Friday, 2 February 2007

Precious Pup No. 2

Likky and Tinks in their prime.

As you can see I managed to find a photograph with Likky in it. This was a stage in my life when I wasn't serious about photography so didn't take photo's. I had to scrounge to find this one. I think it was taken in 1991. A year before Likky died.

Anyway this is about Tinks. She was two years old when we got asked to take her in. Mum and Dad didn't think they could afford it and initially said no. She was a tiny frail little thing that was obviously the runt of the litter. Her name was Jinx. Her first owners decided to divorce and neither of them wanted her so they gave her to a lady who offered to find her a home. That is who came to us. In the end she went to a young girl who had just moved into a unit. She didn't want a Jinx in the house so she renamed her Chinx. Two weeks after geting Chinxs she got full time work and felt that it was too cruel to leave her locked up in a unit all day so she gave her back to the lady, who in desperation came back to us. Being a dog lover dad just could not say no a second time and Jinx, Chinx, Tinks (Tinkerbell 'cause she had a cat collar on with a bell) became the 5th member of our family.

She was so tiny and felt like she would break if you held her too long. We also think she had been abused by her first owners as she would cringe every time you came near her. She wasn't a playful dog like Likky. She was a lap dog and became very much mum's dog. She would follow mum every where to the point that mum would step on her occasionally. She was a precious little thing. You could pick her up and hold her like a baby. She absolutely loved cuddles and having her belly scratched. Her favourite spot other than our laps was a brown sheep skin rug (yes brown not purple and it died when precious pup number 4 was losing her baby teeth and went sheep skin hunting). Tinks blended in so well with the sheep skin at times you didn't even see her.

Not only was she the runt of the litter but she had a huge hemorrhoid (golf ball size) under her back leg. When she would run, it would be on three legs. One night when she was around 10 years I remember laughing at her (fleetingly though) as she seemed to want to walk in a straight line but her back legs had a mind of their own. She looked like she was drunk. The next day the vet confirmed she had slipped a disk. There was no operation only cortisone injections and something to make her dopey and rest. Whenever she moved we had to make sure she didn't bang into things. (Speaking of banging into things, one night my cousin raced the two dogs from the backyard into the house. Mum had cleaned the glass sliding door so well it looked like it was open - all three went smack). Anyway eventually her back healed itself. As old age took over she lost most of her teeth which made her tongue hang out; went deaf; got cataracts in her eyes; arthritis; and developed a cancerous growth on her chest. None of which seemed to bother her. The vet didn't think it necessary to put her down.

When Likky died Tinks pined for her. She kept searching for her. After a year I was able to convince mum that we needed another dog and was when we found our precious pup no. 3. Luckily for this dear only lady, he was not the playful type (in fact I think she rubbed off on him too much).

In 1996 her health started going down hill. Mum did night shifts so I had to take her to the vet. They told me it was time to consider putting her down. I told mum and she said we would take her on her next days off. Well those days came and went and soon it turned into a month. I had prepared myself for that first time and then again for the next and then again for the next. Eventually I had to put my foot down and say this is it, we are doing it for her sake and my sanity.

We made the last possible appointment, took one last photo (below) and I drove us in to the vets. As we waited mum held her so tight trying not to cry. I tried desperately to toughen up and be there for mum, after all I also had to drive us home. Eventually we were called in and to be honest I can't remember much. I deliberately tried not to look at her because I knew it woud be the end of me. I remember mum holding her head and stroking her and telling her it will be all okay. Then I remember being left alone in there once she had passed and wishing we could get out of there so that I could ball my eyes out at home rather than at the vets.

She lived to be 18 years of age. With all her problems through life she outlived Likky. She was a precious little thing, so tiny, like a toy. Definitely my mothers dog.

In Memory of Two Special Pets

With tears of grief and heavy hearts we said goodbye to you

Animal friends as sweet as you have been a precious few

You stayed with us and played with us and gave us all your love

Now we give the gift of peace to you and thank our Lord above for the years you joined our family with your patient, gentle face

We'll always keep you in our hearts in a very special place.

All the memories you made with us are surley here to stay

For what love has already given us death could never take away.

(Kimberly Rinehart)

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