What was previously thought of as a popular saying and an animated movie title has become my family’s mantra this weekend. Yesterday Chloe, the older of our two dogs, got sick again. Over the last two years she has had pancreatitis twice and kidney stones twice. Evidently, schnauzers are genetically prone to get pancreatitis, which can then often times develop into chronic pancreatitis once enough scar tissue is built up. While there would never have been a good time for Chloe to get sick again, right now was especially unfortunate timing for our family.
When my mom came into my room last night with tears in her eyes, I knew the likelihood of Chloe returning home with us was slim. Not knowing how to verbalize the impossible, she slowly uttered, “…we might have to…you know…” And while I had subconsciously been well aware of this possibility, now hearing the words hang in the air between us was too much to bear. My recently consumed dinner rose in my throat, and I felt a familiar cramp in my stomach signaling that I was about to get sick.
Driving to the emergency vet clinic, I rode in the backseat with Chloe in my lap, her frail little body wrapped up in a blanket. I like to think she was calm on that ride over, with me kissing the top of her head and massaging her neck. Despite her pain, she even did her usual thing of wriggling her nose under my palm in hopes of more loving. Once in the room at the clinic, Chloe was brave, well-mannered, and calm. I couldn’t stomach staying in the room during the procedure, opting instead to ball like a lunatic on the bench outside in the cold winter air.
I know I am about to sound like a mother swooning over her children, but Chloe was honestly the sweetest, most loving and affectionate dog I have ever known. My family will never forget the day we went and picked Chloe out after soccer practice with Hayley and Beth by my side. Three ten year old girls with a new puppy – you can only imagine how we spoiled Chloe. Throwing her beloved rope toys, letting her chase us around the main floor, and even having play dates with the neighbor schnauzers – Chloe was one of the girls.
As I grew up, Chloe was still my baby but I had less and less time to play with her. Time passed and she eventually bonded more and more with my parents. When Scott hurt his back, Chloe was his cuddle buddy throughout the entirety of his recovery. A truly gifted snuggler, she had recently taken a liking to laying on my mom whilst watching Downton Abby. Chloe also grew into the role of being a great big sister to our younger miniature schnauzer, Lucy. Despite sometimes being at each others’ throats, they were a dynamic duo.
As very weird as it is to not see Chloe lying on the top of the stairs, I am comforted by the fact that she is romping around, pain-free in heaven with Chilli, Cha Cha #1, Jazzy, and Princess. How lucky we were to win the lottery of having Chloe for twelve years. I miss her so much already and our home without her will taking some getting used to now. We love you, Chloe, so much.
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.” – Gildna Radner