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.
Xenia Paterson says
My heart is aching for you guys. I am so sorry. My girls were in kindergarten when ours passed away. Like Chance our “Joey” was here before the babies and she never left their side once they arrived. It was heartbreaking when she passed away. They really are part of the family. Sending you hugs Christine xo
Thanks so much, Xenia. Thinking of you guys too. It really is heartbreaking with a pet dies. Little One isn’t doing so great. She’s been sobbing. It’s only been 5 days since Chance passed away. I still picture his sweet, gentle face and I still keep expecting him to come running around the corner to greet us.
Florence C says
Sorry about the loss of your dog Chance.
Thanks, Florence. Still in shock and disbelief. My poor 7 year old daughter keeps crying and saying, “I just want Chance back”. It’s heartbreaking.
Anne Taylor says
I am so sorry for your loss of beloved Chance! Pets are parts of our families.
Thank you, Anne. I really do appreciate your comments. They always make me smile. xo
I am so sorry to read this. I know how special Chance was to you. A loyal companion and friend. Cry if you need to. Tears help wash away the pain.
Thank you, Eva! Thanks also for reminding me that it’s okay to cry and that tears help wash the pain.
Oh my gosh this post brought me to sobbing tears. I am so very sorry for your loss. I have yet to lose a dog as an adult, but we have 3 and this is something I dread terribly. We lost our cat of 7 years a few years back and I thought I would need to be hospitalized because I took it THAT hard.
Hugs and strength sent your way at this tough time!
Thank you, Jeanine. Your words bring comfort. It’s been 5 days since Chance’s death and I had a few moments of tears. Chance became deaf over the past year and he has been having respiratory issues. If there is a silver lining, I guess it is that he is no longer suffering. I thought he would have more time with us though. 🙁
Victoria Ess says
I’m so sorry for your loss. The pain you feel is definitely not silly at all — Chance was so much a part of you and your family’s lives, and the loss is so real.
Thank you, Victoria. When I took Chance home as a puppy, I knew the day would come that we would have to say goodbye. I didn’t think that day would come so soon. Well, it’s been almost 14 years, so I guess that is a long time for a dog. I don’t think one can ever be “ready” to say goodbye though…even if you mentally prepare yourself. 🙁
margo b says
I am so sorry for your loss & I feel your pain, Chance will be comforted by Aries and Sasha my 2 fur babies that have passed. I will be thinking of you all day today & I know am also thinking of my late fur babies. It will be ok sweetie stay strong.
Thanks, Margo. You’ve been such a sweet friend.
Debbie Bashford says
I am very sorry for the loss of your furbaby (((hugs)))
Thank you, Debbie! My heart still hurts. Didn’t realize it would be this hard to say goodbye to Chance.
C, we are so sad to hear this news. We will never forget how friendly and loving Chance was during our visits. He was such a loyal dog. TC loved playing with him and Spike. We are thinking of you all during this difficult time.
Thanks, Canine. I am so devastated. He’s been with me since he was a tiny puppy! RA is really upset and keeps asking for him. She knows he is dead, but keeps saying she just wants him back.
Wendy [mapsgirl] says
I’m so sorry for your loss. Chance is with Dakota now. <3
Hugs, Wendy. It’s so hard to lose a pet. Dakota and Chance have special spots in our hearts. We were blessed to have our time with them and they brought joy into our lives. My heart hurts knowing Chance will never be waiting for me to get home or waiting to go for a walk. He was such a special dog. I miss him so much and it’s only been 4 days. 🙁