College of Veterinary Medicine Home Pet Loss Hotline

My dog, Tuddie, was a Llasa Apso and Japanese Spaniel mix that came into our lives in early 1989. Originally he began his stay as my grandmother's dog, but quickly became especially attached to my grandfather (his "Daddy") and I. Then he became my responsibility, one that I bore gladly, when my grandfather passed away in 1995 after a long battle with cancer.

Tuddie was born on April 10th and choose us, rather than the other way around, by crawling toward Nan and looking up at her with those little brown eyes that captured our hearts.


From that day to the day he died, Tuddie was firmly ensconced as a member of the family. Wherever my grandfather was, Tuddie was not far behind. Usually he could be found sitting with Grampy scratching his ears, behind, or belly. One of his favorite pastimes was to roll over on his back and have someone rub his tummy; he would lie there as long as you were willing to rub.

Tuddie was quite a character. He would know when it was time to watch the soaps, and if we did not immediately drop everything to watch with him, he would command our attention by a series of short, sharp barks. He would do likewise when he wanted one of his "treats" from the kitchen drawer. At Christmas, Tuddie would have his own stocking stuffed with munchies to thrill the pickiest dog heart-which he was! There would also be a special present for him under the tree, usually a new teddy bear and/or a chew toy. Tuddie would always know which gift was his and it was a hoot to watch him open his Christmas stocking and then barge in under the tree, sending ornaments scattering, to claim his annual bear.

During thunderstorms, of which he was terrified, Tuddie would inevitably seek me out for comfort and to protect him against the big, bad elements raging outside. During such times, the place that he felt safest was in the dry bathtub with me. (At his urging I would actually leave my nice warm bed to huddle in the cold, dry tub with him on my lap!!) Although he was not averse to waiting until I had gotten up to check the house, as was my custom during storms, by sneaking into my bed. I would grab a quilt and sleep on the floor rather than disturb him from his place of "sanctuary." Not that I would have moved him had I tried, as he could inevitably expand to fill all available space in the bed. How such a relatively small dog could manage such a feat is still a mystery to me.

When I would go away, Tuddie would sulk and wander the house with his nose to the ground looking for me. When I returned, he would nearly turn himself inside out in his joy.

The years rolled by and Tuddie grew older. His eyesight dimmed and his hearing was affected. The gray began to be more pronounced about his muzzle and he moved with increasing care out of consideration for his arthritis. Finally the day came when I knew that it would fall to me to continue our journey alone, without my old friend. On January 2nd, 2001, I took Tuddie to the vet. At 12:21 p.m. Tuddie succumbed to the lethal chemicals coursing through his veins. I stayed by his side throughout, unable to let him go into that good night without the comfort of love by his side. I wept as I realized that his little brown eyes were closing for the final time. That those eyes that had so often been turned on me in sympathy and love would never again open this side of Heaven. I stayed by his side for a long time afterward, unable to stay, yet unable to go. I wept as I told him what a good friend he had been to me, that I loved him ad to go find his Daddy. I wept then as I weep now. Tuddie's passing has left a huge hole in my life that nothing will ever be able to fill, yet the memories and the love associated with him will keep him forever in my heart.

Aron Spidle

Revised March 13, 2007     |     Printer Friendly Version