinner version of Turbo. Sorry you lost Jack. That’s the sucky part of having critters. But i can’t imaging not having one in my life. So much love in such a small container…

  8. Tubbo. Heh. I love that. I think the more nicknames someone has, the more loved they are. Turbo done good.

    My vet calls Isabel “Chunkers.” Because maybe she could stand to lose a little weight. Maybe.

    • My favorite name for her was “The Tubster”. Although “Chunkers” would have been pretty good, too…. And Isabel is just fluffy… That’s not her fault. It’s the way she’s built!

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