A Chance to love Chance

by Lindy

where he usually was when we came home...

where he usually was when we came home...

Chance was my stepson's dog. I fell in love when I met him more than ten years ago. I got to see him quite often and then three years ago my stepson and his wife decided to build a new house. Poor Chance couldn't be with them so he came to live with us. I was glad because I knew we would be buddies.

The six months that they thought it would take turned into three years. He was already thirteen when he came to us; but spunky and energetic. We took walks together and he was constantly by my side.

Last week, he started doing poorly. Looking back I can see the signs but attributed them to his old age. Sixteen is old for a dog. But it soon became apparent we needed to get him to the vet. It turned out that he had a mass in his abdomen, swollen lymph nodes, and a white count of 57,000 when normal is 20,000.

Thursday he was failing fast. He tried to eat and drink but couldn't keep it down. He was getting dehydrated. We made the horribly difficult decision to have him put to sleep. I didn't want to let him go but I also knew he wouldn't make it. At sixteen, he wouldn't have been strong enough to make it through chemo. So we took him in.

I've had lots of pets. But somehow I've never been this attached. He was my constant companion, he wouldn't let me out of his sight. My children are all grown, so no little voices to distract my grief. It's been overwhelming, and my husband doesn't understand. So I grieve alone.

I know someday I'll get another dog. A rescue dog, perhaps, an older dog to love. Not yet. It is too fresh. Even though I knew it was coming, it was sudden. I am glad for that. He was such a wonderfully goofy, good natured, fantastic dog. Not perfect of course-- he once ate a box of chocolate doughnuts and got very sick... and then there was the times he snatched dinner off someone's plate when they were talking... or when he got out and followed us down the street... but he was the Best Dog EVER.

Comments for A Chance to love Chance

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Jun 09, 2012
Hugs to rosie and michelle...
by: Lindy

I asked someone about getting another dog... she said, I still have so much love to give... can't help getting another one... and she's doing well loving another dog... seems to me that at least in my case there is way more going on than just my dog... it is way more than that. It is that the loss puts me over the top.

Right now I am just allowing myself to love other people's dogs. There are a couple that are loving me and stop barking and start happy whining when I see them. So one day I will have another one, just not yet. Somehow I just keep hanging on, trying to trust in God about all this stuff, and sometimes feeling like I am being successful at that.

Jun 08, 2012
by: Rosie

I ask myself how can I get another dog when I have lost the best dog I ever had. No one could ever compare to her so how can I do it. And then I ask that if we are not re united at the end of my life, what was the point of this life

May 26, 2012
two years
by: Lindy

Having Michelle write on here reminded me that I haven't added anything since a year. There is still a hole in my heart where Chance was, but for the most part I do well. Still don't have another dog. But I have been loving two other dogs that are owned by friends, both similar to Chance and yet not the same. I mostly smile about Chance memories now... so yes, there is life after Chance, and hope, and some peace.
I'll never forget him.

May 26, 2012
HUGS to Michelle...
by: Lindy

I know how you feel, Michelle... I still miss my buddy after 2 years. When I came back to this page and saw my guy's sweet face it brought tears to my eyes...There are different ways people cope. My neighbor lost her 15 year old lab and immediately got another dog, and seemed like that was that. Others of us get so attached and it really makes us break down!
I started corresponding with Bandit's Mom Pam (she sent me a message) and that really helped, making me feel not so odd in my grief. It's hard to reach out but you aren't alone in your feelings. There's probably more going on than just losing Kyra. With me, there was a lot of grief going on even before Chance died, and I was feeling totally unloved and abandoned (even though I am married and have kids). Dogs love unconditionally and humans just usually don't... also something that really helped was godanddog.org Wendy sure has gotten it right... scroll down and watch her video.
Email me if you want, I promise to answer... dunniwho at gmail dot com.

