Farewell To The Best Boy Ever

2 weeks ago Sunday, just after I’d hit the ‘publish’ button on that week’s post, Ken yelled to me from our family room that Titus had collapsed. We’d called the vet the previous week because he’d started having some weakness in his back legs, which we assumed was a touch of arthritis. The vet prescribed some anti-inflammatories and he seemed to perk up, and for the next few days, he’d seemed fine–just a slightly senior dog with a touch of the rheumatism. Then…Sunday happened. We rushed him to the emergency vet, who diagnosed him with a very large inoperable abdominal tumour that had just ruptured. She pumped him full of IV fluids and let us take him home, knowing that his time with us would be short. We wanted Kate to be able to see Titus one last time, and we were fully expecting that the vet would come to the house later that day, or Monday at the latest to help him pass. But he rallied, and for another week and a half, he seemed almost back to his regular self. Then, this past Wednesday morning, he stopped eating and couldn’t get up again, so we did what no one ever wants to do. We called the vet (a lovely young woman named Dr. Alison), and she came out to the house late Wednesday afternoon. It all happened outside on the front porch with everyone wearing masks, but at least we were able to go through it at home, with Titus on a cozy blanket in the sunshine. While she got everything ready, Titus nibbled on his favourite pepperoni, and was told he was a very good boy, the very best boy in fact, by all of us more times than I can count. He passed quickly and peacefully in the arms of the people who loved him best. You all know him from this blog—in fact, if you search ‘Titus’, he comes up in 99 posts—and you know how much he meant to us. He was a dog to whom every day was the best day ever, who loved everyone, loved to eat, loved his toys, and was the best canine conversationalist I’ve ever met. In honour of the best boy ever, here are a few of my favourite Titus moments.

Titus and the Magic Box

Titus: Oh my God! You’re making cookies, aren’t you?!
Me: Sigh. Yes. Like I do EVERY Sunday.
Titus: This is the best day ever! I’m just going to lie here, OK?
Me: So long as you don’t drool on my feet like last time.
Titus: I’m not promising anything.

Half an hour later:

Me: What are you doing?
Titus: Waiting for the cookies to come out of the magic box.

Me: You mean the oven?
Titus: Call it what you want. Technically, it’s the “medium-sized” magic box. The “large magic box” is where you keep all the delicious luncheon meats and cheeses.
Me: None of this is actually magic. It’s all based on science.
Titus: Well, how does “the oven” work then?
Me: Well…you push this button, and it gets hot. Then you put uncooked food in it, and it cooks the food for you…
Titus (whispers): Magic.

Titus and I Talk About The Movies

Me: So hey, my blogger friend Often Off Topic is doing a Dog Blogathon in a couple of weeks so for the challenge, I’m supposed to write about dogs and movies.
Titus: Cool, cool. I’m a huge movie buff. I’m still pissed off at you for not taking me to TIFF.
Me: Right, like I was going to take a chance on you trying to high-five Sam Rockwell and slapping him in the face?
Titus: Fair enough. But I do love “the moving pictures”.
Me: Really? What’s your favourite movie?
Titus: Citizen Kane. Good old Rosebud.
Me: I know, right? That shot of the sled at the end gets me every time.
Titus: What sled?
Me: The sled. Rosebud.
Titus: Rosebud wasn’t a sled. Rosebud was the guy.
Me: What guy?!
Titus: The main dude with the big castle.
Me: THAT was Citizen Kane.
Titus: I thought Rosebud was his nickname or something.
Me (rolls eyes): What else do you like? How about Star Wars?
Titus: Meh. That giant cat was really annoying.
Me: You mean Chewbacca? He was a Wookie.
Titus: Chewy cookie? Yes, please.
Me: No, Wookie. So you didn’t like it?
Titus: It was confusing. I could never tell who the bad guys were. Luke and Leia made a cute couple though.
Me: They were brother and sister.
Titus: WHAT?
Me: And Darth Vader was their father.
Titus: You’re sh*tting me! Thanks for the spoiler!
Me: You don’t pay very close attention to what you’re watching, do you?
Titus: I like to multi-task.
Me: If by multi-task, you mean ‘beg for popcorn’, then no wonder you miss so much. So what are some dog movies you’d like to see?
Titus: Um…Slumdog Millionaire. That sounds GREAT.
Me: It’s not about dogs.
Titus: Huh?! OK, what about Reservoir Dogs?
Me: Again, not about dogs.
Titus: I thought it was some kind of nature documentary. Dog Day Afternoon?
Me: Nope.
Titus: The Dogs of War? Wag The Dog?
Me: Do you know any movies that are actually about dogs?
Titus: Apparently not. By the way, Soylent Green is people.
Me: I already knew that, but nice try, Mr. Spoiler. Here, it says on this website that Old Yeller is the number one dog movie of all time.
Titus: Sweet. We could watch that. What’s it about?
Me: It’s about a dog that gets…then the boy…uh…Reservoir Dogs it is!
Titus: Awesome–I love a good documentary.
Me: Do you want popcorn?
Titus: Is Jaws a shark?

