Yesterday afternoon at approximately 3:30, we lost the T in TEBOT...
T - Tom
E - Emily
B - Brenna
O - Orson
T - Tazi
Our vet, based off her final observations, is guessing that Tazi was suffering from pancreatic cancer; he had lost almost half his weight since being diagnosed with diabetes nearly 15 months ago. Although we was strong until the end, Emily and I knew it was only a matter of time before he would be suffering, and since he would have been twelve years old in February, we thought it best to put him to rest.
First, the fond memories.
A rare candid shot of our somewhat camera shy dog, this was probably a few years ago, about the time he was weighing in around 125 pounds, and unbeknownst to us he was suffering from diabetes.
Going back in time, here we are hiking the Peralta Trail one month after I had moved out here in 2000, this was the hike that I asked Emily to marry me. Tazi was still quite the youngster here, and even though while Emily and I lived in an apartment in Mesa and he couldn't be with us, he waited ever so patiently for our house to be built, so that we could be together again. He was very willing to share Emily with me, which I appreciated so much.
Moving forward, here is Tazi taking care of a pregnant Emily. He so loved his mama.
And finally, the last night he was with us, posing with Emily and Brenna, who loved him so much. Even though he wasn't thrilled to lose most of our attention with her arrival, he was ever so gracious, and found other ways to involve himself in our lives, primarily by sweet talking our daughter into throwing him food out of her exersaucer. Ah, the ever crafty fat dog.
And second, an open blog / letter to Tazi.
In your final few years with us, especially after Brenna was born, I failed to spend as much time with you as I should have. We could have taken so many more walks over to the park, spent so much more time on the floor playing, and I just didn't do it. I spent too much of my time cursing you and how much money it was costing to keep you alive, and thinking about all of the inconveniences you caused with having to test your pee twice a day, having to mix special food for you to eat, constantly vacuuming up after you, picking your hair out of my teeth every time I blew my nose into a hair covered hanky.... the list goes on and on. In retrospect as I'm sitting here working at home without you for the first time in nearly six years, all of that seems so trivial. At least a dozen times today I've walked past our bedroom and expected to see you laying there asleep, dozing until I eat lunch, when every day like clockwork, you'd come out to sit with me, waiting ever hopefully that I might throw you something to snack on. I never realized how much I relied on your company until today, and I miss you horribly.
I am grateful, however, for the time we spent together yesterday. While taking all of your personal belongings and putting them in the garage so Emily wouldn't see them when she got home (after your passing) was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, I feel good that I was able to apologize to you for being such a dick to you on many occasions these past few years, and that I was able to tell you that it was not your fault that you had been diagnosed with diabetes, and it was well worth having you around for the extra 15 months that you were here.
You seemed to know at three yesterday that you had someplace final to be, standing in the dining room waiting on me, which you never did any other time before. I am grateful that you went peacefully, and that the vet told me that you were ready to go and that you were not in any pain and had not been. I truly believe that Emily and I made the right decision to let you go when we did, and I hope you understand that. We both loved you so much and miss you more than you will ever know. I can only hope that God holds a special place in His heart for animals, and that you're waiting for us to join you someday. In God's infinite time, your wait for us will be short, and while we plod along for what seems like forever here on earth going about our daily lives, rest assured my dear friend that with a blink of your eye, we will be with you again.