For the first time in eight years, the house is quiet when someone comes to the door. And I don't have to watch where I put my feet when I stand up. And no one prances with joy when I get home.
Toby's last day was too gruesome and sudden for me to recount yet. The tears are slowing, but they still come often. Like right now.
Sometimes it seemed like his spirit was too big for his ten pounds of body. Like when he'd leap so much with excitement that he'd land on his back, even after he became a "senior" dog.
Sometimes he'd try to talk to me by sneezing, and would seem so frustrated when I couldn't understand him. His favorite time of day was family dinner, because he knew he'd get his chew treat. Sometimes we'd confuse him by having family breakfast, but he'd be so persistent that he'd usually get two treats that day.
One day when he was just a puppy, I got a call from a neighbor asking if we had a little white dog, because there was one in the street yelping in pain. I stepped out in the yard and saw that he was there, so I assured her that it wasn't our dog, ours was fine. He tried to run to me when he saw me, but collapsed before he could reach me. Turns out he'd crawled under the fence after getting hit by the car. Or maybe the bike. Nobody actually saw the accident. And it was a wonder he lived. He was only about 4 pounds at the time. But the doctor said he had road burn, so something must have hit him. He broke his leg, and had two subsequent surgeries. His back never was the same, but he didn't let that slow him down, until Thursday, when his body came to crashing halt.
And if there really is a doggy heaven, I'm sure he's tearing up the place.