Chris, Our Hearts Are Empty Without You....

by John
(Georgia, USA)

I don’t know if the missing piece of my heart will ever heal. It feels as though when Chris, our beautiful sable Sheltie passed away on August 5, 2012, he took a piece of my heart that can never be replaced. Chris was 10 years 6 months old when he went to Rainbow Bridge.

We brought Chris home on Christmas of 2001 (hence the name Chris), as our new family member and “litter mate” for our seven year old son. I would have never imagined how attached I would become to Chris and his attachment to me. As Chris grew he became so smart and attentive. He could close doors on command, play tag and hide-n-seek with our son, or any two-leg litter mate that was willing. I would cover his eyes and count to ten… then off he ran to find a hiding litter mate. He would love to go for car rides, especially to the bank for the teller to give him his treat. I believe it made their day too.

Chris was always larger than other Shelties and took medicine for his thyroid, but otherwise had no other problems. Then about a year ago he began to have dark patches on his skin. We had blood test ran and everything came back ok, except for skin irritation, possibly a fungus. He took medications and sprays for this and it would clear up. Still always full of life and ready to go. Then about three weeks ago, he began to vomit and refused to eat. We rushed Chris to the vet and his liver enzymes and blood glucose were extremely elevated. He stayed several days in the hospital with more test and x-rays and diagnosed with Cushing‘s Disease and Diabetes. The x-ray showed something with the liver, but nothing conclusive and suggested ultrasound (which they did not have the proper equipment to perform). We brought Chris home with medications, insulin, and constant blood glucose testing while waiting to have an ultrasound performed at another clinic. Then on August 4th, he began to vomit again and could hardly walk on his own. Our fears became reality on August 5th, when his blood work spiked and the ultrasound located a mass on his liver. It was liver cancer. We prayed, we bargained with God, we cried, we searched our souls for every alternative to what we really knew had to be done. At 9:10pm on August 5, 2012, we said our tearful goodbyes to our beloved Chris. The vet assured us this was the right choice. I have to believe him for my own sanity. The pain and emptiness is so immense at the loss of the best companion our family could ever have. This is the hardest thing I have ever experienced and hope time will close just a portion of this hole in my heart. Thank you for reading my long story.

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