Today is exactly one year from the date that Chloe passed away. It has been a while since I even felt like writing anything about her. Dr. Glover gave us about 2 months for Chloe on September 13th and it was that quick. It is still hard to believe that she is not here, even though we all know that these things are not forever. She was her normal self all the way to the last day and I couldn’t have ask for a sorrowful situation to go any better really. November 18th started as normal, except Chloe didn’t really eat very much. I always said we would know when it was time when that trash compactor of a dog didn’t want to eat something. One of my favorite stories was when Chloe was about a year and 1/2 old, we had a stick of butter softening up on the counter. The entire stick! We were sitting on the couch and saw a blur off to the right of us. Chloe quickly had placed her front paws on the counter, snatched the stick of butter in her mouth, and flopped back down in a matter of seconds. As I got up to get her, she came out into the living room, and stood on the opposite side of the coffee table looking at us. She had this stick of butter, wrapper and all perfectly centered in her mouth like a bone. She was taunting us to come get it. I darted around the left side and she went right. Then I quickly changed directions and we locked our eyes from opposite sides of the table. In 2 seconds, she chewed and swallowed the entire stick of butter, wrapper and all! And then licked her lips, as to say, “that was good!” We couldn’t believe it. The entire following week after that we joked that she was greasing the sidewalks every time she went number 2. Crazy dog!
As the day went on, I could tell Chloe wasn’t herself. One thing I think all pet owners stress about is waiting too long or not long enough to make a decision and I worried about that too. I always told myself that once she stops eating I knew it would be time. That was my gauge and I started to think the time had come. She still wanted to walk and do other things, but she was really tired too. When she didn’t eat that night, I called and made arrangements with the Vet for the next afternoon, just in case she turned around in the morning. My dog has always made it through so much, multiple operations and was still a champ. So I still had hope. One time, I had this brand new package of Oreo cookies that I had just bought at the store. I left them on the counter, but had them slid all the way back to the backsplash to be sure Chloe couldn’t reach them. Off to work I went. When I got home and opened the door, Chloe was greeting me as always with her whip tail going to town. After I gave her some loving I noticed the Oreo bag on the living room floor. Not a crumb in site. The bag was neatly opened and laying out completely flat on the ground. The divider tray was even still there. But not one crumb or cookie left. I thought for sure she was going to be sick as a dog that night, but not even as much as a stomach ache!
On the morning of the 19th, I made us both an omelet with all the fixings. I had decided that if this was going to be Chloe’s last day that she would be spoiled above and beyond what she normally was. Omelet for breakfast and then, her favorite on all of our road trips, McDonald’s for lunch. When she refused to eat the omelet I knew it was going to be a bad day. We went for a walk, which she always loved. She had become used to getting 4 mile walks, so much to the point, that if you turned around early, she would stop in the middle of the sidewalk until you would keep going. Even in her last days, there wasn’t a walk long enough for her. I always enjoyed my walking time with Chloe and we would wander around and explore new areas all the time. After her walk, we took a nap together until lunch time. Not only were we going to McDonald’s for lunch, she was sitting in the front seat of the car, which she loved. Buckled in, off we went with the windows down and her ears flopping in the wind. We picked up a 2 cheeseburger meal and a vanilla sunday. She went straight for the ice cream right in the car, bringing a smile to my face. When we got home, she had about 3 or 4 fries and only ate a couple of pieces of her burger. I knew it was time. We spent a couple more hours together and then made the dreadful drive to the Vet.
I wouldn’t change anything I did with Chloe in the 14 years that I had her. She made it to 15 which is pretty good for a large dog. We had lots of fun together, playing, walking and taking trips. She was obviously part of our family and accompanied us on many of our new adventures, from Ashville to Key West and many places in between. I am happy that I had my time with her, from the first time I saw her at the Humane Society until her last breath in my arms one year ago. She had more of an impact on me than I probably ever could have on her. Thinking of her today more than ever.
