When I was ten I had two dogs, Duchess (a pure bred German shepherd) and Lucky (a beautiful mutt). They lived in the backyard but every once in a while they would manage to escape their confines should the gates be left open. On this particular day my mom was the culprit for letting them out.
So my ten year old self went traipsing through the neighborhood calling for my dogs to come back home. When I made it down to the busy street by our house I called their names and I saw Duchess come running. Suddenly she was hit by a camouflage van. She died instantly and the van just kept driving. I burst into tears and ran into the street to hold my dog. I watched the van drive down Maryville road and then turn around only to drive by again without stopping to see the damage they had done.
Devastated and alone I walked down the street with tears pouring down my cheeks to tell my mom what had happened. Completely oblivious to the fact that most of my neighbors were already aware and had called her before I got there. Since my dad was at work our neighbor Ronnie went and collected Duchess from the road and brought her to the house so we could bury her. Immediately following I was off to my grandma’s because I couldn’t stay at my house.
We had lost pets before but I had never seen something so traumatizing in my life to the point that I can remember details to this day. The first night that I was at my grandparent’s house my mom received a rather interesting late night knock on the door. It was my neighbor from two doors down daughter and her husband, they had heard what had happened to Duchess and him being a cop went and got us a German shepherd puppy from the police dog training camp. He was a runt so he wasn’t making the cut so he needed a good home anyway.
My mom called and told me the news but I still refused to go home but requested the dog be brought to me the next day. He was of course the cutest, happiest puppy ever. I named him Chance, because our dog tragedy track record had been long and he only had one Chance to at life to do it right. I finally went home about four days later to begin the bonding process that would last for 13 years.
He was an inside puppy but an outside dog, he was ‘too big’ for being inside the house, apparently they got it wrong when they thought he would be a runt. In the winter of 99’ Lucky passed away from old age. We brought Chance inside because he was visibly sad and needed to not be alone, it was also very cold so he didn’t need to be outside anyway. We got Hazel a few days after Lucky passed away, she was supposed to be a shepherd as well but clearly was going to be a tiny dog forever. She was going to have to be an inside dog because we didn’t want a hawk to snatch her up.
When winter was over and it was time for Chance to move back outside he wasn’t having it. From that moment on he was an inside dog. A giant dog that didn’t understand he wasn’t a lap dog, a dog that would steal the covers from you in your sleep because he wanted them, a dog that would push you out of your own bed if he needed to stretch. He is the reason Chloe knows how to open my door by head butting it. It never failed that if I closed my door when I would leave for school that dog would be in my bed when I got home.
He was an amazing dog who survived testicular cancer and outlived every dog we ever had. (With the exception being Hazel who will never die) We had to put him to sleep five years ago this month because his poor body couldn’t function anymore. He couldn’t control his bodily function and rarely knew when to go to the bathroom. His poor hip was so damaged he couldn’t make it up and down the stairs to even go outside anymore.
I lived in the world of denial of course. I pretended that it wasn’t as bad as it was because he was my Chance Buddy and I loved him with my whole heart. I came home on a rainy Monday in April to be told by my parent’s
‘If it hadn’t have been raining today we were going to put chance down but it was too wet to dig a hole’
Are you fucking kidding me?
I can’t believe after having a dog for 13 years they could be so cavalier about it. It was devastating to me. We knew Monday that they were planning on putting him down on Thursday. I was a mess for the entire week. I wrote several notes on facebook that I’ll share here.
‘I can’t even begin to explain what has been going through my mind or how many times I have cried today just thinking about the fact that every minute that goes by is just bringing me closer to the end of someone who has been there for me for 13 years
He has been slowly deteriorating for a while now. It’s not like this is a shock but it is so hard to say goodbye to someone who has been here for thirteen years of my life. Longer than any friend.
I have been crying off and on all day. I listened to the song Chasing Cars and lost it. I wish I wasn’t alone right now. But it’s late what can I expect.
I can’t even look at him because I know but I don’t want him to know cause I can’t imagine how he feels. I plan on going with and staying with him until the end because it wouldn’t be right if I wasn’t.’
‘Tears continue to fall……
I just want to let all of you know or care that we will be putting Chance to sleep on Thursday. He has been sick for a really long time but we really thought he would pass away on his own, but it has become very hard because he has no control anymore, he can barely walk and can no longer hold it in when he has to go to the bathroom.
My parents were going to do it today but couldn’t dig a hole. I just thought it was awful that they wouldn’t have told me.
So these next couple of days will be very rough. You are all more than welcome to come say your peace before or after just let me know if you are going to come over so I can be here.
I have school all day Thursday and then work that night….I will def. need a distraction
It would be very much appreciated if someone would get me trashed on Thursday night seeing as how I will need it and I am poor
This will be the first time any pet has died where I won’t be going and getting a new one the next day. I don’t know how I will deal with this but I will manage as best as I can. It will be really hard to come home and not hear him coming down the hall because his nails are so long and he won’t let us cut them. Or to just see his smiling face and how happy he is when you pet him because he knows he is loved. Or late at night to just lay with him because he has been such a great dog.
I know that he will be in a better place but I love him so much and I really don’t want to see him go.
I have been crying the whole time I have been writing this because it is like the worst feeling to know that it is coming.
Here is to 13 years of memories’
‘He is gone. I don’t know what to do.
My dad said he went peacefully
Last night was hard because I could hear him walking and I will miss hearing him walk through the house so loudly
I could barely say bye because it was too hard
I am lost right now and I can’t bring myself to really breakdown and I know that is what I need to do.
If anyone wants to hang out tonight let me know’
I was a solid ass mess that day.
When I left for school in the morning I could barely say goodbye to him. As lame as it is I just wanted to rewind the clock and not worry about losing him. I cried the whole way to school that day.
I burst into tears in my Latin class simply because we learned the Latin word for animal. I had no choice but to go to school because I wasn’t allowed to go with my dad. My guess is because he didn’t want me to see him cry. I had a required performance that day for a friends directing scene.
I literally was balling my eyes out five minutes before we went on stage and thanks to the undeniable Lynn Bobzin I was able to pull myself together and deliver one of the best performances of my life.
I will never forget the people who were there for me during that time. I know I was a hot mess.
Looking back now I know that I still miss him. I still have his dog collar. I think when he died it really got to Chloe, she’s just always been so sad since then. I’m a firm believer that dogs have the grand feelings for the other creatures around them if they are raised correctly.
There will never be a dog that will replace him. Five years gone and he’s still important to me. You can’t replace that.
We actually got Chloe partly for me but also because the thought would be that Chance having a puppy around would make him feel younger. For those of you who have an older dog trust me it works!