Tale of Tails: Tino – Final Chapter

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Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.
Author: Unknown

Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.
Author: Omar Bradley

The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.
Author: Lin Yu-t’ang

I took a detour from my Tale of Tails: Tino series with anecdotes about his adventures (or misadventures) with various critters over the years. I want to get back to the final chapter of Tino’s life because that’s where the true inspiration comes.
 
Tino’s final years were filled with peace and contentment. I started each of his Chapters with a quote that focused on a virtue that Tino displayed, be it Perseverance, or Strength or Gratitude. During his final years, there was all of that as well as Bravery and Contentment.

Tino - you can see his left eye is a prosthetic.

Tino was nine when he went blind and he lived to 15, so there were many years he was completely blind. It never stopped him from doing anything he wanted. It might have hampered his progress or slowed him down, but he still ran with me, he still chased bunnies and lizards and whatever other creatures he could fixate on. One of our favorite stories is how Tino helped us trap and capture a squirrel that had gotten into our house when he was not only blind, but was 14+ years old.
 
I could tell Tino stories all day, he was such a dog. That’s all I can say, he was a dog of the highest caliber. He did all the dog things a good dog should do: protect his mom, his sister and his yard, investigate any unknown sound inside or outside the house, hunt down and destroy, if possible, any critters within his vicinity, greet strangers (human and canine) warmly with an opening to play, but don’t back down if they are rude and don’t realize his superior prowess, eat whatever is put in front of you or next to you or behind you, as a matter of fact, eat whatever you can wrap your teeth around, let the vet poke and prod you because that’s what mom wants, come to mom or dad each evening for a scratch and a kiss, sleep soundly all night long, never pee or poop in the house, love mom and dad and sisters Sally and Becca with all your being. Live life to the fullest and with joy.

Tino, enjoying life in his yard.

It’s a long list, and I could go on. Needless to say, I loved Tino a great deal. I think my deep feelings for him stem from having truly rescued him from a certain slow death, nursing him back to health and seeing him grow into himself, literally and figuratively.
 
After he went blind, life went on. During his 14th year he started to slow down. We had stopped running him maybe a year before and this year, his back legs really started to weaken. He started to sink when he stood in place and would just plop down wherever sometimes with his legs just giving out. He also lost control of his bowels, which made for some real issues. It wasn’t everyday, only a few times a week, but his bed was getting worn out from washing.
 
He showed signs of dementia. I struggled with this as some of his behavior from blindness was similar to signs of dementia, but I realized that his circling, wandering and restlessness were not blindness – he knew where his bed was, where the door was, he was just confused and disoriented.
 
We started having the conversation that every pet parents dreads…when should we let him go. It was a heartbreaking decision since there were no clear cut signs. It was easier with Sally, she was in excruciating pain and later with Becca as she had bone cancer. But with Tino, he was just slowly disintegrating in front of us. He still ate, but he no longer tracked me or my voice, something he did since he had gone blind, he never slept through the night, he was up wandering and pacing the house. He started getting lost in the house and I could see him having these tiny little tremors and I knew he was having some type of seizure.
 

Although he had a very rough start, he was with us for over 13 years and lived a long and eventful life filled with love and adventures. He’d had his share of suffering and I knew I couldn’t hang on to him for my sake. We made the decision and one sunny Saturday we sent Tino on his next journey. He had gone out in the morning and was lying in the sun in his backyard, as he usually did. I went outside, laid out a blanket and sat with him, stroking him for the last time waiting for the doctor. She arrived and quietly performed the procedure. Tino never stirred from his nap, he just slipped quietly into his next life. I’m glad it was a peaceful journey for him and that we were able to share our lives and our love with him while he was here.

This is my last picture of TIno, in his napping spot that day. He was a sweet, old soul.

tinoasleepinsunshine

 

 

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We are joining the new Thursday Barks & Bytes Blog Hop Co-hosted by our friends at 2Brown Dogs and Heart Like a Dog. Grab the badge and join the fun!

