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In Loving Memory...

I'm terribly sorry that I'm making a second soppy post right after the last one about me leaving school, but hey, I've a really good reason this time. The reason is this: my dog died last night. Of a kidney ailment, of all things.

My dog's name was Pluto. He was a white Labrador of approximately twelve years of age, with white fur. I'd tell you his height and width if I knew his height and width. He was, in my opinion, the greatest of all dogs everywhere, an exemplary example of canine-hood and man's-best-friend-hood. We've had him since he was about a month old and I was three and a bit.

I'd love to say that I had him sleep next to me every night. I'd love to say that I played with him every day and fed him doggy treats at regular intervals. I'd love to say that I groomed him and gave him baths and took him to dog shows and regularly kissed him on the nose. The fact of the matter is, though, I didn't. Oh, sure, I used to play with him nearly every week a few years ago, but of late, all I've done is take him on the occasional walk and shuttle him to and from the doctor.

My earliest memory of him is when he first came home. I'd wanted a dog for quite a while because of some story I read, and one day, Mom and Dad turned up outside the gate with a small, white, furry thing roughly the size of a cat in the car with them. That was the first time I saw Pluto. On that first day, my grandmother even broke her "No animals inside the house" rule and allowed Pluto to come in and run around the courtyard, falling in and, if my memory serves, peeing inside it.
Pluto's early years

Over the next few years, Pluto grew with astounding rapidity. He was soon quite a bit larger than I was, and I wasn't allowed to take him for walks alone because he could quite easily pull me over. I don't remember how old I was when I was first allowed to hold on to the leash while Pluto was walking. One evening, when I was walking him, he got a rather excited and tugged sharply at his leash. Needless to say, I toppled over immediately and was left with a cut all the way down my cheek.

During the same years, I'd play with Pluto on a nearly daily basis. In the beginning, I'd toss a tennis ball off into the distance and Pluto would run all the way down the street to retrieve it and drop it at my feet, eager for me to throw it again. After that, for reasons that completely escape me, we were forced to play in our front driveway. That wasn't too much of an issue, though - I'd throw the ball at the back wall of the garage and Pluto would speed off in the same direction to fetch the ball. I even mounted bamboo poles on buckets halfway along, creating makeshift hurdles which Pluto would hop over.
Pluto XXL

Fast forward several more years to a few months ago. Pluto was 11 years old. That was the first time we heard anything about his kidney troubles. I'd lead Pluto down to a new vet. At the vet's, Pluto began to drool, something which I hadn't seen him do before. I suspected that something was wrong. The vet drew a blood sample and the next day, peering at the results through thick glasses (Or at least, I like to think he was. I can't say for sure, because we found this out over the telephone), he announced that Pluto had kidney trouble. He gave us some manner of medicine and told us that there was nothing we could do and that we should simply hope for the best.

For the next few months, Pluto was perfectly fine. He was putting on wait and regaining strength. Even his fur began to seem fluffier. Then, about a week ago, Pluto stopped eating again. He lost huge amounts of weight and you could see most of his skeleton through his skin. We had another vet brought in and were told once again that he had kidney trouble. Yesterday, I took him to his usual vet. The vet inserted a cannula into his leg and gave him about a bottle and a half of glucose. I had carried him to the auto that was to take him to the vet and then into the vet's office as well. I also had to carry him back to where he hangs out. Early this morning, we found that he had died during the night.

The best that can be said for him is that he died comfortably and that he died happy. I may not have played with him much, and I may not have been the greatest owner, but I loved the guy. It's hard to get over the fact that he really isn't coming back, that he won't be on the end of his chain, wagging his tail and barking his silly head off. Took a bit of me with him, he did. As a wise woman once wrote, though, "To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."


  1. Great piece, Ritvik. Sorry to hear about Pluto. My condolences. Believe me, 12 is a good age to go - for dogs, I mean. You don't want your loved pets suffering through old age. I am saying this, because I have seen my Gundu (my little but fighter of a dog) suffer for 2-long years, till she got the summons when she was 17. That was after months of dragging herself around the house on one side, because her limbs were not supporting her weight, her sides were sore, her fur was "unfurred", her eyes blind so to say. So, I am happy for Pluto that he didn't suffer thus. Rowling by the way was right when she said that a well-prepared soul sees adventure everywhere, even in death. RIP Pluto.

  2. Alas poor Pluto. I knew him well. Sorry Ritvik. The cycle of life.


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