This is the day I have been dreading for a while. I remember when I first laid eyes on Chance, I knew he was a special puppy. Out of the entire litter, he was the only fluff ball, when all his litter mates were sleek black lab mixes. She had crinkly ears and was just so fuzzy. I fell in love with that puppy the minute I saw him.
It may sound rather morbid, but that feeling when I first picked him up and snuggled with him was mixed with a bit of sadness. As I embraced that puppy with all of my heart, part of me dreaded that day that I would have to say goodbye. I know. Why was I thinking about my puppy’s death when we had yet to begin our journey together? I suppose that the love I felt for him was so incredible that I just never wanted to have to say goodbye. I don’t even know why I got a puppy, because loving something so much and having to say goodbye would be too hard for my heart to take.
This was almost fourteen years ago. Chance came into my life before I had a child of my own. While friends were getting married and having babies, I had a puppy. I always joke that Chance was my first baby. My Twitter handle is @chancesmommy because I opened up my Twitter account when I was just a doggy mama and hadn’t had Little One yet.
Over the years, Chance has seen me through many highs and lows. He’s seen me through breakups, the deaths of loved ones, road trips, adventures, and he was even in my SUV with me one Winter when we got run off the highway by someone in a truck (who didn’t even stop to see if we were okay or even alive).
These last few months, I’d wake up every day thinking, “Please don’t be the day. I’m not ready to say goodbye to Chance yet. Please give us more time together.”
I realize that Chance is an old boy. He would have been fourteen in October of this year. In the past few months he has had respiratory issues and has become completely deaf. I was being selfish to wish for more time, but I just couldn’t let go.
Tonight, while I was at an event, Hubby kept texting me. I couldn’t text him back because we were in the middle of listening to a speaker. After several texts, I figured it must have been urgent. My heart felt like it would stop.
“Chance passed away.”
One of my friends thought I was crying because the speaker’s story was one of sadness turned into inspiration. She thought I was just moved by the story when I was also crying because my companion for nearly fourteen years had died.
What left me feeling even more heart-broken was that Little One was the one who found him dead. She went out to give him a treat and got Hubby because Chance wasn’t moving. She cried herself to sleep tonight.
I know some people may feel that to be that connected to an animal is silly and that “he’s just a dog”. I know that there’s a difference between being humane to animals and humanizing animals. Tonight I am heart-broken. Though I have shared many incredible years with Chance and he has brought great joy to my life, he was (and will always remain) special to me.
Chance offered me comfort in some of my saddest and darkest days. He made me laugh because he was such a goofy dog. He was Little One’s protector, and would always keep an eye out for us when we were walking in our fields or the woods. I love how he used to stop and wait for us if we were lagging behind. I love how protective he was over Little One. He was such a gentle dog.
We’ll miss you, Chance. Forever in our hearts.