Goodnight, Sweet Princess
This lanthorn doth the hornèd moon present.
This thornbush, my thornbush;
And this dog, my dog.
-A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act V.
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we must bear the sad news that the sweetest canine thespian ever to grace Olympia’s stages has passed to her rest.
Our sweet Tonks came into the lives of my husband and myself in 2011. By sweet providence, that same year we all joined Animal Fire Theatre.
Was ever a dog so famed and widely loved? Tonks was a gentle force of nature, pliant and affable, yet immovable and stubbornly resolute when the silly humans who surrounded her proved too flighty and tried her patience.
She was herself an able and indispensable member of the Animal Fire troupe, indeed the only one of us truly worthy of the title of Animal. Tonks and I made our debut in our 2011 production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. If you saw that show, you might remember me; I was the one on the other end of Tonk’s leash. There is no doubt that you remember Tonks.
We reprised our on-stage partnership as Launce and his long-suffering dog Crabbe in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”. Never did an actor have a more perfect foil than the enormous, gentle Tonks who alternately gazed at the antic clown on stage with mild amusement, and utterly ignored the foolishness afoot, choosing to lie down and contemplate the daisies.
Even when not officially on cast, Tonks was an active part of every production. She attended most rehearsals and waiting patiently back stage as her dads trod the green and other cast members nearly missed their cues with doting on her and her thick, warm fur that invited all to bury their hands and faces in her coat and draw in her Zen.
But time and age do not pause in their march, and decrepitude took its cruel toll far too quickly on our sweetest girl. At the end, there was nothing to do but hold her and cry as she passed gently into that good night. She is laid to rest in our garden, surrounded by flowers and attended upon by Puck, Oberon, Titania and her fairies.
The loss is bitterly hard, but the memory is sweet. We dedicate this summer’s production to our sweetest muse, the magnificent, inimitable Tonks.
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into “hey nonny nonny”.