Monday, March 19, 2012

Heavy Hearted Decision

Most of you know that Chloe Sue and I have had a love/hate relationship from the very beginning.

 Justin and I had been dating almost a year when he decided to adopt a pet from the animal shelter.  I remember being at one of Kamden’s baseball games when he was five years old and talking to Justin on the phone as he drove his new lab home in his truck.  After only knowing her a few hours, he told me “I really think I made a mistake.  I thought I adopted a lab…but instead, she’s a piranha.”  And so began her puppy life chewing and gnawing her way into trouble.

The first week Justin owned her; we took her to the park and discovered her love of the water.  She immediately ran through pond after pond, and her long tail streamed a trail of water as she whipped it from side to side.  This eventful day ended in her kennel cough turning into pneumonia.  She was shaking and sick…and had her first visit to the 24 hour vet clinic which left Justin footing a gigantic bill.  “It was way too much money to spend on a dog.”  He claimed. (My husband grew up in the country…)

In her second week of adoption, Justin had to travel out of town, and being the loving girlfriend that I was…I took her in for a few days.  In those few days, she tore apart Kamden’s trampoline, ate a memory foam mattress, chewed the strap off a very expensive purse, dug holes in my flower bed, chewed a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses, and ate a total of 3 pairs of heels.  I happily returned her to him the second his plane landed.

Soon after that, Justin and I got married, and I read “Marley and Me” on our honeymoon in hopes of finding a peace with that darn dog.  In her first year of life, she scratched Justin’s cornea, leaving him to miss work (and me cancelling a business trip) to get to an ophthalmologist appointment and discover a very painful corneal abrasion that left Justin out of pocket for three days.  At Kamden’s end of school year party in our new house, she jumped in the pool off the diving board  ON TOP of one of Kamden’s friends.  She left a gigantic scratch down the side of his face, and left me speechless. 

There isn’t a holiday spent at our house where Chloe hasn’t eaten something off the table.  She’s stolen countless briskets and food off the grill and smoker. She’s caused a plethora of arguments between Justin and I, and Justin and Kamden…

But one thing is for sure…she’s been a loyal and very loving dog.  

When Justin’s out of town on business, she sleeps in the front room on the couch guarding our home. 

She plops down on the couch and tolerates Kendall’s pats which sometimes get pretty rough. 

She follows me from room to room just to make sure everything is OK. 

When the boys were outside playing in the pool or yard, Chloe has provided hours of protection and entertainment. 

Once she saved Kamden from drowning in a creek.  I’m pretty sure I blogged about that.

In the early days of Kendall’s diagnosis, it was Chloe who sat at my feet in the bathroom while I cried on the floor.  She’d lick my hands and stay by my side.

She rode in the back of Justin’s truck and accompanied us on many ice cream runs, or trips with Justin hunting and to the farm.  She was her happiest with the wind blowing in her face.  Rides in the truck took a close second to swimming.  And her eyes always told all kinds of stories. 

No, there hasn’t been a day go by where I didn’t get on to her for something or kick her out of the way. But despite all of these annoyances, expensive mistakes, and near catastrophic accidents, she’s been a good dog.  Her mere presence was a constant in our lives.  

Chloe has been losing weight consistently for about four months now.  We ran a bunch of tests, spent a bunch of money on medication, and have been force feeding her pureed dog food through a syringe since Thursday.  She’s been spending more and more time on her own outside, and it’s become very difficult for her to move.  It may be cancer, it may be a blockage, it may be a fungus, we may never know.  But she won’t eat, she can’t sleep, and the time has come to put her down.

So today with very, very heavy hearts, we will say goodbye to our little piranha.  Our house and walks will never be the same…

Chloe Sue, you will surely be missed. You will always remain in our hearts.  XOXOXO


Sassy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. :( I was literally hopping into Blogger to write a post about my oldest dog passing away about an hour ago. :( Tia was also a black lab (mixed with border collie). The Rainbow Bridge gained 2 great new additions today. Hugs to you all.


Cassie said...

This totally made me cry. I'm so sorry you lost a member of your family. It hit a nerve with me because we have had our dog almost 6 months and she has been such a source of stress and frustration and has led to many a discussion of "finding her a new home". After reading this post I want to go give Izzy Bell a big hug.

The Henrys said...

What a beautifully written post...I'm so sorry for the loss of your dog.

Kristin said...

My mom sent me this link. This breaks my heart for you and for her.
I had to make this gut wrenching decision last month, with our adopted Golden Retriever/Yellow Lab, Callie~Sue.
I spent a fortune on meds, vet visits, hospitalization...
And in the end. I had to say good bye.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet but naughty girl.
Our Black Lab is really aging and I dread this process when the time comes, again.
Thank you for sharing.

Tara said...

Sending love. Not easy. xo

Barbara said...

Sincere sympathy, Jocalyn. Your family gave a lucky pup a good home.

Marcus and Jenny said...

Ohhh, I'm so sorry. I'm so sad for your entire family.