Yesterday I had to put my beloved dog, Chase, to sleep. He had gotten very sick, very fast and there wasn't much of a choice. But my heart is aching over this loss.
My Grandmother used to give all of us $100 for every birthday and my Uncle had also given me $100 for 25th birthday and with that I bought Chase. I had originally wanted a lab, but a friend at work had a friend that had just bred her two Aussies and had a litter of 9 puppies. Well, my Dad has always loved Aussies and so he, my sister and I drove out to Elizabeth to a farm to see these 4 week old puppies.
In a stinky barn there were 9 little furballs all different colors (as is typical with Australians) and the three of us walked all around the barn and looked at those 9 sweet faces. My Dad found a beautiful merle with two different colored eyes and wanted me to get him, but as I was walking towards him I looked down and this little puppy was sitting on my feet staring right up at me. So I moved him and picked up other puppies and cuddled them, but everytime I stopped, there was that little body sitting on my feet. So that was that- this dog had picked me! He was the only tri-color in the group and had very distinct markings, he was beautiful.
I had to wait 4 more weeks before I could pick him up and take him home. In the meanwhile I had to think of a name. I had never had a male dog before, so my original pick wouldn't work. And I had been going through a lot of trials personally and had some difficult things happen to me, which I luckily survived. I remember watching an episode of 'ER' where Carter's cousin had overdosed and basically wound up a vegetable and his name was Chase. That might sound strange that I choose his name based on that situation. But for me it was a giant reminder of how blessed I was and how I should never forget it.
So on August 1, 1998- my 25th birthday, my best friend and I drove out to Elizabeth and brought home Chase. He had been living in a barn for the last week, so he really needed a bath, but he was beautiful. I have so many memories of his puppyhood and his life flooding my head right now, but what sticks with me the most is the times when I felt so lonely and would just hold his head in my hands and cry.
I know some people who are not dog or even animal lovers would say- it's a just a dog Melinda, it's not like one of your children died. But for me, Chase was one of my children- he was my first child. And even though right now I am in incredible pain over his death, I wouldn't trade the 11 1/2 years I had with that beautiful, stubborn, playful character. He loved me with no judgement and expected very little in return- just wanted to be with me.
I know someday we will get another dog, but I know it will be quite a while before that happens. Chase was one of a kind and you can't destroy that memory with trying to fill the hole he's left.
As the vet was giving him the meds that would end his life and I looked into those huge brown eyes, all I could do was cry and thank him for being in my life and choosing me.
Thank you Chasey, I will miss you terribly! I have heard that Jesus loves to play ball....