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.
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.
Always, her body was rock hard, mind sharp, and her entertainment value? Priceless.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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.
Your Daddy, Gina, and your special Licker Sister all miss you and love you.
Thank you, Chloe. I’ll Always Love You, girlfriend.