Friday, November 25, 2011

Our Dear Chloe

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In August 1996, on a small family farm in New Holland, Pennsylvania, she was the eight-week-old pup who ran the fastest while carrying a stick twice her size. The only sibling left in her Boston Terrier litter, chubby Jake, sat lazily against a shade tree, watching his crazy sister, Josie, run around the tree kicking up dust as much as a four-pound pup could. Josie carved a speedway around lazy Jake on that warm summer morning while we watched and exchanged glances. Oh, my.

We wondered how we would catch her as she darted and weaved, playing “catch me if you can!” with the agility of a much older dog. She was a tiny Josie, soon to be named Chloe. Odd, that we chose an angelic name when her original name, Josie, suited her just fine.

Fast forward to the life and times of Chloe, the challenger, the one who jumped in with four feet, and the busy body who always pushed the card too far. Everyone who knew her will remember the gal who possessed the utmost pizzazz, athleticism, and intelligence.

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The strong-willed pup was not allowed into the living room where the Christmas tree glowed and presents were wrapped. Was she annoyed? You bet.

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Always, her body was rock hard, mind sharp, and her entertainment value? Priceless.

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I miss the laughter.

I miss the frustration.

I miss how she outsmarted me, every day.

I miss her conniving games that she played too well.

I remember very well the gloomy, wet Sunday fourteen years ago when I cried and yelled at her and wrote the phone number of the Boston Terrier Rescue in Maryland on a slip of paper and smacked it hard under a magnet on the refrigerator door. This is what you do when your black and white energized dog turns chocolate brown in a self-made mud puddle during a rainstorm on a cold Autumn day. For the third time on the same day. Yeah.

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A highly skilled Eastern Box Turtle carrier and mole finder and Starling-in-flight catcher and young bunny eater, she was. Her nosey instinct and preoccupation with bees, spongy toads, and spiders all gave her trouble, often.

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Under a one hundred foot Weeping Willow at the back of the yard in her first forever home in Maryland, she sat motionless, just waiting for a squirrel to come down and play. Every day. Sadly, she never caught her "quirrel" and what is more sad for me was that she hadn't been able to spot a quirrel for the latest three or four years of her life.

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Chloe was a klepto bitch and snatched and ran with anything that hit the floor, tore potholders from oven doors, destroyed a multitude of toys, chewed on Christmas tree ornaments made of glass, and how could I forget the steak knives she picked from the dishwasher? Two of her own ID tags passed through her and were safely scooped. You might say she is lucky to have lived so many years.

She made Gina's friends squeal in delight or sometimes in fear.

And I smiled.

I miss the gal who became my special girlfriend in due time.

I miss my gal who had patience and caring for her young sister, Bella, and taught her everything there is to know about being the best Boston Terrier she can be. They became sisters in Chloe's second forever home in Delaware.

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Chloe recently dealt with oral cancer. She was nearly blind and completely deaf when I held her close to my heart for the last time on the evening of November 22, 2011. She was almost fifteen and a half years old. On that Tuesday, she lost the sparkle in her blind eyes and the wiggle in her tail. And that was the day, when without much warning, she communicated to me in her own way, "Enough already, woman!"


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When I thought she would make the end way too difficult as she did with everything else, she made it easy for us to say farewell. Her peaceful death was her blessing and her final gift. So lovely.

Writing this post has been one of the most difficult ones I’ve ever written but I’ll admit to laughing out loud at the memories.

Now, I weep.

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Your Daddy, Gina, and your special Licker Sister all miss you and love you.

Thank you, Chloe. I’ll Always Love You, girlfriend.

54 comments:

Toni said...

What a beautiful tribute Mary. Still sending you hugs and love.

Dawn Fine said...

Wonderful tribute~:( Hugs to you Mary~I know this must have been heart wrenching to write.Chloe was a lucky pup to have you as an owner...

I still dont have the heart to write about my Ballie cat who passed in June.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful.
Love you May.

Cicero Sings said...

... and I wept just reading this and ache for you and the for the hole that she has left in your life. A lovely tribute to fine old gal who knew how to take life by storm! I read about her passing over on Chet Baker's Facebook.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Sniffle. Blessings to all of you. You're so lucky to have had your wonderful Chloe. I'm going to give Ruby a great big hug right now.

nikkipolani said...

She was well loved and she loved in return. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Hugs....she will always hold an extra special spot in your heart.
Sherry

Bill and dogs said...

A lovely post about a special friend and a sad reminder to me of all the dogs who have graced my life and then left. It never gets easier but I can't imagine life without their presence.

Rose said...

Dear Mary, My heart goes out to you; it is so hard to lose such a special friend. But what a lovely tribute to dear Chloe! May she finally find that elusive squirrel over the Rainbow Bridge, and may your memories of the good times with her help to heal your heart.