May 24, 2012
I miss my Kyra
by: Michelle

I have been looking for answers and I cam across your post. I miss my labrador so much. She had a unknown illness that killed her in 10 days of finding out she was sick. vet's never knew what was wrong with my baby. she was only 3. I cry so hard for her. I had her cremated and she sits above me on a shelf in my kitchen. No one in my home understands the pain I feel for Kyra. I miss her so much. She died in my arms and it's a long painful storey. But I knew my baby was not going make it. i begged her that when I leave she better not die while im gone. i begged her and hugged her not to leave me. I was gone for 6 hours leaving her with my daughter. She waited for me! I came home and she stood up wagging her tail, then fell to the ground and I picked her up like a baby and hugged her crying so hard, then she died. I can't hardly breathe talking about her. My husband does not understand and is very nasty to me when i try to talk to him about it. he made me hold in my tears for my children's sake. i couldn't shed one tear. It has been 9 months and I still miss her and want her back. I am so lost. I loved her so so much.

Sep 16, 2011
a year today...
by: Anonymous

nothing to say but I still miss you every day.

Jun 21, 2011
nine months....
by: Lindy

The other day a friend brought her dog over. I looked into his eyes and saw Chance's... and thought, I am ready to love another dog. I will never forget my beloved Chance, but it's time. Now we will see what happens from here...

Mar 21, 2011
six months...
by: Lindy

can't believe it has been that long. The pain isn't so strong any more and I'm almost ready to love another dog. I wouldn't have believed it six months ago; I am doing pretty well.
Praying for those who are still mourning too or their grief is fresh...

Jan 16, 2011
me too
by: pam

I feel the same exact way.. but sometimes the intensity is still there for me.. the longing.. I'm not willing to let go either.. hugs.

Jan 15, 2011
getting over it
by: Anonymous

Sometimes, i don't want to get over it. I miss him so intensely still. I want to find him and cuddle with him and have him lick my face. I see him everywhere, in every dog someone is out walking... it has been 4 months. I don't miss him so deeply EVERY day; but there's still a hole in my heart.

Nov 24, 2010
Chance looks so snuggly on the couch!
by: Pam

Lindy, I wrote you on my page, but I wanted to leave you my email - blacklabmix@aol.com - in case you don't get the other comment. write anytime.. Pam

Nov 21, 2010
thanks Bandit's mom
by: Lindy

Two months. And I'm still crying too, to myself. I miss him so much still. My husband loves the cat, and keeps saying, we still have the cat, you still have me... but it isn't the same. So I keep my grief to myself.

But I'm remembering the happy times too. Someone made that "pfff" sound that he always made when he was disgusted with me. Like when I wouldn't share my food. I didn't do that but my husband did, and he would beg from me, and I would say, "you aren't getting any from me!" and he would turn away and sort of snort "pfff"... it was always appropriate, LOL, so I know he did it on purpose. So when I heard that sound it made me giggle.

Nov 04, 2010
it's ok
by: Bandit's Mom

Lindy, you're being much too hard on yourself. It takes time to grieve - Chance just left you. It just happened. You're not being silly. Dogs take a piece of us with them - human's don't. I keep it to myself too, but there really isn't a day that goes by that I don't cry. It still just hurts not having him here with me. Take your time with getting another dog. I'll never get another dog here. But by May when I move I'll get another dog - a girl this time; Because Bandit was the man of the house!

And how can people NOT be too attached to their dogs? All people don't love deeply. Heck, I don't know anyone in my life that knows how to or does. Us dog people - we know how to love deeply and receive it. warmly and hugs.

Nov 02, 2010
a month and a half....
by: Lindy

Sometimes I just feel plain silly for grieving so much. I keep it to myself; but here I know there are those who understand. We're talking about getting another dog... but there will never be another Chance...

Thinking about the Dog Whisperer. He's had people on there that were far too attached to their dogs. I could see it, and I could see it in myself, but I didn't want it any other way. People are, well, people. They get angry with you, they betray you.

Dogs don't do that.

