She's a Writer, Artist, Publisher...

After a Lifetime in Large Urban Areas, this West-Coast Urban Girl has moved to the Country to start a New Life in a Small Town in Vermont... Watch her bumble her way and conquer!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Robin, 2000 ? - December 28, 2011

We got Robin on a dew-drenched morning in early spring some time around 2003 -- not sure because for some reason I don’t think we managed to write it down.

It was Rafik, our shepherd mix dog that actually found him, by sniffing the other side of the fence on the neighbor's side and acting all interested...

Turns out, there was this great big fluffy orange ball of "dog" that had gotten lost and wandered into our front yard, and our neighbor's yard.

You really couldn’t tell what it was, so hairy and fluffy and sort of like a teddy bear, but it was a chow chow (and pretty much very likely a pure-bred with a nice purple tongue, quite young -- no more than 4 years, said the vet), and he was completely disoriented (and okay, a little dumb but in a lovable way) and at first our neighbor wanted to take him to the pound, then considered keeping him himself (he already had another chow, but an older one). But my mom fell in love instantly and said we are keeping him. So our nice neighbor caught the dog, put him in his side yard, and then later in the day brought him over to our back yard.

The chow chow ran around warily at first, checking us and our dogs out, but since we left the back door open and just ignored him on purpose, he then decided he was home, and just came inside as though it was all normal and stuff. We all pretended it was.

And that was that.

So now we had ourselves yet another dog, and called him Robin.

Actually we never really called him Robin except on his formal vet visit paperwork -- he was Boba, Bob, Bobby, Bobsie, Baboolia, Baboolia-Babah, and Roba (my dad's name for him).

Robin had a gorgeous deep baritone bark, and he loved to run around our back yard and chase and guard squirrels. He also herded cats occasionally and when they got too close to his food dish, he defended it with his honor. He also barked at passerby and "defended" his food dish thoroughly each time someone walked by on the sidewalk. Okay, he was a lovable dummy.

Chows are unpredictable, and Robin was lovable and without a mean bone in his body but stubborn, so was not easy to get groomed (and scared both groomers and some vets), and he definitely was his own dog. He was never particularly greedy about food (except the "guard the food dish from all visitors cause that's the sole reason they come here" thing which was hilarious, cause afterwards he would always take a single bite of the kibble very meaningfully, and then just walk away). And he got along fine with the other dogs.

Robin also must have been trained in a very strange way by whoever had him before us, because he was not particularly obedient, but whenever my mom brandished the broom he would come in. And also eventually later he apparently learned Russian, because mom would say "palka" which meant "stick" in Russian, and that was sufficient to get him to come inside when all else failed. Not that anyone ever used "the palka" on him, we just spoke about it and invoked it loudly.

Robin had a tendency to get outside the gates by accident and sort of run off in the alley and Mom would chase him (also hilarious), but yeah, he was really mom's beloved dog, and you knew it. *grin*

He used to have hotspots, and we would shave him so he looked like a lion with a big fluffy mane and a naked body, which was just fine for California weather.

These last years when foreclosure and other misfortunes overtook us, he was getting up there in years, and as you know he and Charlie rode in the car with us on the trip from California to Vermont.

When we got here, and after Charlie died this Halloween, Robin must have caught kennel cough or some kind of respiratory infection, because for these last two months he had a horrible lung congestion, couldn't breathe or sleep or eat properly, and we tried all kinds of things the best we could at home, and we could not afford a vet visit unfortunately.

It was hell watching him suffer (my poor mom especially took it so hard), and finally yesterday -- just as I thought his lung congestion was down and he might be getting better -- we sadly realized he was choking on his food. Since he could not sleep for days, it was additional hell (he was exhausted and spent all night for about a three nights trying to sleep on his feet, staggering up and falling down).

So we contacted the local vet and they could only see him today (the 24-hour vet was more expensive and too far away). And so this morning, in a light snow, I loaded Robin in the jeep, and drove him to the vet. And there, they said he had horribly swollen lymph nodes that were blocking his airway, and putting him to sleep was the right thing to do.

They gave him strong anesthesia first, and he actually went to sleep literally, and stopped breathing and passed away more gently before they even injected the actual euthanasia.

After two long months of suffering, and around 10 years of age, poor dear lovable dummy orange ball of fur Robin is finally at peace.

It is hard to believe he is no longer here, and the house is so quiet now. The last of our beloved dogs is gone over the Rainbow Bridge...

We will miss you dearly, sweetheart, and see you on the other side.

And now, rest gently, sleep and breathe and dream easy, dear friend.

Until we meet again.

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