Do not go gentle into that good night

Today my mom lost a loyal and faithful companion, and the crochet world lost an ardent and enthusiastic admirer.

Toby, my mom’s Shih Tzu, had been suffering a decline for some time. Shortly before Christmas we took him in to see the veterinarian where we learned what had become obvious: Toby’s time was limited.

Today, after a valiant and successful effort to make it past Christmas and into the new year, Toby, the ever faithful companion, passed on.

As my regular reader’s know, my mom was the center of Toby’s universe; from his perspective, I was simply an annoying moon whose only redeeming feature was an ability to crochet, and while Toby was never really able to muster any enthusiasm for me personally, he loved crochet and was very appreciative of the things I made, particularly things I made for him.

My personal favorite was this pet mat that I made for him and which I think bears a striking resemblance to him as he was in life:

crochet pet mat for Toby
Toby’s pet mat

Dylan Thomas wrote the villanelle “Do not go gentle into that good night,” on the occasion of his father’s death, and today with the passing of my mom’s dog, it would seem it could have been written for Toby as well.

Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

One of the many wondrous aspects of our pets is that they allow us to be our better selves, and in giving us that opportunity, we often rise to the occasion and are as good as they believe us to be.

There is no question Toby will be missed.

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11 thoughts on “Do not go gentle into that good night

  1. What sad news! Your mom must be devastated! 🙁

    I love the quote. . .

    There’s a wonderful website that helps dealing with the loss of furry family members: rainbowbridge.org. check it out!

  2. your comment…as a lover of all things furry (Gods 4legged angels) I am truly sorry for your mothers loss and your hooking fan. Thank you for the quote, bought tears to my eyes. hug your mom from tuscaloosa alabama

  3. How heartbreaking! Many condolences on your family’s loss. I’ve grown fond of Toby through your writings of him. I can only imagine your mother’s devastation.

  4. Sorry for your mother’s loss. I can symathize. This past August I lost my wonderful dog, Ming Toi, a Lhasa Apso. (I’d lost his sister 4 years earlier.) Dylan Thomas was perfect! RIP Toby.

  5. Aside from all the sadness, that is a really cute pet mat. I see why Toby was a fan of crochet. 🙂

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