Tango’s Passing

Tango in the Turnbull N.W.R. near Spokane, WA.

It is with profound sadness that I report the death of my beautiful dog and beloved companion Tango. He was 13 years old and diagnosed in July 2019 with cognitive dysfunction — doggie dementia — followed just a few weeks later with the discovery of a fast growing cancer on the roof of his mouth. Surgery was possible but would have radically deformed his mouth. The vet assured me that dogs adjust but it seemed a cruel step for a 13 year-old with dementia. I said no and started medications which made things worse for a while. I thought we would lose him in September but we were able to sort things out and with CBD and gabapentin he was relatively comfortable. The dementia robbed him of some skills but it never took his loving spirit and gentle ways. On January 3rd a vet from Lap of Love came to the house and put Tango to sleep. (Lap of Love has euthanasia and hospice services for pets in the home. Highly recommended.)

In trying to decide where to perform this final act of love I decided on the Chrysler van that had taken us cross country twice, back and forth to North Carolina many times, and on countless adventures together. Tango was always ready for a car ride but he would often climb into the van when it was parked at home and have a comfortable spot from which he could watch me do yard work. About twenty minutes before the veterinarian was scheduled to arrive I let Tango out to pee and then opened the door to the van. He needed no coaxing to jump in and, thankfully, he was able to make the jump on his own (there had been many times recently when he couldn’t make the jump). It was a perfect place and there was no fear or apprehension when Dr. Megan approached, just the usual curiosity and gentleness.  Very soon he was at peace. 

Uh Oh ….

Remember Buddy?  Dog of the lost collar?  I wrote about him just the other day.  Well, that’s him snoozing on my porch.  He showed up yesterday as I was cleaning out my van (way overdue on that chore). Tango was in the van because he thinks it is his living room on wheels (he’s kinda right about that) and he doesn’t want to miss out if I’m going somewhere. So Buddy comes wiggling-waggling around…the dog is always happy. At one point it looks like he’s going to get in the van so Tango was forced to engage but it went far better than I would have expected. Tango didn’t do his usual posturing with unknown male dogs. He just got up and gave Buddy a look which was quite effective. Then Tango got out of the van and the two of them began that weird dog-dance which involves a lot of circling, smelling and peeing.

Tango quickly bored of the game but Buddy was stoked. I could tell he was ready to come in the house and maybe catch a little chow. He was told, in no uncertain terms, that he is NOT coming in the house. Which may lead you to remember the funny writing about the stray cat who shows up in the yard but won’t be fed.

But it’s hungry.
Okay it can eat in the garden but not on the porch.
It’s raining.
Okay, the cat can eat on the porch but not in the house.
It’s cold. Okay, the cat can eat in the kitchen but can’t stay in the house overnight….
And on it goes.

Wish me luck. I’m hoping Buddy doesn’t fit into stray cat story which, if you don’t recall, ends with the cat sleeping happily in bed with its humans. ❧

Chris and Cooper

 

I’m really grateful to those of you who follow my blog. It is an honor to me that you give some of your time to read my words or look at my images.  I’m almost ashamed to admit I don’t follow too many bloggers but among those I do is Chris Condello’s: Green Thumbed Vagabond. Not every post but most of them. Chris presents a nice blend of poetry, gardening tips and life observations.  And his personal life is interjected just enough so that you respect him all the more for accomplishing the production of so much beauty…a lesser man might have just said, “F” it.

Chris’s most recent post is called My Little Buddy Cooper.  It’s about his dog, Cooper. Now, if you surf on Facebook at all you have seen your share of cute dogs but, trust me, Cooper is cute. He’s a Corgi. And he is presented in some wonderful images. You will just die for the one where he is running towards you with his tongue flying in the wind.

I wanted to share the wealth because that is part of blogging. Thanks Chris, keep up the good work.

Image #274 – Gertie

Image #274

Gertie was a rescue gerbil. I had gotten it in my head that I wanted a gerbil but shopping for one, as with most things, was a chore and I quickly tired of it. The sales associate at Petco seemed to sense my fatigue and wondered if I might be interested in a “slightly used” gerbil that had been left with them. I followed her to a back room where this pretty white gerbil was sequestered away, “had to be sure she wasn’t diseased,” the associate explained.  The gerbil had been with them for ten days and was cleared from quarantine. I could have her for $4, including the cage.  Well, I’m not much of a shopper but I do know a bargain.

Gertie was with me for almost three years and I loved that rodent. She settled right into life with Alice and I quickly learned she had style and panache.  After she died I turned to other gerbils but none had the espirit that my Gertie had.

Amazing how we come to love critters … from dogs and cats to gerbils and a whole slew of others. It speaks well for Homo sapiens that we can develop this closeness, this appreciation for the vast diversity that has been given to us on this blue and white marble that we call Earth.  We screw up a lot and are far from perfect but there are these moments of happiness brought on by simply opening our heart to others, human or otherwise.  Remember, you take the love with you.  ❧