R.I.P., Troughton. November 1, 1999-August 22, 2012.
As everyone can see from the banner on this blog, you were the Flying Doberman. Leaping headlong from the rocks into the St. Lawrence River–and for what? A stick. But that’s okay, I get that. Sticks are to dogs like Mardi Gras beads are to people. Yes, there are other sticks, and there other beads, but not THIS stick and THESE beads.
I just want you to know you had a lot of friends and fans you didn’t even know about. They have made me feel better. Some of them did know you, some knew of you, some of them know of you from what I’ve written about you through the years. Most of them, if not all of them, have gone through something similar to what you and I went through yesterday, but none of them ever lost a Troughton. Yesterday, it was you and me.
I just want you to know how hard today has been, because everything is so different. All morning, I had a sense that something was just off, and it would take me a minute to understand why. Like remember? Every morning you would lie down by my chair at the computer and I would have to step over or around you to go get my first cup of coffee. Sometimes, I would say, Geez, Troughton, would you just move already? (And you would, because “move” was a word in your vocabulary that you admitted to). This morning I was stepping away from the computer carefully, and realized I didn’t have to do that anymore. Also, watching TV last night, I got the whole couch. How I wish that weren’t true. I would gladly fight you for my part of the couch, if you would just come back.
But I know that will never happen. By the time I managed to get you to the vet, you were already gone in spirit. I let you go before your body started feeling any worse. I think you might have been beyond that too. Before you left, I amazed the vet with stories about you–about how you used to be a Champion Squirrel Chaser and how before that, you were the Flying Doberman.
So here’s what will happen now. You will be cremated, not that it will make a difference to you, and your ashes will be shipped to Canada. One day those ashes will be scattered with the ashes of the people who loved you first, my friend Art and his wife Sherry. Their ashes, like yours will be, are scattered on the top of a tiny island in the St. Lawrence River called Troughton Island. Sound familiar?
Here’s the thing. Everyone keeps telling me how lucky you were to have me to love and care for you, but it’s really the other way around. I was the lucky one, to have you for almost seven years. But our time was always borrowed, and now it’s up. So I am giving you back. But, the vet is making me a pawprint. That’s what I’ll remember you by, along with the memories in my head.
All morning long, the great Sam Cooke song “A Change Is Gonna Come” was in my head, not just because yes, this was a change I knew was coming, but because of the line “It’s been too hard livin’, but I’m afraid to die…” Yesterday, you were not afraid. You were beyond that, into a new place where we can’t follow.
I love you, Troughton.
Your friend Phyllis
P.S. The other dog misses you. He wants you back too. He has no one to harass other than the cat, and she’s no fun. He is moping.