Kerri said...

What wonderful memories to cherish ..... sending HUGS your way.

Dana Voso said...

That was beautiful Mrs. Mary! She was so lucky to have you as her momma :) Dogs are the absolute best.

Julie Zickefoose said...

You did it, Mary, you pulled it off. It is so difficult, the whole thing--living it and saying goodbye and then having to write about it. What a beautiful dog she was in every stage of her life. I had only seen her greyed and older--to see her in ebony and snow-white, racing around with puppy Bella, even comically disfigured by bees--is such an honor and a delight. You brought her to life for all of us, and she couldn't have had a better angel playing with her and then eventually caring for her every need. If I miss her, I can only imagine how you feel. Kiss that Bella for us. xoxoxoxj.

Cindie Ulreich said...

This is a beautiful tribute to your friend, Mary. Thanks for sharing her with us. Thinking of you.

Beth said...

What a beautiful tribute, Mary. Thank you for sharing her stories with us. So sorry for your loss, but grateful for the joy Chloe brought to you. Hugs and prayers for you tonight.

Amy said...

Sending hugs, Mary. It sounds like you have gobs of memories and more Chloe tales to share.

Lin at Sandpiper's Place said...

Hi Mary, What a beautiful tribute to Chloe. You gave each other such wonderful happiness. What a blessing. Sending hugs your way. xx

MarilynT said...

I'm owned by a Boston Terrier -- often naughty, like Chloe. My heart goes out to you. I'm sorry for your loss, but glad that Chloe was so well-loved by someone who would write such a poignant tribute.

Bill Webb said...

...and so do we.

Susan said...

Mary, I'm so sorry for the loss of your special girl.

Susan Gets Native said...

I love you, Mary. That's all I have been able to say since I heard about Chloe. And that's all I can say now.

Elise Miller said...

So beautifully written. Chloe was lucky to have you!

robin andrea said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your much-loved Chloe. And now I weep too.

Catbird said...

She was precious in youth, and even more so in her dotage. A tribute as beautiful as the woman who wrote it.

RuthieJ said...

Aw Mary, such a touching tribute to Bella. I know too well the heartbreak of losing a furry friend. Thank you for sharing the story of Bella and her life with you. Love and hugs to you dear friend.

Denise Smith said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts... I understand completely. Our "babies" are like family also. They are definitely not pets -- maybe we are their pets. They steal their way into our hearts and too soon they are gone. I grieve for your loss, but am glad that you can take comfort in remembering all the joy that your dear Chloe brought to your life. May God bring you comfort...

Mary said...

You are all the kind of people we need to love and care for our animal "children" the way we do. Denise said something that triggered some emotions I've had lately. Others have referred to Chloe as "your little dog", or "your dog", or "your pet dog". That isn't who Chloe was. She was a family member, a personality, our child, sister, daughter. Might sound off the wall strange, but that's how we roll. Hugs to all of you.

Kathie said...

Rest in peace, dearest Chloe. And hugs and comfort to you, dearest Mary.

jane augenstein said...

Beautiful story of your dear Chloe, what a dog she was! So sorry for your loss, Mary! Chloe was truly one of a kind!
hugs to you......
jane

KGMom said...

Oh Mary, Mary--aching for you and for Bella. This is the hardest part--saying goodbye and letting go.
We take these sweet doggies into our lives, and ask them to bring us light and laughter. And they do. In return, we promise to care for them, love them, and be there when it is time to let go.
Sending hugs yours and Bella's way.

Kimb said...

I "met" Chloe on Chet Baker's FB page. Now I'm sitting here crying for her, and for her family. And also, again, for our Fiona - a Boston Terrier - who was also almost 15 and a half when we lost her almost two years ago. By then she was also mostly blind, and mostly deaf, but when she was young she was a pistol, and spent hours under the maple tree out front waiting to catch a quirrel (she never did). Now we have a Boston/Pug cross named Bugs who is a real handful. When his Daddeh gets mad at him, I say "remember how mad you used to get at Fiona when she...?" Nope, he doesn't remember. All he remembers is how much he loved her. But I can tell, even when he's mad at him, he loves our new little boy more every day. There will be more heartache, but also so much joy. Thank you for this glimpse into Chloe's life.

Heather said...

What a beautiful tribute, Mary. I'm bracing myself for the inevitable, too, as our 15-year-old puppeh exhibits signs of systems wearing out. Hugs to you and Bella. -Heather (of the Hills)

Angie said...

Tears and laughter, the three of you are priceless...beautiful words for a beautiful heartbeat at your feet. (I feel the empty echo there at your feet) Chloe is a special angel now, watching over all of you and especially sweet Bella. Sending hugs to wrap all of you in.

Selma said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Chloe. It is so hard to say goodbye. She was beautiful.