This past week marked 2 weeks since we were told Chloe has cancer and only has a short time left. Work weeks always take away from our time with Chloe, Chanel and Emilio but we have to make a living. It was a week of finding out that many others have been through this same thing with dogs that they loved and so many of them were recent. I never really knew that cancer was so widespread with dogs. I guess it is like everything else in that, until you are affected with this, you don’t realize it is so common. I have been told a lot of stories on what to expect and how others have handled their situation. It has been a huge support to have others give me advise or just a better understanding of their experience and how they went through such an uneasy time. Many have a hard time talking about it even it happened a while ago. I have heard of those that felt like they had waited too long to make a decision on ending their dog’s life and those who decided not to wait until more symptoms or pain occurred and made a decision on a day and stuck with it. This is the hardest thing for me to deal with because I haven’t had to make this type of decision before. I have been giving it a lot of thought this past week. I know i am not going to allow any pain to go on very long at all. But I also know that I am enjoying my time with Chloe and, while there are no visible symptoms, she is most likely getting worse. Just thinking about this has been a stress all week.
From Monday to Friday we really just enjoyed the things that Chloe does every day. Her begging for our dinner. The pushiness of letting us know it is walk time at 6:30 every night. The way she yawns and the noise she makes while doing it. Her pickiness about what is in her food and raising her nose if it isn’t to her liking. How she comes to the door when we get home with her tail wagging. Watching her trying to play with Chanel when she is feeling chippy. When she stops in her tracks on walks because she wants to go the other way. And, best of all, loving the time we have had giving her praise and loving just for being Chloe. While we haven’t been able to be here every second, we have been cherishing every moment we have with her. Thursday marked two weeks since we got the news about Chloe. It also was another week of being with my dog. And that was great.
I wanted to do something with Chloe today that I know she really enjoyed her whole life. when she was younger, we would go over to the soccer field and lock all the gates. Chloe would run her heart out like a pup. So Sunday morning we went over to the park, where all the gates are locked except for one, and Chloe had a blast running all over the place. Shen makes me laugh so much when she runs around. Her ears start flopping all around and she hops around on her back paws. Then Alisha came up with Chanel and they played with each other. Since we have moved to Arizona, grass fields are few and far between. So it was cool to have a huge fenced field to ourselves so the dogs could enjoy themselves. After some time, Chanel’s friend Barton came up and the three of them ran around for a bit. We didn’t want Chloe to do too much, so we only stayed for about an hour.
After the park, she rested most of the day. I knew she had a great time because she has this look like she is smiling a lot. She got some extra food and treats today and seems to still be doing fine. The lymph node under her jaw is a little bigger today. She is still panting at times, but eating like a crazy dog. We are enjoying all the time we can have with her. Back to work tomorrow, so Chloe will have a couple of days of rest. Check out the video of her running around at the park with her sister and friend! Click here.
I thought this was a great article about pets and how they can help us live longer. I know I can’t imagine living my life without a dog. Just thought I would share this with those who haven’t seen it.
It is Saturday. Hooray for the weekend! Chloe spent most of the morning sleeping and the heat kept us inside until later in the day. We did our normal walk and ran into Chanel and Chloe’s friend Barton. He is a Doodle just like Chanel, except blonde. Whenever we run into Barton, He and Chanel run around and chase each other. Well today, Chloe decided she is not 14 and wanted to get into the action. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a camera! Darn it. One of the few times I left the house without my phone. Chloe and Chanel would always wrestle around and both would jump up on their hind legs and paw each other. We always said they were playing Black Bear/Brown Bear for some reason. You know how Bears get up on their hind legs and wrestle. Well on Saturday, Chloe decided she was going to do that to Barton. She would get her front paws in the air and try to jump on Barton, but fall back since her hind legs are weak. But she would get right back up and try to get on him again. You could tell she was having fun and was like, if I were young, you would be through Barton! You will see pictures of Barton on the next post. He is a cutie.
