On The Tenth Toby-versary, I took photos of Toby when he was sitting on the back of our couch, just like I had on the 8th and 9th Toby-versaries.
However, I didn’t post that photo with the post about the Toby-versary, partly because I couldn’t find the card reader. But, I think part of me wanted to keep it private, because I suspected the 10th Toby-versary would be the last one.
I was right. Toby died 11 days later in his sleep.
We’d taken him to the regular vet the day before because he just wasn’t quite right. The vet said his heart was worsening, and that we should take him to see the cardiologist for a check-up within the next week or so.
We just happened to be able to get an appointment the next day, December 9.
At 10 a.m., Ed called me at work to report that the cardiologist said his heart was, indeed, worsening, but that there was still stuff to do. She prescribed Vetmedin, and told us he’d likely feel much better very soon. I was thankful we’d likely get at least a little more time with him. But, we remembered that Toby was still quite old.
When Ed got home, Toby barked as he always did. He hopped out of the car, walked up the steps from the garage, got some water. All typical Toby behaviors. Ed went up to take a shower before work.
At 11:33 a.m., he called me again. “Toby’s dead!” he wailed.
When he came down the stairs to grab his work shirt, he found Toby stretched out at the bottom of the steps. He often slept there, but Ed very quickly realized he wasn’t asleep. He’d been upstairs showering for ten minutes, tops.
We were stunned, but glad he died peacefully.
Within an hour of his dying, both our regular vet and the cardiologist had called. They were stunned, too. The cardiologist’s best guess is that Toby experienced an abrupt rupture of the chorda tendinea. The chorda tendinea are, according to Wikipedia, “cord-like tendons that connect the papillary muscles to the tricuspid valve and the mitral valve in the heart.”
But, I like referring to them by their English translation: heart strings.
Here’s that last photo I took on our Toby-versary.
As a friend on Facebook said, it’s classic Toby. He certainly had our heart strings. 🙂