Oct 16, 2010
One step at a time...
by: Lindy

But sometimes the steps are steep. A friend committed suicide the other day; my son informed me I am going to be a grandma; yesterday I cried and cried. How do I be happy about being a grandma and sad about my friend and my pup all at the same time.... today I was supposed to go to my friend's memorial service, and a birthday party for my grand-nephew; but I couldn't do both so I went to the party...

Crazy, crazy days. I'm going to go read the "coping strategies" section... (shaking my head, LOL)

Oct 12, 2010
by: Bandit's Mom

Oh Lindy, i feel every pain you're feeling and there are no words to make you feel better for what you're going thru. I always tell Bandit, life just sux without you here and as my friend told me.. Bandit and Chance are in Heaven getting stuff ready and when we're done doing what we have to do here we'll join them.. that was probably the only thing that ever made me feel good.. well not good, but better. Keep talking and writing about Chance. They are angels that are so so missed and we're left with this amazing pain... i wonder why? and I too still can't drive anywhere or do anything without getting sad and angry that Bandit's not here with me like he was for 13 years.. so sad.. ugggg... hugs for you.. Pam

Oct 12, 2010
Not a good day
by: Lindy

Missing Chance all the time. I know grief is normal but it is so overwhelming. At night is the worst, in the morning is the worst, leaving the house without saying goodbye is the worst, coming home to no hello is the worst. I just curl up in a little ball and cry sometimes. Sometimes it is better, then it is worse. Yesterday someone offered me a dog... kind of wanted to say yes. Someone said, grief is love with no where to go... maybe loving another dog is going to be good... some day. Not today. But some day.

Oct 06, 2010
he looks sweet
by: Bandit's Mom

I'm so sorry Lindy.. I see myself in your words. I'm glad you got to have Chance live with you - sounds like he was meant to be yours. I lost my black lab in June and the pain is still overwhelming. I can't imagine it never hurting. You mentioned your husband doesn't understand - maybe he didn't have that attachment as you did - but in my own little quiet world I feel like no one understands (except Russ). No one understands how your happy world just goes dark; how we lose a piece of ourselves when we lose our best friends; and how the joy just goes away with them. I too grieve alone (so you're not alone). I feel like no one wants to hear how sad life has become. Try talking to your husband - he lived with Chance too so you're lucky in that you and him can tell great, happy stories and keep the memories alive. With love and understanding.. Pam

Oct 01, 2010
two weeks...
by: Lindy

TWO weeks. I am no longer crying every time i turn around. I still see him on the couch and have to take a second look, remembering he is gone. Wish I could really talk to him, and tell him how much I miss him...

"We find a place for what we lose. Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else".
--- Sigmund Freud (1961)

Sep 27, 2010
another day
by: Lindy

just now I came across a file on my computer... one year we made Christmas wish lists...and along with all the wish lists for the kids was a silly one... Chance's wish list...
what I want:
for people to stop making me beg (Kerry would make him sit up and beg for his treats... Chance looked very silly doing that)
to go on more walks
to spend the night with grandma & grandpa (well he got THIS wish, LOL... for three years!!)
KRISPIE KREME chocolate donuts (he got very sick on these when he stole them once, but was still begging for them)
what I don't want:
a bath (when he was misbehaving, all you had to say was "want a bath" and he would settle down)
vegetables apparently brussels sprouts o.k. cause they are good! (ever heard of a dog that liked brussels sprouts? LOL)
No Cherry filled See's candy (also stole some of these... after that Jay learned his lesson and HID stuff from his reach, which seemed to include the backs of kitchen counters)

Anyway it was good to remember some GOOD memories instead of playing the what-I-should-have done tape again. I didn't cry when I came home yesterday, which is progress...

