Sunday, June 26, 2011
TinkerBelle-the end of an Era
Tink the Tank, Mrs Elk Pants, StinkerBelle, Tinker, Smellbox. Why do we give our friends these silly, pet names? TinkerBelle, like the fairy of the same name, was both sweet and naughty. Tink was a fighter, especially with other females. That giant maw of a mouth was terrifying when her teeth were snapping, her eyes were narrowed, and the hair on her back went straight up, puffed and prickled . Tink was quite prickly. In her life she survived a broken wrist, breast cancer, perihemangiosarcoma, a tumor on her adrenal gland, IBD, one, two, liver surgeries, the last which also removed her gall bladder. There were surgeries to remove tumors, pancreatitis, flare up after flareup of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, yeast infections, UTI's. She never gave up so I never gave up on her. But one Friday in June of 2011, she was so ready to go to sleep. When she arrived at Mt. View as her final destination, she lay right down on the soft pillow they had fixed up for her, and closed her eyes. Many of Tink's friends came in to say good bye, but she was already sniffing the winds north of the Rainbow Bridge. The previous evening, she and I had sat together out in the yard, facing North, as that nose worked the breezes, and I laid my hand on her soft redbrown fur, for what I knew what would be the last night. We talked of the others waiting for her; Nemo, Pyro, Athena, and how soon she would be leading the team, in single lead of course, in her Silver Harness. A myriad of other Scofield animals would be there, but Tink would be back in her glory days, when she ran like the steady soul she was. She always used to do her spinning when she saw the harness come out and would pull until told to stop. She was Sparky's friend and teammate from the first time they met at Susan Price's over in Dayton at Nightsong Kennels. She was covered with very little fur, had leathery skin, and was tied out by herself since she was a fighter. Winter was coming on and Susan was concerned that Tink would be cold. After I saw her photo, I knew she was mine. When she and Spark met, they had a little tussle and after that became friends for life. Tink was known for her spinning and could be a whirling dervish if happy or if it was dinner time. After I brought her home to Lacey, she learned how to be a house dog. She was so smart, and so very pragmatic. She had a spay, which took care of a sick uterus and allowed the hair to come back. After a week, she and Flare had the first of many horrible fights. This first one broke Tink's wrist, requiring an orthopedic specialist. Ha! Tink's story had begun. Lord, those fights were something awful. Boys fight for points, Girls fight to the death, and that is how it was with those two. I wanted Tink to never be tied out again, so when I moved here, I built the yards, and arranged the dog door, so she would have freedom to come and go as she chose. She often was seen patrolling the fence line as she was a sentinel of the first degree. There was something very special about this dog, endearing with great depth. The window sill was packed solid with her medicine and giving her that medicine was a twice daily ritual for many years. With an IBD dog there are strict disciplines to follow and a narrow range of possible foods they can eat. She used to take her pills in scoops of canned Z/D, a prescription diet for hypoallergenic needs. At many critical junctures, Tink would stop eating, concern enough with a normal dog, but frighteningly difficult with this special needs dog. We saved her life with Venison and Sweet Potatoes. Venison came from Stewart's Meat Market and her sweet potatoes from Dave's Market where they were special ordered by the case. She loved that mix for quite some time, but then came the day when she would no longer eat her special dinner. Towards the end, I found a duck based food that she would eat, but we would have to stuff those pills down her throat. Those pills that saved her life. The ones, that no longer fill the window sill. Why does that make me so sad? Because that mouth they went in, is no longer here. Nor, do I hear that clicking of her nails as she trundled about the kitchen, licking the floor, always hungry, never satisfied. I have photos of her though, of mighty Tink, in her harness, pulling, and laughing, and grinning as we scooted down the trail. She left me something too, in the spot she always laid in on the deck. I can stand there and feel her, and find that last night, as we looked Northward, and smelled the winds on the other side of the Bridge.