From the moment he was born, I wanted him. He was born in a cozy “nest” his Mom had made behind my parent’s couch. On the morning of 11th April 2008, I woke at about 4am and went to check on the expectant mommy. She had already given birth to Turbo’s three older siblings and little Turbo was in the process of making his appearance. When he finally made his appearance, he resembled a little fat sausage. The cutest sausage I had ever seen.
I wasn’t able to spend much time with him as I had to head back home a few days later. However, I immediately started working on my husband to agree that we needed a dog and it had to be this dog. After much begging, he finally agreed and so we waited for him to be ready to join us in his new home. Luckily he had his siblings to keep him entertained as we waited.
From the moment he arrived in our home, he was our child. There was never a moment that we didn’t consider how our decisions would impact him. He was incredibly smart, and would bark and point to whatever he wanted you to give him. Usually this was some tasty meaty snack that we wanted to have for supper. When we got home at the end of the day there was a whole conversation about what had occurred that day, which much barking, yipping and growling as he told his stories.
When he was about 8 months old, he suddenly started screaming in pain and lying on my lap. We took him for X-rays, ultrasounds and a multitude of vets. Eventually, our vet took him for an MRI at one of the local “people” hospitals. We then discovered that two of his vertebrae had stopped growing, resulting in the bony cage around his spinal column being too small and compressing the nerves. Over time he lost the use of his back legs and we began to worry that we would lose him. The closest specialist was a 12 hour drive away, so we booked him in for an operation and flew him up. The vet warned that he may not regain use of his back legs at all, he had a 20% chance of a full recovery. Despite everything and against all odds, he sailed through the operation. 12 hours after the op, he was standing and “chatting” to the nurses like nothing had ever happened. To regain full use of his back legs, I had to get in the pool with him and do water therapy to strengthen them. So began, his love affair with water! We always thought he could be part fish, as you really could not keep him out the pool.
In 2010, we decided to add to the family. We were very concerned about how Turbo would handle it. True to his nature, he took it in his stride and assumed the protector role. His little sister, Shelby was so feisty and annoying to him a lot of the time but he adored her and was extremely gentle.
Turbo was with us through so many big events in our life. He was our rock, our constant and our happiness through all the trials we have had to face and the times we have celebrated. He was with us before we got engaged, married, furthered our careers, started our own businesses, and he was my protector during a difficult pregnancy and becoming a parent. While I was on bed rest, he very rarely left my side. Through all the tears he was there to comfort. He was the most remarkable and special dog, fur child and best friend to us. Naturally, we were concerned about how he would adjust to a human family member. We did everything we could to prepare our fur children for the new arrival. When the day came and Ethan arrived home for the first time, it was love at first sight for the two of them.
Turbo thought Ethan was his! Whenever someone new was holding him, there was Turbo… staring intently and waiting for that moment he needed to step in and comfort Ethan. We always knew when something was wrong with Ethan because Turbo would come running, barking and pointing in the direction we needed to go. If Ethan, crawled out the back door and started playing in water, Turbo would sound the alarm. The relationship they had was incredible and changed and grew as Ethan became more mobile. Not once did Turbo lose his patience with Ethan. On those very rare occasions when he was annoyed he would just get up and walk away. Turbo and Ethan were constant companions, sharing food, beds, cream and even baths. They played together, swam together and ate together. Truly a remarkable relationship.
Last year, in November we lost Turbo. It was the worst few months in our lives, while we tried everything to buy more time. Eventually, we had to accept that even though he was only 9.5 years old, there was nothing more we could do. He left this world, in our arms with kisses and many tears. He left knowing he was our world and we loved him. Turbo taught us so many lessons in his short life. He taught us compassion for all living things, faithfulness to those you love, taking joy in the small things and above all unconditional love. I hope that everyone is as lucky as we were to get to experience this type of relationship for themselves.