Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Good Dog

National Blog Posting Month Day 24


"Chessie"
April 25, 1995 - November 24, 2007

I don’t write about my dog much. I wrote 100 Things About My Dog and about him hunting bread, but I didn’t write a lot of boring things about our everyday routine. Blogs with annoying stories about every cute thing their pet does are tedious.

But my dog was part of my life. And he did a lot of cute things. When we were about to leave the house he would sit at attention at the stair landing and cock his head because he knew we gave him a treat as we walked out the door. He would go upstairs and howl at the bedroom door because he liked the water bowl in our bedroom better than the water bowl in the kitchen.

We went for a walk every morning and I would read the paper while he ate breakfast because he liked company while he ate. He liked company period. He followed me from room to room as I did things in the evening. If I snuck upstairs without waking him up my wife would ask where my shadow was. We would time how long it took for him to realize I was gone and come find me. It usually took just a few minutes.

As he got older he would whimper if I wasn’t around. About three weeks ago the whimpering became so constant that I took him to the vet to get medicine to clear up the skin conditions that seemed to be causing him discomfort. She gave him some pills that cleared up the skin and his attitude perked up. But then he quit eating his dry dog food and I kept having to mix rolls in with it to trick him. Then he started eating just the rolls.

His stomach became distended and yesterday we took him to the vet who took some x-rays. His abdomen was filled with fluid that had drained from metastasized cancer in his chest. The vet said there was less than a 5% chance of being able to treat cancer that advanced successfully. After a night of quiet cuddling with him and one last walk to the elementary school where I always let him run off leash, we took him back to the vet this morning to put him out of his pain. It was quick and peaceful and now we miss him incredibly.

Having a pet is a bargain you make with an animal. You give them food and shelter and they give you loyalty and love. It hardly seems like a fair trade. And when they are gone, all you can do is remember them in your heart. Chessie was better than a friend. He was a good dog. And that is the highest compliment I can pay him.

16 comments:

Impetua said...

A good dog with a happy life. You did the kind thing for your old friend. My heart goes out to you.

Anonymous said...

yellojkt, I'm so sorry. You've lost a good friend.

mostlylurking

Elizabeth said...

Oh, I'm so so sorry. How are your wife and son doing? My thoughts are with you.

Jamy said...

I'm so sorry. It's a real loss. Take care.

2fs said...

As I started reading this, one of our cats - Lumen, the one who's closer to me - crawled up on my shoulder and started purring.

I think he wanted to remind me - as if I needed reminding - how much pets can mean to people. I know that when we lost our first cat some years ago, I'd never been so devastated (I've been fortunate enough never to lose a relative suddenly: it's always been long, drawn-out illnesses, at the end of which their passing was almost a relief).

I am so sorry for your pain and loss. It sounds as if you'll have many, many good memories to serve you through the years. At first, those memories will be terribly painful, as well as comforting, and gradually, the comfort takes over. Anyone who's loved by a good pet is fortunate, even though the cost of that fortune is painful, since we tend to outlive them. I wouldn't trade it for anything, though.

Jeff said...

Aww, that's too bad. My deepest condolences.

125records said...

As a fellow dog lover, my heart goes out to you and your family. My dog is my ever-present "shadow" too. Chessie sounds like he was a wonderful companion.

Charlotte said...

My thoughts are with you and your family. People without four legged friends never do understand the role these guys play in our lives.
Thank you for doing the humane thing and putting Chessie to sleep before his pain became to great . . . it is so easy to want to be selfish when it comes to those we love.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

You have my sympathies. Last year at this time I lost two of my cats within a space of 6 weeks. It's a horrible thing.

flasshe said...

I'm so sorry for your lose. Chessie sounds like a wonderful dog and companion. "Pets are a tragedy just waiting to happen" someone once told me, but it's worth it to have that love and companionship in the meantime. You did the right thing - so many pet owners would try to prolong the pet's life, which doesn't do much except enrich the vet's pockets and extend the pain. When I had to have my dog put down, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do up to that point, but I'm glad I did it.

Cham said...

Awwwww, I'm so sorry. That looks like a nice dog.

Claude said...

My sincere condolences. It's not fair that friends like this can only occupy a short chunk of our lives.

A side note: I got Keiko from the shelter so I have no idea what her birthday is. Sooner or later I'm going to have to face that reality and I am not looking forward to it.

TBG said...

So sorry to hear this, yello.

He sounds like a great dog who brought a lot of happiness to your family.

TBG

Used*to*be*me said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost a german shorthair to lymphoma cancer and it was horrible. It is akin to losing a child when they are with you forever and grow with you. My thoughts are with your family.

Anonymous said...

I didn't check in for a few days, and I come back for a visit and find you lost a good friend. I feel so sorry to have missed knowing your pooch, Yellojkt. He sounds like the kind of buddy we all need in our lives.

dr

Mooselet said...

I'm really late leaving this, but I'm sorry you lost him. Having lost both my girls on the same day for different reasons, I empathize with your sense of loss and emptiness.

Hang in there!