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.