Thursday, March 13, 2008

Toffee, RIP

Today it was my sad duty to take our devoted golden retriever, Toffee, for his last visit to the veterinarian. Over the past year he's lost strength in his hips, a common malady for dogs of his size, breed and age. He was 13, over 84 in human-equivalent years.

Despite shots, special food and medication he got to the point where he could not get up by himself and, once up, could not walk very well or more than ten or twenty feet without lying down. The NSAID medication necessary to keep the inflamation under control caused him to lose his appetite which is what convinced me to do the compationate thing.

Toffee was (at least in our opinions) the world's best and nicest dog. We went through obedience training, tracking, and agility together.

He knew lots of tricks. In the morning he would fetch his collar, my pool shoes, and the newspaper. He would follow hand signals or voice signals and stay, come, sit, roll over, and so on.

One of his best tricks was balancing a dog biscuit (or four, see photo) on his nose until you snapped your fingers.

I wrote to our daughter that "Toffee was so smart he must be partly Jewish!" She wrote back that she thought Toffee was telling his dog friends that his master "Ira was so smart he must be partly golden retriever."

Our granddaughters loved him and called him "uncle Toffee". Vi made him a food dish with that appellation. We were "mommy" and "daddy" to him.

Although I am not a literal believer, I have no doubt Toffee is now in a beautiful park just outside of Heaven, restored to his youthful vigor and playing with all the other dogs.

Every once in a while, one of the dogs stops playing, sniffs the air and perks up his ears ... and then runs to greet his master. Together, they cross the crystal bridge into Heaven.

God be with you Tof - See you on the other side

Ira Glickstein

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