Sep 25, 2010
Trying to think of a witty title...
by: liv4jesus

and all i can think of is "fat chance..."
but he wasn't THAT fat...
he was such a love. even with his "creepy boy kisses." trying to stick his tongue in my mouth when i least expected it. *blech*
he was a great snuggler when i would sleep on their couch. i loved all his noises, and how if you needed him to behave all you had to do was threaten him with a bath.

i miss him a lot, and i never got the chance to live with him.

a dog's love is unconditional. it doesn't matter what your hair looks like, or what you're wearing, or what kind of day you're having. Chance was just there wagging his whole self at the door to greet you.
my cat on the other hand... ;)

i love you Mom. and i know you need this time to grieve. i wish there was more i could do right now... @@@@@@

Sep 25, 2010
thanks Moni and Russ
by: Lindy

I am thankful to have found this site. In my life I AM alone in my grief, my husband grieves but thinks I am being somehow TOO sad... so I grieve alone. I read your story, Russ. Thanks for sharing it.

I've been thinking too why this grief is stronger than even losing my 35 year old nephew... and it is because of Chance's unconditional love. He never expected anything from me. It's also because I have had so much grief going on this year, and I thought, God, not my best buddy... please don't take my best buddy but He did. So I cry and although I understand, I sure don't like it.

I knew the day was coming --Chance was sixteen after all-- but it was harder than I thought it would be. It is so good to read other people's stories and to just write. I'm working on some scrapbook pages too. And this site is amazing.

Sep 24, 2010
by: Russ

Hi Lindy - I loved your words and I totally understand your grief. I am Bucky's dad - if you like go read my page "Goodbye Beautiful Boy"
I truly believe that there are times when an animal can become our healing, our love and our strength. When you have attached - even though you know you won't have them forever - it is just devastating to lose a friend. My personal belief on the matter is this: energy can neither be created nor destroyed - only transformed. When our bodies can no longer be the container of this energy we are freed to return to a higher state of being - having learned our lessons here. All of our loved ones - we will be with again someday - and this includes our fur friends - perhaps even more so than people. Think of him - his finest hour - muscles rippling under sleek flanks - and that is where he is today waiting for you.
Take comfort and remember your sweet friend - always in your heart.


Sep 23, 2010
So sorry you lost Chance
by: Moni

I am so sorry for your loss. It's amazing how our pets can touch us so deeply. Chance showed you unconditional love and you loved him back. Letting him go was putting his needs above yours and that's love. There is no greater. We grieve so hard because we love so hard. I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that there are others who understand that the loss of your dog is hurting and it's okay. It will get better, they say, and I believe that. But we will never forget these spirits who touched us deeply and will forever stay with us. Cry, heal and love again.

Sep 23, 2010
by: Lindy

I've been reading here about others who were so in love with their pets as well, and somehow it helps. There are others who say things like, I didn't grieve for my people this way. I am grieving very deeply. I am still crying when I turn the corner to come home, and knowing he's not here. This morning I found his blanket... it still smelled like him. I hugged it and cried. I know I have to just give myself time.

Sep 22, 2010
it's been a week today
by: Lindy

It's been a week since I saw your handsome face and petted your soft fur. I miss you every minute...

Sometimes it makes me laugh. I dropped a piece of my cookie and it made me smile to think how you would have scrambled to get it. I smile when I think of how you would bark when someone offered you a soft drink. I can hear your "harumph" when things weren't going your way or you got scolded. It makes me smile when I look at the pictures of you.

It has helped me understand my grief when I realize that you were my closest friend. You loved with no strings. You listened to me... kept me warm. I have felt silly grieving so intensely for you-- but when I think about it, in the last seven months I have lost my uncle, my nephew, my friend Marilyn, and now you. My dad has been in the hospital three times, my mother once. My brother had a heart attack. No wonder I feel like I am falling apart.

I'm not really falling apart. My strength is in the Lord-- I know that. It feels like the pain of losing you is the biggest one of all. That's because you were my shadow, my best buddy.... and I will miss you, today and always. I am so glad that you were in my life. :) God blessed me with you. There will be other pets, but there will never be another you.

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