Sunday, January 31, 2010

In Loving Memory of Tito

Jeff and I were on the way home from a trip to New Mexico.  We went to visit Joe, one of Jeff's good friends.  When we were about halfway home, we received our messages on our cell phones.  One message was from David calling to let us know he had a friend who needed a good home for a black labrador.  Jeff and I had talked about getting a dog, but had not at this point.  Jeff and I were living in The Colony and when we got closer to home, we called and left a message for David.  We ended up meeting with David and his friend at his house in the metroplex and Tito soon became our new dog.

Tito was born on September 28, 2001 and was about six months old on March 24, 2002.  He was in need of a good home as his previous owner was possibly moving overseas and could not take him with him.  These were some of the first pictures I took of Tito on March 24, 2002. 

On May 30, 2003, we visited Jeff's parents in Abilene.  The kids wanted to bounce on the trampoline and we ended up taking a cute picture of the kids and the dogs!  Tahoe, the yellow lab, is six months older than Tito.  Both Tito and Tahoe loved playing with the kids and I think we wore all of them out in the end!  It amazes me to look at this picture and see how little the kids looked too!  Roland was 6 years old!
Years later, we had all the kids bouncing on the trampoline in Gregg and Lana's backyard and I couldn't resist the picture!  The kids sure have grown along with Jakob too!  =)  We attempted to get all three dogs on the trampoline!  However, between 4 kids and 3 dogs, we had a hard time getting them all (including the kids) to sit or lay down long enough!

Throughout the years, Tito went annually to Lake Brownwood.  Normally, we all went to the lake around the 4th of July, but sometimes we went on Memorial Weekend.  I think Tito did it all while going including wearing a dog life jacket to ride on a Jet Ski and the boat, jumping off a 10 foot dock, playing fetch in the water, and just loving the water every minute he could be in it!  I actually saw him jump off the dock while water skiing!  I thought one of the boys had pushed him off, and by boys I mean the adult boys!  However, he never went back up to jump again!  I guess he figured he did it once, he was good!  We watched fireworks at Horace and Kay's house and Tito was not afraid!  He was on the leash and we had to put him back in the Ford Explorer because he kept pulling and wanting to run toward them and either attack or catch the fireworks!!  The last trip we took in 2009, he swam and swam and swam in the lake!  He barked at Tahoe, Jeep, and Yukon to come play with him in the water.  He did not get out of the lake until it was time to go and he slept the entire way home he was so tired!

Tito loved going to the groomers to get cleaned and I think he actually really liked when they put the bandanas on him!  He would sit so proud and knew he was so clean!

Tito was such a sweet dog and was always protective of his family.  The kids would hug and squeeze him and he would just sit there.  After Jakob was born, Jakob would hug and practically sit on him at times.  He would stay still knowing if he got up at the exact moment he could hurt Jakob.  When Jakob was done playing with Tito, Tito would gently get up and move locations.  He was always so careful and protective of us all!  I have pictures of both Roland and Jakob hugging him!

Tito made it through to our move to see the new home and all four of us were able to say we loved him before having to let him go.  He made one last trip to visit with everyone at Christmas and saw everyone in Killeen, Ireland, and Abilene.  While Jakob and Roland played with their toys outside in Abilene, Tito jumped in the Ford Explorer and was ready to go home.  He stayed in the Ford the entire time and we all said he did not want us to leave him.  I learned today this was the last picture I would take of him.

Overall, as sad as I am to have lost him, I am happy he was able to experience everything he did throughout his life.   We took him to the vet because he had not eaten any food for 4-5 days and were getting worried.  Based on how he was acting, I thought he was just having problems using the bathroom.  However, after trying one thing for him at the vet, the decision was made to do an x-ray and blood test.  About an hour later, we received the phone call they were finished and needed to talk to us.  We were told the blood work was fine, but the x-ray showed something not expected.  The veterinarian expected to see a blockage in his intestines...however instead we saw two large masses pressing against his intestines.  They were both very large and were some type of tumor, possibly cancer.  Receiving the news in the vet's office was not what I had expected and am still heart broken.  My first thought was how it was Jakob's birthday party and this was not supposed to be happening.  Our choices ranged from taking him to a specialist and have an ultrasound and possibly surgery.  Another option was to take him home, but since he was not eating we did not think it was a good idea.  We were worried about the process of the ultrasound and possible surgeries, medicine, and putting him through more suffering.  It was the hardest decision and even harder to say good-bye to him.  Yet all four of us were there to tell him how much we loved him and will always love him.  We will forever love you Tito.  You were such a great dog and we will miss you so much.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, that is a beautiful tribute to Tito. He is an amazing dog! He reminds me of my Chase. I have a special place in my heart for black Labs! I know he will have a place in your hearts forever.


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