 

 

 

 

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22 Comments

  1. Hopefully there are not too many typos in my teary eyed comment… I have so often compared your Tino to my Tynan but… well, I truly do hope they found a field to run in together. They had very similar spirit! Tynan also had such tremors before I took him out into the yard for the vet to come… and he was also the epitome of “living life to the fullest and with joy.” I have to admit of being envious that you had so many years with your Tino. I only had ten with Tynan. But a hundred still wouldn’t have been enough…
    Bethany recently posted…#12thPup Line-up Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • Thanks for your comment and sharing your kindred spirit. You are right 100 wouldn’t be enough, but luckily writing about him keeps him close.
      mkob recently posted…Tale of Tails: Tino – Final ChapterMy Profile

  2. Awe thanks so much for sharing your story as part of Barks and Bytes. I think Tino would never have left you. I can understand why it was hard to make that final vet call. Freighter’s grandmother is blind but just like Tino she gets along very well. Just no more hunting for her which is sad.
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Thursday Barks And Bytes–Of Hops And FencesMy Profile

    • You are right he wouldn’t have left, but I know his spirit is wandering around in the backyard somewhere.
      mkob recently posted…Tale of Tails: Tino – Final ChapterMy Profile

  3. What a beautiful story, the depth of your love shows through….he was lucky to have you too.

  4. I’m typing with tears dripping down my face (at work no less!) I love your stories about Tino and this one although sad, is still beautiful. I truly believe that those decisions where the choice is clear and obvious are really blessings, because knowing the right time is hard.

    The love you had for Tino shines through in your writing. Run fast, run free sweet Tino.

    And thank you for joining the blog hop!!
    Jodi recently posted…Damn You Polar Vortex!My Profile

    • Thanks Jodi, I know we’ve all been there and have that special heart dog. I love writing about him because it brings him close:) Well that, and because he was such a character.
      mkob recently posted…Tale of Tails: Tino – Final ChapterMy Profile

  5. Oh my goodness….that was good for a teary eyed Thursday!
    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story.
    That was so touching, and i’m sure it must help to write about it and get it off your chest.
    Sleep easy Tino
    ((husky hugz frum da pack))
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…✳Thoughtless ThursdayMy Profile

  6. That was a very, very touching story. But a wonderful tribute to a wonderful dog. Many thanks for sharing your memories with me.
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog ABOUT BEER…My Profile

  7. I should have waited for a more appropriate place to read this…tears, tears, tears. Thank you for sharing the story of this lovely soul. RIP, Tino.
    Kristen–well minded recently posted…wordless wednesday: ren has radarMy Profile

    • Sorry….but smile for the happy life he lead or go back and read some of our other stories…they will make you smile.
      mkob recently posted…Tale of Tails: Tino – Final ChapterMy Profile

  8. Oh Kate. Such a happy/sad story. Tino lived a very good life. I’m so glad for your time with him. My own babies will be twelve soon, so I think about this more all the time. *sigh*
    Flea recently posted…Spam is EvilMy Profile

  9. Awe, what a lovely boy and lovely life. You took such good care of him and he gave you so many years of love how great is that. So nice that you said goodbye in a spot in your yard, now you can go there and feel his presence. Thank you for sharing his journey with us.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Thursday Barks And BytesMy Profile

  10. You should have put a warning at the beginning of this post to have a box of tissues in arm’s reach. Oh, the memories of such a great dog. I think we all have them, but hearing someone else’s story just brings back “the day of decision.” I always think of the words in Garth Brooks’ song, “The Dance.” I could have missed the pain, but I’d have missed the dance.” I would not give up a single dance with any of my dogs in order to avoid the horrible pain of good-bye. Thanks for sharing your story. <3
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…My Thoughts this Thoughtless ThursdayMy Profile

  11. Would love for you to share Tino’s story on our #ThrowbackThursday blog hop! Its just for stories like these! Love Dolly
    Dolly the Doxie recently posted…#ThrowbackThursday: Groundhog’s Day BlizzardMy Profile

  12. Such a great story, it got my mom crying all over the place thinking about her dog Trine that passed away and Katie that is eleven. You humans love us so much and we know it, it means so much to us.
    emma recently posted…Hangin’ with the Mini | GBGV | Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

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