A dog of discerning taste.

The Titus Challenge

Titus: I hear you’ve stopped eating pork. You realize that means bacon too, right?
Me: Sigh. I know. It’s breaking my heart, but I saw a video recently of a pig solving a puzzle. Pigs are smarter than dogs, you know. I wouldn’t eat a dog, so how can I eat a pig?
Titus: Pigs are NOT smarter than dogs. For example, when was the last time you saw a pig who responded to commands based on Harry Potter spells?
Me: I’m sure there are pigs out there who could do that. Besides, you have a pretty sloppy Leviosa, so let’s not get carried away.
Titus: It’s Levi-OH-sa, not Levio-SA.
Me: Look at this video. She’s trained that pig to do 17 different tricks.
Titus: Damn. He gives a great high-five.
Me: I know, right?
Titus: But does the Avada Kedavera spell render him seemingly dead?
Me: Dead? Like for a fraction of a second before you jump back up and try to snatch the Corn Pop out of my hand?
Titus: Dead, jumping in the air, whatever. No bacon? Now that’s harsh. OK, find me a pig that can do Leviosa better than me, and I might consider it.
Me: Challenge accepted. Accio the wine bottle, will you?
Titus: Is it 5 o’clock somewhere ALREADY?!
Me: I dunno—I’m not wearing a watch.

Black and White Challenge Week 2

Titus Gets Punchy

Alarm goes off.

Me (*stretching*): ERGH. Time to get up.
Titus: NO.
Me: Oh my god, you just punched me in the eye!!
Titus: It was an accident–I was trying to high-five you. Where are you going? Stay in bed.
Me: No! I have to see if my eye is OK!
Titus: You’re fine. Stop being a baby. Besides, eye patches are all the rage this season.
Me: I don’t want an eyepatch! OWW. If you scratched my cornea with your slappy paw…
Titus (whispers): I just wanted you to stay home with me. I’m sorry.
Me: Sigh. I love you, buddy.
Titus: You’ll look awesome with an eyepatch. Like an angry pirate.
Titus: I love you too.

101 thoughts on “Farewell To The Best Boy Ever

  1. It’s just over a year since we said a very sad goodbye to our cat, Cookie. He was my best mate and I miss him. He just made it to his 15th birthday but the abdominal tumour he had made life unpleasant for him in the last few weeks. Gone but always remembered. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have had to say goodbye to 3 of them now, and it never ever ever gets easy. The first one, Mickey, was the most insubordinate clown that ever did live and his passing – being my first loss – was incomprehensible. I cried for months. A few months after he left those towers fell and to this day I say those back-to-back events changed me entirely. The road that brought me to this place began that year, with Mickey and the towers. That’s how big they are a part of our lives.

    I’m crying right now. It started at “pepperoni” and hasn’t stopped since. They are more than pets to us, Suzanne, so much more.

