In November 2014, rather to my surprise, I adopted a Great Pyrenees that was being held in a shelter and headed for certain doom. I did not get to have him for long—turned out he was a hospice case—but in our short time together he filled my heart and made countless friends via his blog. He passed in late February 2015 but, as the saying goes, will live on in my heart forever. Here is his obituary:
Justice Tweedy, known by all simply as Tiny, decided it was time to go on February 23, 2015.
He also decided he would float on whilst his human was several hours away—perhaps to spare her that hard feeling that comes at the moment of crossing.
He died in the loving arms of his amazing sitter, Anne, who just that morning sent along some great pictures of him and a report about how he was (as he always was): gliding through the house, a big furry cloud.
While his exact birth date and story of origin remains a mystery, it is believed that Tiny was 2,000 years old when he passed. Which means that he saw a whole lot in his life including, rumour has it, the bar mitzvah of Jesus. It is also believed that he was the father of every Great Pyrenees pup born in the last several hundred years.
How and when he got to Williamson County remains unclear, but he was found wandering along a road in Round Rock in late November 2014. His human’s smart aleck ex-boyfriend thought it would be funny to tag her (the human) in a photo of Tiny that appeared on Facebook, surely knowing that this would be all it took for her to zip up there and adopt him. That’s just what happened.
Prior to his adoption, Tiny’s brief time in the shelter and at a veterinarian’s office in Georgetown really sucked. On the bright side—despite the intent of the vet to de-ball him—his clear suffering and fragility left them no choice but to skip surgery and allow him to remain intact.
Tiny never met a floor he didn’t enjoy shitting on like a pony, leaving astoundingly magnificent mountains of poo throughout his house. Cleaning up after him was no trouble (well, not too much trouble) because in addition to these gifts, he gave so many others.
Tiny was a genius meditator, a fabulous patroller of borders, and a world champion drooler. (Just the other day he drooled a strand so long it landed on the face of his sister, Rebound, connecting them for a few moments in a way that was both pretty gross but terribly endearing.)
Anne reports that Tiny had an incredibly comfortable last day and that his last moments were pretty awesome, all things considered. He just went outside, laid down in the yard, and let go. Anne also points out that the weather was perfect—nice and cold the way Great Pyrenees prefer it, so that these last breaths were breaths of chilly air.
Tiny is survived by:
His sister Rebound, who had a look on her face when the human got home that suggested, “Don’t look at me! I swear to God I had nothing to do with it.”
His brother Dante, who is trying hard to not act excited that he no longer has to be the middle dog (which he sort of hated).
His human Spike, whom he selflessly rescued and showed—just by being—what “chilled” looks like. She has yet to fully grasp the concept. But in light of the stunning amount of love pouring in, she is making a vow to keep trying to focus on the positive and stop getting sucked into the negative (which does, regrettably, still happen sometimes).
His legions of internet fans, so many of whom took time to read his weekly updates and send good vibes. It is, without a doubt, these vibes that sustained Tiny for his last three months. That may not sound like a long time, but given what bad shape he was in when he got to Austin, it is really nothing short of a miracle.
In lieu of bones, it is requested that anyone wishing to honor Tiny’s memory please make a donation to an animal shelter or rescue group. Or, if you can, adopt a senior dog.
Yes, it’s heartbreaking to lose them after a short stay, but it is so worth it to have them in your lives. You could also just skip all of that and go up to a stranger and lovingly scratch him or her on the nose today—getting his nose scratched was Tiny’s second greatest talent, right behind shitting in the house.
Every night Tiny went to sleep on his own little memory foam bed, a gift from his Auntie Keavy. He loved that bed so much. And every night his human would lie down on the floor and spoon his big furry body and whisper to him, “It’s okay, Tiny. You’re home and you’re safe.” It’s the best any of us can hope for—to be home and to be safe.
Tiny is home now. And he’s safe. And high f*cking five—he still has his balls.
Thank you to everyone for caring so much for this big guy. Special thanks to the team of friends who rushed in to assist Anne when I was too far away to get home in time to help. And thank you to everyone—friends and strangers alike—who messaged me while I was on the long drive home, offering to go and be there with Tiny and Anne. I love you all. Oh how Tiny helped us all to feel the love.
Float on, Tiny Dancer. I loved you so much Big Guy. Always will.
In deepest gratitude,
Author: Spike Gillespie
Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll / Editor: Renee Picard
Image: Bob Boucher