Tubbs is the son of Gwen (above left), who was a present to me in consolation of the death of Gauss (my first dog, and will have his story here if I
can find some decent pictures of him)
I was not aware that Gwen was pregnant when I took her in, and (fortunately for me), I didnt realize until rather too late to do anything about it.
Gwen is a real character. She is easily the Worlds Smartest Dog. I'm not kidding, this one is SCARY smart. She can open doors using her
mouth, she can walk on top of fences like a cat does, open sliding glass doors, and much more!
Tubbs arrived with 5 others 10 years ago. They were all cute, but Tubbs was the biggest puppy and he was
easily the most pushy, nosing the others out of their food or out of Gwens affections. From the outset he stood out from his littermates, and though Xena his sister (whom I still have) is a dear, Tubbs got most
of the personality in the litter! FORTUNATELY, Gwen did NOT pass the brains to Tubbs and the others - and they are very nice, wonderful but NORMAL dogs <grin>
Tubbs for the first year of his life was
taken care of by someone I had housesitting for me, and it was not a good year for him. This person (whom I finally had to throw out of the house, who trashed it almost unbelievably), kept Tubbs on a chain tied
to a tree, and abused him.
I observed this behaviour, and took Tubbs away from him, and Tubbs for that period, thought I was the only good person in the world! - and was utterly devoted to me.
brought him to Boulder (he lived at our Boulder store), he was VERY wary at first of the other people he met. Cheryle was at first rather afraid of him and he of her, till she just said 'enough of this' and
grabbed him and rolled around on the floor with him.
After some initial startlement, Tubbs couldnt get enough of the affection and the attention, and they were best of friends.
He had an amusing relationship with Toast, my dear Doberman female who was also living at the Boulder store. She wanted to boss him but he was MUCH
younger and MUCH stronger than she! Toast INSISTED on clamping her jaws on his throat and trying to drag him around! He was VERY patient, looking at me rather mournfully, and sometimes when he reached the
limit of his patience - he would snap and snarl at her a bit.
They got into a few altercations, and he wound up tearing some holes in her throat. They were about the size of quarters and I was super worried!
I rushed her to the vet and had her stitched up and was VERY upset at Tubbs, but the vet set me straight. Tubbs was actually being very careful NOT to
hurt Toast - and he could easily have done her great harm or even killed her had he not been careful NOT to bite her till he had her skin (NOT her throat) in his jaws.
But after two incidents, Toast decided she was NOT going to continue to try and boss him and they were inseperable! Tubbs I could tell was very upset
when Toast passed away, and was sniffing her body (I took them up together to bury her at my house) with hairs standing up.
Over the years, he grew to be an accepting and trusting fellow, and all people were his friends. But he never lost is love for me, and I was always
first place in his life. To give you an example, when I had all three of them out our Longmont Store, and let them in from the area I built for them outside, all would begin a mad rush upstairs (our building is
a two story), the others would continue the mad rush but Tubbs would ALWAYS stop on the 3rd or 4th step and look back to see that I was following, and would only continue upstairs when he was satisifed that I was.
(I had a room upstairs that they spent the nights in)
This dog was always full on energy, always bouncy, and his tail was a distinct danger to anything within range.
I was horribly fond of him. He came with me virtually anywhere, LOVED the car, and always was watching what was going on around him.
About a year and a half ago, Tubbs had two things happen to him - he got a sting up at my pinecliffe house - and he had a greatly swollen right eye. He
also had a tooth go bad, and visited Dr Joe Evans in Nederland for those two things.
Just afterwards, I noticed some lumps in his throat, and thought it was merely some additional infection from the tooth removal or the bee sting. Joe
looked at them and said 'I'm afraid that is cancer'.
We made an appointment for him at the Fort Collins CSU Veternary Hospital (one of the two best on the planet dealing with cancer, and I knew them well from
their treatment of Toast. Since this was only 45 minutes away, and the other best hospital is in the Netherlands, my dogs were both rather lucky).
They diagnosed him immediately with Lymphatic cancer, and recommended Tubbs being included in a university study. This reduced the price for treating
him, and I readily agreed. The overall cost was something like 2,000 and it lasted for 9 weeks. But Tubbs would not have lived a month without the treatment, so I said go ahead!
responding to the treatment - the lumps were shrinking, and after the treatments were well underway, Tubbs was diagnosed as having the cancer in full remission.
I was most grateful, and thought nothing more of it.
BUT after just over a year, I felt the lumps in his throat again, and took him back up there, and the tumors had started growing between one week and the
next. (I took him up there anyway from time to time for checkups and he had been free of the cancer not two weeks before!)
He was still bouncy and happy, and had I not felt the tumors would not have thought anything was wrong.
The visit had them suggesting to try some different drugs on Tubbs, and the next 3 or 4 visits had them trying different drugs.
But alas, the tumors continued to grow. He was still apparently unaffected largely, though obviously these parts of him started to be sore.
We ran out of effective drugs. The last drug we tried was one that was experimental, and I was initally encouraged - because the tumors shrank by more
than half before starting to grow again.
Problem was - by this time the tumors were very large, and easily visible.
One doctor up there (seeing how attached I was to this fellow) suggested they try radiation. Killing the tumors outright, and maybe seeing if the last
drug might clear the cancer from him.
I agreed, and they did a half body radiation, on 10/1. (they cant do the whole body at once because it also damages the immune system and they were
hoping the immune system in the non-irradiated part would protect the rest of him)
Tubbs came home the next day, and there had been some complications, but alas, he almost immediately started losing his
appetite. I was feeding him KFC chicken strips, and tbone steaks, and could only get him to eat a bit.
If a dog loses his appetite there is little that can be done unless they put him on an IV and feed him intravenously. I didnt want that kind of thing
for him, though I did take him up a week later for emergency care (he was losing weight rapidly) for a day and a half.
I had him close by me and he was so tired that last week. I still loved him and
desparately wanted him to get back up on his feet. But I was fighting a losing cause, and the last day, it was clear that he could not walk anymore. I put him on a blanket, gave him some beef broth
(mixed with sugar and vitamins) and got the antibiotics down him (they had given me a generous supply at the hospital) and was reduced to hoping for the best.
I patted him on his head 10./17, and he wagged his tail upon hearing his name, and he was able to get some sleep.
Next morning, I covered him up and had him buried up at my Pinecliffe house next to Toast and Gauss.
A truly spendid companion, one who will be most sorely missed. He lives on in my memory