The Popcorn Stand: He was simply Tuf Tuf and he was beautiful |

The Popcorn Stand: He was simply Tuf Tuf and he was beautiful

By Charles Whisnand
Tuf Tuf

After dinner shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday, I placed my Jack Russell, Tuf Tuf, in his little bed. As he kept trying to move in an effort to become more comfortable, he yelped in pain several times.

It was then I knew. It was his time.

So I made the decision. Later on Thursday night I had Tuf Tuf euthanized.

Those of you who choose to read this Popcorn Stand know I wrote quite often about Tuf Tuf, including the fact I didn’t even know his real name since he was a purebred. But in the end he was simply Tuf Tuf and he was beautiful.

While Tuf Tuf had been going downhill for a while, the realization my dog was dying set in a week ago Tuesday when I came home for lunch and saw how much he was struggling.

So as I’ve written before when it has come to other matters I did what any big, strong man would do. I broke down and bawled like a baby.

As the week-plus went by, Tuf Tuf continued to become weaker. He couldn’t hold down anything. As late as last Friday, Tuf Tuf was gobbling down his dinner, but eventually it came up. That was his last real meal.

He was suffering from diarrhea. He became more wobbly as he tried to walk. Near the end he didn’t really have the strength to stand on his own.

Then on Monday, Tuf Tuf’s struggles to breathe really began. Finally after dinner on Thursday night, his yelps of pain — after being silent for days — made it clear to me his pain and suffering would just become much worse and it was time for him to go.

The ultimate life span of a Jack Russell is 16 years and Tuf Tuf was near the end of that lifespan as he would have turned 16 in November. But even in his 15th year, up until the last week-and a half or so, before his considerable weight loss became noticeable, he looked and sometimes acted like a puppy.

I remember shortly before his turn for the worse when I came home Tuf Tuf came out running and jumping because he was so happy to see me.

I thought that kind of odd because after all Tuf Tuf was an older dog and he hadn’t done that in a while. But now I think he was telling his brother this is the last time I’m going to be able to do this for you.

I’ve also written before Tuf Tuf was the most annoying, lovable dog I’ve ever known. I won’t sugarcoat it. Tuf Tuf could be real annoying.

Before his turn for the worse there were times — for hours at a time — the little guy could never be satisfied as his constant barking could attest.

But there were also times his devotion to me and others who loved him could easily be seen. Those are the times I will remember the most.

In the end, he was simply Tuf Tuf. And he was beautiful.

Charles Whisnand is The Porterville Recorder editor and a former editor at the Nevada Appeal. Contact him at or 784-5000, extension 1048.