Topic: "Friend by Your Side" (3)
Tom Bombadil is a good neighbor. When Frodo made the slight miscalculation regarding the six large pine trees, and the amount of mulch that would be piled in his driveway, it was Tom Bombadil who came to the rescue. Tom Bombadil found a nearby SONIC when Frodo told him about Sir Gimlet, and a long and talkative evening ensued in the Gardens of the Shire. It was Tom Bombadil who found and adopted the lost dog Savannah, and became her caretaker when she developed paralysis in her back legs. It is Tom Bombadil who watches the political talk shows that Frodo misses, and who fills Frodo in on the facts about the continued incompetence of the Incomparable Moron. Tom Bombadil is a mighty man, and is a special friend to Frodo and Sam.
There are few things in life that can bring such a man to tears. The loss of a friend is such an event.
Scooter was a dog that was being fostered for adoption when Tom Bombadil found him. Although he was shaggier than desired, Tom was taken by his constantly seeming smile, and his severe interest in tennis balls. Scooter had some sort of problem in the hips and walked funny, but how he walked was the real kicker. He never stopped, he just kept walking. Even when he peed, he just kept walking. He would visit Frodo for a scratch behind the ear, but Frodo had to move fast, because Scooter wasn't about to stop. Tom was thrilled that he once again had a companion for walks in the woods, given that little Savannah and her cart weren't partucularly mobile.
Scooter began to develop signs of age, and incontinence, especially when he went inside the house of Tom Bombadil. It takes a special person to live with two dogs unable to contain themselves. As Frodo said early on, Tom Bombadil is a very good neighbor.
Tonight, Tom Bombadil cried because he had to do what no good friend ever wants to do. He put Scooter down. Scooter finally collapsed on his back legs and was unable to get up on his own. He was no longer interested in the flight of his tennis ball, because it was now out of reach. He could not, no matter how hard he tried, keep on walking. There was distress in his eyes, as well as pain in his heart. Tom Bombadil could not and knew that he would not tolerate the suffering of his friend.
Tom's veterinarian will cremate Scooter and his tennis ball tomorrow. Frodo and Sam will stand with Tom Bombadil when the ashes are tossed to the winds. It is Scooter's time to walk on to a place where companions never say good-bye, and tennis balls never get lost. Frodo believes that it must be a very wonderful place.