JeanMac said...

What a touching post - sending love.

Mary said...

Again, thanks for your virtual hugs. Special thanks to new visitors - Bills and Dogs, Dana, Amy, Marilyn T, Bill Webb, Elise, Robin, Denise, Kimb, and Selma.

We are all Ok - missing her, still. ;)

Caroline said...

I am so sorry, farewell, Faithful Friend.

Kathiesbirds said...

Mary, reading this brought tears to my eyes. I can feel your love shining through with each word. I am so sorry for your loss but thankful that you can write about her and share your love and memories with the rest of us. I hope these same memories heal your heart soon. Hugs.

PJ said...

Oh, I write this with tears welled up...rest peaceful Chloe, you had the most loving family. Chloe was so lucky to have your love. It's so hard, I remember when my Sally Pug had to go..She's at Rainbow Bridge I'm sure. They are so in our heart our fur babies...they will be waiting for us I believe. I'm so sorry for your loss. Peace I will certainly miss Chloe's antics you would capture so well!Just maybe Sally has a new friend to play with...

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute to Chloe. It is so hard when we lose a beloved pet.

merrilymarylee said...

Oh, Mary. I wish I could write something comforting but I can't even see what I'm typing. This was lovely.

I do know this pain. It was over a year before I could say the late Howard Lee's name without bursting into tears. Oh, I loved that dog!

People say this too shall pass, but sometimes, Mary, it just DOESN'T! I ache for you all. Hugs to Bella. I hope she is handling this well.

I loved the stories and the pictures. That picture of her at the living room gate...! She did have a 'tude, didn't she!

Pete said...

oh mary just seen this so sorry

Mary said...

Ya'll are wonderful.

The Sweetest Days said...

You make me cry : (

Chloe was such a pistol. My word she sounds so much like the Dalmatian we had, who I threatened to take to the local SPCA more than once! I'm glad you and Chloe came to an understanding as the years ticked by. Lord knows they do eventually mellow out though it can seem like an eternity when you have one as headstrong as her. Ha haa!

Mary, you were a wonderful mother. Chloe could not have asked for a better home or more love. She was able to live gracefully to the end because of your commitment and tenderness. I do hope you find a way to honor her memory as I think that would bring about some healing. I also hope there are many things she did that still make you laugh. Hold her in your heart as long as you can.

Hugs my dear friend,
Sharon

ra husky said...

soft husky woooos,

RA

Cindy said...
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Cindy said...

Very touching story about you're Chloe. I almost cried but had to stop myself. Once started I wouldn't have been able to stop. On November 26, 2011 my Mom passed away. She fought cancer diagnosed earlier in the year but wasn't able to beat it. It doesn't matter who or what touches our lives, family, friends or animals it hurts deeply when one passes. I have two friends of my own Charlie and Annie and they are a real comfort in this hard time. I'm truly sorry for your loss.

Mary said...

Cindy, I'm sorry you lost your Mom. It's especially difficult around this time of year. My Mom's birthday is November 26 as well as my Sister-in-law's. My Mom passed away in 06 and my Sister-in-law passed away in 08. I still miss them!

Barb said...

Mary, Such heartache to lose a special pet friend. Chloe was BAD, and I think that was GOOD! Pets have a lot to teach us. A fine tribute.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Mary, I am so sorry about your Chloe. I know you loved her so much and that his was difficult for you. I hope that you are doing well otherwise and have had a good Christmas.

Balisha said...

What a special pup she was. I have enjoyed your posts about her. Know that I am thinking about you and Bella. Wonderful tribute from one who loved her.
Balisha

NatureWoman said...

Wah, Mary. I'm sorry I missed this post until now. I'm so sorry about Chloe.

dguzman said...

I'm extremely late to read this, but I'm so sad for you and for Bella. I know how much you both miss the other Licker Sister.

Hugs to you.

Peg said...

Tugs at my heart and brings to mind memories of my own well-loved dogs in the past.
So sorry for your loss, Mary. Take comfort in the good life she had with you.

Thankfully you have wonderful memories and photos. I've been purposefully avoiding reading this post because I just knew it would bring tears. But I enjoy reading about your love of your dogs.

And truthfully was just going to read about the Heron. Sorry to learn that the decoy didn't work. I know only too well how easily one becomes attached to "pet" fish.

Cathy said...

Mary, I haven't read the other comments . . but i know they affirm that there has never been a dog in God's sweet world that was more loved or generously shared with friends . . eliciting smiles and knowing chuckles that seemed would go on forever given Chloe's pluck and determination.

Your courage in writing this narrative matches all the pluck and courage of dear little Chloe. It seems right that today, a year afterwards, that another heart is touched by her story . . . and other tears renew the memory of a special little dog.

I Love you and your good heart,
Cathy