Humane Society’s gentle giant laid to rest

Long-time watch-dog at the Cayman Islands Humane Society and resident there for 10 years, beloved 14-year-old Tino passed away recently.

Ms Evans

Ms Evans at work at the Humane Society shelter Photo: Cliodhna Doherty

‘He was loved by all. He was big, black and soft,’ said Humane Society manager Prudence ‘Sugar’ Evans.

‘Tino touched the lives and souls of many a volunteer and will live in our hearts forever,’ said an ad in memory of Tino in Friday 29 May’s Caymanian Compass.

When Ms Evans first started at the Humane Society 10 years ago Tino was already there.

And it was at the shelter that he met his life-long partner, Eve, the pair growing more inseparable each day.

Ms Evans said they had never really put him up for adoption before Hurricane Ivan because he used to be the watch dog in the Humane Society building at night. ‘We used to set him free at night so he’d get to roam around the inside of the building,’ she said.

‘He’s a big black dog but he’s a softie, but because he’s big black and would bark, he’d scare people off, but he was never a bad dog.’

After Ivan they thought they should find him a home because he had lived in the kennels all his life. So, they tried to find a family who would take Tino and Eve, but they had no luck.

‘They were so attached. If you walk one you have to walk the other at the one time because he would be looking back for her and she’d be looking for him,’ Ms Evans explained.

‘After Ivan we tried to find a home for him but because he was here with his lifelong partner Eve and we didn’t want to separate them, it’s really difficult to adopt two big dogs,’ she said.

Sadly, Tino was diagnosed with cancerous tumours about a year and a half ago and he was given only three months to live.

‘He couldn’t stay here, having cancer,’ said Ms Evans.

A home had been secured for Tino on the Brac, but without a vet there it was not advisable for him to move there in his condition.

Luckily he and Eve were then taken in by Tracey and Matthew Goldie, where they got to experience family life and freedom together.

Ms Goldie said, ‘We had known Tino since 1999 from the shelter from volunteering there’.

So Tino and Eve found a home at last, and thrived on it. ‘He’d stand in the back garden and bark into thin air, just because he could,’ said his foster mum.

‘I really want to say thanks to them for giving him a wonderful time for his last days,’ said Ms Evans.

Tino died on Saturday, 23 May, 2009.

‘He got to live his last days in dignity and he never suffered in his last days,’ said Ms Evans.

Eve is still being fostered by the couple and she will have a forever home with them, said Ms Goldie. ‘We could never see her go back to the shelter now,’ she said.

Eve is one of three dogs the couple now has, along with five indoor cats and six outdoor cats.

And Tino will forever live on in the coupes’ hearts. ‘He’s left a big void in out lives,’ said Ms Goldie.

The ad that appeared in the Caymanian Compass acknowledges the ‘Gentle Giant, Protector and Guardian’ that Tino was.

The ad also acknowledges that Eve misses Tino very much. ‘Now his loyal and loving partner does not know what to think, without her lifetime companion, Eve has been left wondering.

‘But with love and family around her she will survive and one day will walk again with her big old guy’.

The advertisement also urged people to save a life by adopting instead of buying. ‘The shelter is full of dogs just like Tino who desperately need your help.’

Ms Goldie said, ‘There are so many homeless animals out there and shelter dogs are amazing dogs. It’s also really important that people spay and neuter their pets.’

Anyone interested in adopting or fostering a dog or cat can all the Humane Society on 949 1461.