Since we moved out to the desert, we have had to be aware of how hot the sidewalks are. It got hot in Florida, but these sidewalks in the sun all day get pretty hot and bother Chloe’s paws. They don’t bother Chanel though. Maybe it is Chloe’s age. After looking at all kinds of booties and sport socks or shoes for dogs, we came up with a cheap alternative that works perfect. Kids athletic socks from target work perfect. And Chloe is half Greyhound, so it looks like she can break out in a sprint any second!
On Saturday night, we went for a longer walk with a different route. Chloe gets bored if you go the same way all the time, so a change in scenery gives her an extra boost of energy and she loves it. She is one strong dog. Today we think we felt the lymph node in her left front arm pit and it was a little swollen. We can’t find the node in her chest to see how that one is. But she is still eating us out of house and home and wants her daily walks. She seems to be panting a little more and, at times, seems to have a hard time getting comfortable. We are keeping an eye on her though. All in all, she is doing good today!
Work weeks fly by way too quick for people and for dogs! Day 6 and 7 were spent relaxing after work together. We took our normal walk with both Chloe and Chanel at around 7:30 at night. Chloe waits by the door and bumps us with her nose when it is time for her evening walk. Too cute! She is still eating like crazy and we are wondering if this is a result of the antibiotics she has been taking. But it is good to see her still being herself.
Day 8 and 9 were a little hectic in the Dog Dazed household. Our air handler was to be replaced on day 8 and we were without air starting at 9am. At about 5pm, the air company realized they needed to replace some worn out duct work and they didn’t have the part. They had to come out the next morning. That meant no air all night long! That is no good in the desert. At least it was somewhat cool last night. We had all the fans on full blast and made sure the dogs drank plenty of water. It was about 84 in the house all night and made for a restless night with me worrying about Chloe. But she is a strong dog and made it through fine. On day 9, at about 1PM, there was ice cold air pumping in the condo! The dogs stopped panting and took a long nap.
Some cool things that I love to see happened over the last couple days. Chloe must have recovered from last weekend and was trying to run around and play in the house. She is such a cutie when she does that, but has a hard time staying on her feet with her weak back legs. And we ran into Chanel’s doodle friend, Barton, and Chloe was trying to play with those two and getting into the fun. She loved it! Tomorrow starts the weekend and we will share our adventures and day 2 of our Mother of all road trips! Chloe is snoozing right now and I am going to join her. She is snoring away!! :-)
2,151 miles, 7 States and almost 4 days of 9 hour drives is what it totalled out to be from our old house in Florida to the new one in Scottsdale, AZ. One 6×12 trailer, one 26ft moving truck, two dogs, one cat and four humans. All that equals one pretty cool road trip. One thing that was important to us was making sure each day was the same amount of driving and stops for the pets. We break our dog’s meals into four feedings a day, which works out pretty good for us. So we kept that same routine on the road. First cup for breakfast at the hotel before we leave and a potty break. Two and a half hours on the road and then a stop for everyone and the second cup for breakfast for the dogs. Another two and a half to three hours on the road until a stop for lunch for about an hour. We always tried to find a nice quiet and grassy area to eat outside at and did pretty well the entire trip. After lunch we drove another three hours or so to our next hotel. Our hotels were planned out all the way and the Residence Inn by Marriott worked out great. They are pet friendly and typically do not have weight limits. Even those that do are around 70 lbs, but always check before going. The rooms work out perfectly since they are either a studio with a kitchen or a one bedroom with a kitchen. Perfect for pets!!
The first day turned out to be a late start, but we still made it all the way to Gulfport, Mississippi by 9PM. Since we have taken the dogs on so many trips, we know their limits as to how long they can be in the truck. So we keep it right around there and they do great.
Tomorrow, I will share day two and some more pictures and tips that we found very helpful. As for Chloe, she is doing fine today. She still stands at the door to get her 2 walks a day and Alisha tells me she waits at the door for a while when I take Chanel on her 2 to 3 mile walks at night. Chloe and I used to walk or Rollerblade so far when she was younger. She could run for miles. Must be because of the GreyHound in her!