Back in 1993 Tammy and I went to PetSmart one day to get some cat food. As we walked in, we noticed that they were doing dog adoptions, so we decided to go over and have a look. We were just looking. They had several cute dogs who all needed a home, but we already had two cats and that was enough. Until I came to the last crate. In it was a small, black Terrier-ish dog with big, brown eyes and an enormous pink bow around her neck. I opened the crate, just to pet her, and when I did, she literally lept into my arms and started licking my face. After a few seconds of this, I turned to look at Tammy through the glass; she was already filling out the adoption paperwork.
As we talked to the people there (from Friends of Animals, BTW) it turned out that this dog was not supposed to be there that day. Some monster had slowed down on Hwy. 78 (7 lanes) and tossed this beautiful 6 month-old puppy out into traffic. Luckily, some other motorist saw what happened and was able to pick her up before she got hit. This person took her to PetSmart and the FoA people took her. That’s how we ended up with her.
She was one of the sweetest creatures I’ve ever met.
About six weeks ago, our vet diagnosed her with cancer. Her lymph nodes around her throat were expanding, and he told us that she had a month, maybe two, at the most. He gave us prednezone to help with the pain, but as old as she was, chemotherapy would most likely kill her. He said to just keep her comfortable.
She did OK for a while, but the last week or so, we could tell the end was near. Her tail didn’t wag as much, she didn’t always eat, and her breathing was getting more labored. Her nodes were so swollen that it felt like she had a bag of marbles under her throat. Getting her to take a pill was always hard, but it was doubly so now. When we could get the pills into her, she would generally have a good day, but not always. Tuesday, she had a great day. She actually played in the yard, nom-nomed her food like nobody’s business, and generally seemed happy. But yesterday, we knew.
Or rather, we thought. It’s really hard to know when it’s time for that final trip to the vet.
Her breathing had been getting worse all day. She wasn’t resting. She would either walk around, or just stand, with her head pointing up, to make it easier to breathe. Last night around 10:30, Tammy and I talked about what to do, with Chloe just lying there, not really paying attention. She alternated between looking scared and looking totally out of it. We decided it was time.
I called Thomas into the room and told him that I had to take Chloe to the vet, and that she probably wasn’t going to be coming home. Understandably, he didn’t take it well. He’s had three cats, two fish and a snail die on him, and he wasn’t ready to have Chloe leave him, too. After he and Tammy were done saying goodbye, as done as they could be, I bundled Chloe up and took her to the emergency vet.
After examining her for a couple of minutes, the vet told me that Chloe’s chest was full of fluid and that I probably knew what the answer was. I agreed, sadly, and ten minutes later our Chloe left us.
I believe that she is running, barking and chasing other dogs, cats and bunnies right now, in perfect health and happiness. I believe that after leaving my arms, she was soon met by our cats Nikki, Lukie and Abby, and that they are swapping slobber and stories and once again having a grand old time together. Thomas believes that, too, though it’s little consolation to him right now.
Goodbye, Chloe. We love you.