Fluffy goes to Puppy Heaven




Our household, going into this weekend, had three people, two Carlton and one Saints supporter, and two dogs, the eldest Peettee, 13 years old Poodle Shitzu who acts like he’s a five year old, and Fluffy, an 11 year old Poodle Shitzu.  This weekend, Fluffy got sick, very sick.  In the middle of the Friday night game of football, we took this feverish, unhappy dog, to the newish Animal Hospital on Dandenong Road, Malvern East.  Geelong were their usual self and dominated, and put Essendon to the sword.

All day Saturday, while listening to the footy in the back ground, while Hawthorn smashed Collingwood, while Adelaide smashed West Coast Eagles and while Brisbane barely beat Gold Coast, I was comforting my 17 year old, who Fluffy officially belonged  too.  Let’s not talk about who walks, feeds, medicates and cares for the dogs, my daughter is the official “mum”.  Fluffy was her gift 11 years ago.  We saw his cute little face in the Chadstone Pet Shop, and were sucked in good and proper.  Newly divorced, with everything being a fresh beginning, we got a second dog.   Peettee is my sons dog.  They get naming and bragging rights, me as mum got the work.  But that’s OK.  I knew I was the favourite.  They (the dogs) certainly knew who did what.

All Saturday I rung and talked to the vets.  He’d improved slightly but was defying all their diagnostic skills, but one thing we knew by late Saturday night, he was very sick indeed.  They were talking about his not being able to walk, having fluid on the spine or brain.  All really awful diagnosis and prognosis.  We were going to bring him home for the night, but he got so much worse, we gathered ourselves and went to say goodbye.  He was suffering badly and I am not one to go drastic animal rescue.  If he is suffering, we had to let him go.  The work was in easing my daughter to this place.  In twenty-four hours, there is not much easing. While she distracted herself with study during the day, I was outside pulling up a ton of weeds.  It was such a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon.  Normally I’d be painting.  Yesterday, I just felt like ripping stuff up from the garden while listening to Collingwood being ripped apart.

Peettee was also unwell, and I took him in the morning to the normal vet, anal gland problems, he’s never had that, it’s in sympathy with his mate who always had this problem, and while gardening, Peettee hung near me, his head in a cone to stop any licking and biting of his painful butt.

So by evening, by the time I’d rung the fifth time, we were in a very sad place indeed.  Not even being right in my tipping of Carlton over the Western Bulldogs helped.  We tearfully went to say our goodbyes.  Who knows if he was carrying something internal for a while that just went viral on this weekend.  They even talked of meningitis.  But he was one sick, sad puppy and we were all in tears, patting him and saying goodbye, all in our own ways.  I held his head and talked to him, his eyes never leaving mine.  He was saying goodbye too.

This is a dog who would chase the ball like I wished St.Kilda chased in on Sunday.  He was fast, ruthless and accurate, and always bought it straight back for another throw.  And another throw.    I eventually had to stop throwing, he’d been hit by a car (nothing serious, but dashed away and got bumped) and my arm couldn’t take it anymore either, so we gave up the ball and the thrower, and we would just walk fast and he would sniff the other dogs.  Then a year or so ago, he got more aggressive and possessive, and would go at other dogs if they came near, only big ones, brave little mad dog, and I would keep him on a leash to stop him getting to them so they wouldn’t take a bite out of him.  It also meant that he was always close to me.  He also tried to bite my sons visiting friends or the gardener.  He had a thing about men visiting his territory.

At home, if Peettee came for a cuddle or a sit on the lap, Fluffy would always push in, get his share of the love going around.  When you’d go near him to put on his leash, or to pat him, he’s was such a suck.  He’d be on his back instantly, saying, rub the tummy, rub the tummy.  Most morning, after the walk, the dogs would get raw chicken wings to eat.  Peettee has the habit of leaving his sitting there half the day, I think to torture Fluffy who would gobble his up immediately and then watch Peettees’ all day, hoping Peettee would get distracted and he could make a dash for it.  Lately, he’s been pretty good at stealing it.  I always say to Peettee, eat your wing, or Fluffy will get it.  My dogs listen to me about as much as my kids do, but more than the Saints did to Watters today in Sydney.

