Sunday, June 9, 2013

Just Like That

Getting Chloe was the first big decision David and I ever made together. We spent months visiting shelters, looking for a puppy that would fit in our tiny little condo. Then I found Chloe. She was a mess. She had a ridiculously long body attached to short little legs and huge paws that she tripped over with every step. The shelter told us she was pure basset hound, but we knew better. Her mama had clearly been sleeping around.
Before they would let us adopt her, the shelter made a visit to our home, expressing some concerns about our small space. We assured her Chloe would get lots of walks and would lead a happy and fulfilling life at our house. What we all failed to consider was just how hard those short little legs would have to work just to get Chloe down the street. Walks rarely materialized, as Chloe would spend much of her time lounging on the neighbor's lawn or sniffing the rear ends of the other dogs in the neighborhood (okay fine, and occasionally their owners).
Over the next several years, Chloe proved herself to be one of the worst dogs ever. She had travel anxiety and got sick everywhere we went. She bit my mom's dog and ran away from home on more than one occasion. Chloe would eat anything, including an entire package of hot dog buns...and the package. But I loved her. Oh, how I loved that dog.
Because she was part basset, Chloe would howl at every siren she heard. It quickly became her one and only party trick. As Morgan got older, she would play her harmonica and Chloe would sing along. They were two parts of an off-key harmony.
But when we got up yesterday morning, something wasn't right. Chloe couldn't walk very well and her belly more closely resembled a pot-bellied pig than a dog. I took her outside, only to realize that she had to lay down every couple of steps. I tried to get her to howl with me, but she just looked at me pleadingly, unable to muster the strength.
David called the vet and they immediately asked him to bring her in. I watched out the window, wondering if that would be the last time I saw my four-legged little girl. "It isn't good" was all he said when he called me 20 minutes later. David explained that they had discovered a tumor on her spleen that had ruptured and that her body was filling with blood. If we didn't move quickly, Chloe was going to bleed to death internally. Even with surgery, she would most likely die on the table or face months of treatment after the operation. It just didn't make sense to put her through that.
As I sat sobbing on the phone, I whispered to David, "I think we have to let her go. Stay with her. I just don't want her to be alone." And so he did. He laid with her on the cool tile floor, rubbing her head as she raised her chest for the last time. And then she was gone. Just like that.
Farewell, my baby girl. You were a disaster from the day we met you... and the most perfect fit for our family.

1 comment:

Patty said...

Oh my gosh... I can't even see to type this from crying so hard :(... What a beautiful picture of Chloe. Those big brown eyes. I am so sad and overwhelmed that this came on so sudden. You have lost a best friend and the cutest trouble maker ever! I can't believe she is gone. She will be forever missed. Sweet dreams Chloe - Love, Gramma Patty & Grandpa