It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
Caring for Rufus in San Pancho was one of the highlights of our “adventures” in pet-sitting, but it was also one of the most challenging. Last summer, after he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous toe, it was our job to administer meds, manage his bathroom breaks (by carrying him up and down a flight of stairs) and, worse, change his dressings. He was in so much pain and misery, but we strove to minimize every ache, every discomfort, every indignity that he suffered. And he got through it all with courage and stoicism. He was back in fighting form — that time. But cancer is a heartless bitch.
Getting to know Rufus was not easy. In his world, people were not to be trusted. He had been abandoned at a very early age, lived on the street for a time, then passed around from place to place, until Bill and Barb gave him a forever home at Casa Obelisco. So he didn’t make friends with humans easily, but he did with us. Still, he was the strong silent type, and his only show of affection was to wag his little rat tail or lean against our legs like a buddy. It was enough, and we were honoured. A Thai Ridgeback, he was such a unique animal, we chose him for our Pet-Sitters’ Post masthead at the top.
Rufus was a formidable-looking beast and we took a quiet thrill at how people gave us a wide berth when walking him. No one was going to mess with us while this big, tough brute was by our side. To see him wither as the cancer slowly ravaged his body was a terrible thing. To learn it finally took him last week was the worst.
I like to think of Rufus sitting in the sand, serenely watching the waves, or trotting up the cool, leafy jungle road, free from pain, free from suffering, just … free.