So once the kids had said their goodbyes to an alive Fluffy, I stayed with him to the end, as the Vet eased him out of this life into another doggie heaven, where as my eldest says, he’ll get tummy rubs forever and chase balls for eternity.  We are kinder to our dogs that to some humans.  We was eased from his pain and into oblivion, surrounded by love and care, and he will be remembered always. He will be cremated and spread across his beloved back yard and his beloved Caulfield Park.

We all slept poorly, and now have to take special care of Peettee who has been feeling Fluffy’s absence acutely.  He has not left any of our side since last night, way more clingy than usual.  So he was on my lap part of the game of the Sydney Swans versus the inconsistent, frustrating St.Kilda Saints.  We blew it good and proper.

Peettee’s felt the love, but we have felt the love too, from family and friends as they followed our loss this weekend.  The footy was a good distraction for a while, and at least there was one quarter that felt OK watching.  The positive to take out of the game?  We were in it almost until the end, the goal fest at the end no indication of the tight battle it was for most of the game.  We are better than we supposed (I thought we’d be thumped) but at least I got the tip right.

I just wished we could have been more like Fluffy, really take it up to the biggest team. Or steal the chicken wing (or game).  Act bigger than you actually are.  Go Fluffy.  Go Saints.

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Peter Flynn says

    G’day Yvette,

    Fluffy is a spitting image of my dog Chappy.

    Condolences to you and family.

  2. What can I say Yvette?

  3. Mulcaster says

    May I extend my deepest sympathy, owning a dog improvesw one as a human. As Sam Clemens once said “The only thing money can’t buy is the wag of a dog’s tail”. Tuum canis agunt in caelo

  4. I was going to go with something deep and profound, but after reading the story a second time, this time through clear eyes, (must have just had something in my eye about half way through) I can’t add anything better to this lovely tribute but jeez that’s a great story Yvette, well done and lots of love in it


  5. Ps: Puppy Heaven, with non stop tummy rubs and ball chasing forever?!
    I could live there.

    Richly deserved for Fluffy to go from one loving family for that place


  6. What a loving tribute, Yvette. RIP, Fluffy.

  7. Condolences from Shandy, PB and the AE. Shandy is my mate and our tail wagging daily walks and his endless enthusiasm are always a reminder for how I can live my life better. In a real sense he is my most constant and faithful mate, and I know how losing him would gut me.
    If Sasha is anything to go by, your Saints are in for a big win this weekend.

  8. Tony Roberts says

    Your story shook me badly. As I read it, I was looking at a photo of our old cat, Nikez, who died tragically young just before the start of the 2003 AFL season. The football seemed many miles away for a good few weeks after that.

    Six months later, on the day after my Lions won our last grand final, I took possession of my Jack Russell, Ferdy (who was outrageously cropped out of my photo in recent editions of the Footy Almanac book). His ultimate death – long before the next Lions’ premiership – will be to me a hammer blow beyond what I feel on the death of most humans. Perhaps it’s the absence of our own children…

  9. David Downer says

    Hi Yvette,

    Terribly touching, sad news. Condolences to you and the family. Hope the kids are coping ok.

    Thanks for sharing the story, that’s really one tough weekend for it all to occur so rapidly.

    A simple, but all too true line, “We are kinder to our dogs that to some humans”. That we can end up spending more time with them than even our closest loved ones, I can only imagine their passing leaves a similarly enormous void from our daily existence.

    My big bloke you know all too well is slowing down considerably now too. Am steeling myself for the day when it arrives, hopefully not too soon – but will be the first time going through this for me. Am cherishing time together while we can.

    See you at the footy this week. Go Saints.


  10. So sorry for your loss, Yvette, but Fluffy was in a wonderful place in your home and in a good place now. We lost our first Shih Tzu, Amanda, almost 10 years ago — a sadder day I can’t recall — but she’s brought back to life almost daily by all the great memories we have. As Fluffy will be, too, and there will be more smiles than tears. Of course, as I type this, I think about our 18-year-old (!) Lhasa, Tibby, who has slowed down considerably — except when our other dog, our 9-year-old Shih Tzu, Fozzie, leaves his dinner dish unguarded and unfinished. Then he’s young again. I’m not looking forward to the day Tibby leaves us, but I wouldn’t trade that sadness for all the joy he’s brought us — and will continue to bring us. Take care.

Leave a Comment