A Chance to love Chance
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.