Rest In Peace Tutu


Regular Member
The in-laws' Yorkshire Terrier, Tutu, passed away earlier today. She'd been undergoing treatment over the last few months for Leishmaniasis, which she must have caught earlier in the year, and its associated effects. Although the disease itself was eradicated by the treatment, she was left in a very ill and weak state, probably as a result of the internal damage already done by the disease (though the treatment may have also caused additional problems) and was never remotely close to being the same dog as she was only eight or nine months ago.

The vet was ready to put her down months ago, having diagnosed the problem and decided that her prognosis was poor, but they insisted on treating her anyway, which ended up costing thousands, and seems to have succeeded only in drawing out her decline a bit - it perhaps kept her clinging to life about 2-3 months longer than she otherwise would have. She ended up with, among other things, a very weak heart, probably damaged by the disease, which caused her to collapse at the slightest exertion, and a badly swollen abdomen due to water retention, which had to be drained off several times by the vet, only to come back again almost immediately. She had barely been eating or drinking for the last month or two (having been a food-obsessed little thing when she was well, always begging for a share of your dinner) and by the end was being bottle-fed with just enough to keep her going each day. The vet essentially gave up last week and told them there was nothing more she could do, but the mother-in-law was still unwilling to make the obvious choice, so back home she came to suffer a bit longer. She spent most of her time sleeping, barely able to get to her feet. We saw her on Christmas day, and it was very obvious she didn't have much longer to go. It's sad to see a dog in such a state - mostly due, I think, to misplaced kindness.

A bit about her life before she was sick, though, as I think she actually had quite a good one till the last few months, and I don't want this whole post to sound like doom and gloom:

She had a good innings, being nearly 13 and a half years old, most of which she had spent happily galloping around the garden and getting up to mischief. Her favourite activities were: barking at motorcycles; digging holes (often dangerous ones, hidden under vegetation and good for twisting ankles) which she sometimes remembered to bury toys and "spare" food in; bathing in muddy puddles, using cockroaches she had caught for "soap"; getting under people's feet, especially the father-in-law when he was working in the garden; getting into a dreadful mess by eating and playing with fallen fruit; keeping the evil neighbourhood cats out of her territory; chasing lizards (which she sometimes caught); hunting rodents, and generally doing all the things that little terriers enjoy. She was completely disobedient with her family at the best of times, but I actually managed to teach her a few commands which she would obey quite well, in return for a few scraps of dinner - which just goes to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks, if only you are more determined than the dog to get them obeyed.

She seemed to have a particular grudge against monkeys, which could be annoying for us, as the local troupe are relatively unafraid of people due to being fed by some of the neighbours, and will come close to look at humans, hoping they have food for them: but whenever they showed up we would inevitably be joined by a furiously barking little terrier within a few minutes, apparently daring the cowardly monkeys to come down for a fair fight so she could show them who was boss in her garden. Thiey were not so stupid, but this spoiled most of our monkey-watching attempts, as they disliked this harrassment and would soon move off once she arrived, probably to get away from the racket as much as anything.

Some of the local birds, on the other hand, seemed to have her measure, and one particularly cheeky pair raised several clutches of plump healthy babies to adulthood mainly on scraps filched from her food bowl. She did catch a fledgling once, as its mother was bringing the whole brood to show them how to steal food too, but the survivors were back the next day, not at all discouraged by the fate of their nestmate, who was perhaps the slow one of the brood; and shortly afterwards the whole family also began taking regular drinks and their daily bath in her water bowl, just to rub it in. This got to the stage where, once she became a bit older and slower (even before she became sick), she had largely given up even getting up to chase them when they came to raid her water and food bowls yet again, knowing it to be a waste of energy.

Bye Tutu, you were a sweet little dog, even when you were being naughty (which you were most of the time, so this is just as well).

Tutu in happier days, looking like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth (it would probably in fact have been scoffed straight down, like everything else that found its way in there)
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Staff member
Sorry to hear of your loss :(
Rest peacefully little one your going to be missed very much we know how much you were loved. xx
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