    I miss you Titus, though I never had the chance to meet you. You were, without a doubt, the very best boy ever. ❤️

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’ve been crying on and off for days. The house just feels so empty–it was much easier being empty nesters with him around–he was the kid that hadn’t left home yet, and now he’s gone. The one bright spot about this awful pandemic is that we were able to spend so much time with him the last couple of weeks and just spoil him and cuddle him as much as we could.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The one thing I know that helps at times like this is being with others who understand. I’m so glad you shared Titus, the very best, smartest, and most discerning boy with us so we could be with you now.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The unconditional love of a dog forms an unbreakable bond that must transition from the tangible to the spiritual; a shift that never feels quite complete. In fact, if I dwell upon my personal example—for more than a moment—tears form and I must shake away the memories.

    My condolences.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh Suzunne! I am so sorry to read this… Like many others, your post made me cry. When we adopt a pet, we know we’ll outlive them (unless you adopt a large turtle, a cockatoo or a Greenland shark – not sure if it’s because they live long, or because they can kill you – or if you’re really old, when you adopt it, of course) but it’s always such a heartbreak when they have to go…

    We also have a vet that comes to our house, and I am glad that Titus could leave in such a peaceful environment… It won’t make the loss of your fur baby any easier, but at least you know that he didn’t experience stress or fear in the last moments of his life.

    Sending you and Ken much much love, and big virtual hugs! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well now you’ve done it, I’m crying too. It was the last photo that put me over the edge. I’ve lost a few dogs and the walking weirdly and vet finding large tumor is what happened to my wolf Shepard mix Smokey. He was always active and then a few days he started walking strangely. I feel for you and I still have dreams and get upset over the pets I’ve lost over the years. 😚😌

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Tanya says:

    Suzanne, I just had to pop in here and say something to you because I know you must be absolutely devastated. I am so sorry you had to say goodbye to Titus – my heart aches for you. Sending you so much damn love. Big hug from me. xoxo
    He was the goodest boy …15/10 ❤️🐶❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I have loved Titus from afar as long as I’ve known you, Suzanne, so I share in the sadness of his passing. I also celebrate his life and the joy he brought to you, and then to us, your readers, by extension. He was such a good, good boy and lucky to have been yours. I’m happy his doc was able to provide him compassionate care, and at your home. Sometime in the future, you’ll be able to smile knowing his being at home was a special gift. For you all. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Aw, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of Titus. Unfortunately, I’ve been there, done that with sudden occurring inoperable conditions with a beloved pet. This was a lovely tribute to your furry best friend…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. As an animal lover, a dog owner, a kitten foster, and a volunteer for L.A. Animal Services, I am so, so sorry for your family’s loss, Suzanne.

    I’ve had dogs make it to sixteen years old, and kittens who passed only a few weeks into their lives. I’ve had animals die suddenly, deteriorate slowly from age, or spend years fighting cancer only to be euthanized in my arms. It really doesn’t matter, I’ve found, how long they were in your life; they all occupy the same amount of space in your heart, and that part of your heart aches forever when they’re gone. But every pet I’ve ever owned or fostered has been a unique soul in its own way, and has taught me something different about the virtues of compassion. That’s the great gift they give us, and, in return, we give them safe homes and happy lives. Titus had that — you gave it to him. That’s not nothing.

    Liked by 2 people

      • You gave him a family who loved him and a home where he could live out his days in peace and comfort. That’s all they want out of life. Titus died a happy dog — with all his heart’s desires fulfilled. Take comfort in that as you mourn him.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for letting us share your memories with you. I am so sorry for your pain! At the end of snuff’s life last year, we were all around her too. I hope that when my time comes I have as many people that love me.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Geez, I have tears in my eyes. Loss of the best creature and friend on earth (that I like to refer to as four legs and a tail) just rips me apart. Titus looks like he a was a real character with great personality and flawless dog logic. Thanks for the dialogues. I used to dance for my girl. She tolerated it with a look that said “Okay, I’ll just sit here until this is over.”

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I’ve just read this and it’s very emotional. I’m so sorry for your loss. Dogs are like children, and the gap they leave in our lives can never be filled. You have some lovely posts as memories x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. It’s true, he was like a very happy child in so many ways. It’s been a very hard couple of weeks, but I really appreciate all the kind words from everyone:-)


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