Here is one especially for my beloved husband and sister (I hope you won’t mind me publishing our conversation here). There is a little present for ‘Pook’ at the end of this post!
Sent: Tuesday, 22 June, 2010 3:56 PM
Hello, are you back at work?
I hope you received my sms and my emails… did you have a nice birthday?
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 4:38 PM
Subject: i’m sorry, i have some really sad news
Hello dear sis
I was just thinking about you so we did that thought connection thing again.
I did have a nice birthday in many respects with the children and spending some time with mom yesterday, but as we have such sad news it wasn’t the best.
Darling Frodo is gone.
He died on Sunday afternoon while mom and dad were out, as near as we can work it out, just before Frank and I and the children arrived at Preller Driveabout two minutes before mom and dad got back from the shops.
We all got there about 12:15 (mom and dad two minutes later like I said) and dear Frodo was lying still on the other side of the gate.
When we realised that he wasn’t barking or saying hello we all piled through the gate.
He was lying at the gate in the sun, in a very peaceful relaxed posture like he was asleep, but just too still. Mom said that he used to wait for us all there.
He was still warm (and not at all rigid) and dad believes that he breathed his last while we were all there, patting his poor still body. I think he’s right. The neighbour heard him barking at a passerby at 12 o’clock – for some reason he looked at his watch then – and we were all there just about 15 minutes later.
We think his heart gave out while he was running up and down barking – at a passerby like I said.
He was in amazing condition aside from his hip dysplasia and he never stopped running and bounding. But he was using his back legs less and less – I noticed just the other day – and all the power was in his chest and front legs. We think in hindsight it was putting strain on his heart.
It was absolutely unexpected and our dad is devastated. Mom was also overwrought but as you know she takes great solace in the children.
We didn’t want to spoil your weekend by telling you on Sunday, and I didn’t want to email you on Sunday to give you a terrible start to Monday, so I said I would email you today, Tuesday, when I was back at work. I’m sorry I didn’t email before now today; I came back to a two-hour meeting at 9:00 and problems with my computer so have been offline for a while.
Frodo was not quite 7 years old so it really was a terrible, terrible shock.
We are trying to see the silver linings.
He had a very happy life, first with us and then with mom and dad.
He was much, much loved.
He went peacefully and it really didn’t look like he suffered at all from his posture.
Anyway, it’s still very hard to believe.
He was a marvellous friend and we all loved him so much.
So now you know.
So as I said, it wasn’t my best birthday weekend ever.
Our vets were closed for the day so Frank and I took him to the emergency vet half an hour later. Dad came with us. It was very hard.
Frodo will be cremated and we will bury his ashes in our garden, when we plant the baby tree that we got from you all those ages ago. (The sapling you gave us from your house – at the back door – that tree. We planned on planting it for a long time now and so now we really will.)
I’m so sorry to have to tell you.
(I’m crying a bit. Quietly. I know he had a great life and I know that if it wasn’t for me finding him at the SPCA that he might have been one of those little euthanased puppies, but we will miss him so much.)
I have put off hitting the send button but I must now.
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 4:51 PM
I knew something was wrong because no-one was getting back to me..
I’m so very sad. He was so beautiful.
At least, as you say, he had a good life and he was loved.
Do you remember how he loved to sit in your lap and once he grew into a big dog he still tried to climb up?
I also miss the way he ‘crab-walked’, leaning on my legs 🙂
Plse send my love to all.
(And Pook attached this awesome photo.)
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 4:59 PM
Yes, I do remember the lap climbing and the crab walking. It was so sweet!
We also called him “Big fat silly puppy*”! as well as “Jumpy-jumpy”. And the other name was “BIG dog”.
Shame, that is what set off Frank’s tears on Sunday when he was stroking him and he said, “Oh, my big dog…”
I will never forget seeing little Frodo for the first time at the SPCA. He was such a sad, sad little puppy that day, hiding in the corner, and I pulled him out very gently and picked him up there in the cage and LOVED him, and then after about five minutes I got a wuff and a smile and a tiny little bounce.
And then he grew up with us and became such a happy bouncy dog. It’s a lovely consolation.
I guess the more nicknames your pet has the more they are loved?
[*On a lighter note, and on the other hand, Sasha, who has a f@rting problem, poor girlie, is “Big fat smelly puppy”…]
Notes from two years later:
For my dearest sister – here at last a picture of the Frodo tree so you can see how it’s grown. It’s a proper tree now. See Sasha and the boys, and Sasha and Frank, for a size reference.
Love in abundance – and here’s to our darling Frodo.