Thursday, February 3, 2011

All (Spotted) Dogs Go To Heaven

Nearly seven years ago, after several days of searching, I found Chloe online at a shelter. I hopped in the car with my parents and we made the hour drive to bring her home. We walked in and asked where the Dalmatian we had seen on the site was and they pointed us right to her. The minute I saw her, I knew she was the one. Mom and dad asked if I wanted to look around, but I said no. I knew she’d be coming home with me. We told the inmate (side note: if I were in prison, I’d definitely want the job of working at the animal shelter!) and he went to get her. She was scared and shaking as she scooted to the back of the cage. In her nervous state, she also managed to pee all over him when he picked her up. She had been attacked the night before by a Chow and her neck was swollen with visible dog bites. She needed to be treated for heartworms. And it was clear she had been abused by her previous owner. None of that mattered to us. Mom and I stayed in to fill out papers while dad took her outside and when he did, she pulled him straight to his truck. Out of all the cars in that parking lot (and it was PACKED), she went straight to his. It was meant to be.

Over the last seven years, she has been nothing but a joy. And a month ago, we had to put her to sleep after months of suffering bone spurs in her back. I had been avoiding the situation for as long as I could, but when I woke up that morning and she couldn't walk at all, I knew I had to make the decision; the hardest decision I've ever had to make.

I’m going to miss that lethal tail of hers. You could just look at her and that tail would start wagging, but man did it hurt if it hit you. I’m going to miss the way she used to hop around the yard like a deer. She didn't run, she hopped and it was the funniest thing ever. I’m going to miss the way she slept; all four legs sticking straight out with one ear pointed up. I’m going to miss tucking her in at night because she wouldn’t go to sleep until she was covered up. I’m going to miss taking her for rides in the car and the way she’d ride shotgun, facing me, with her head leaned back on the seat. I’m going to miss seeing her running to the door to greet me when I get home. And those dainty little feet that she would prance around on, gah I’m going to miss those.

The thing I’m going to miss the most is my shadow. She was my shadow. She followed me everywhere. I used to walk around the circle that makes up our living room, dining room, and kitchen just to see how long it’d take before she gave up. I was always the one to give up. Even on her last day when she could barely walk and I’d have to pick her up off the floor, she’d still try to follow me as I begged her just to stay there long enough for me to go to the bathroom. She wouldn’t. So I’d pick her up and let her follow me. Because I knew that I soon wouldn’t be hearing those prancing feet following me down the hall.

My Chloe, my Bear, my Spotted Dog, I’ll miss you terribly and love you always.



  1. JHiggs-
    This was beautiful and touching and sad. My love for my dogs is more than most human beings on this earth. What a beautiful doggy she was... and what a blessed life she lived with you <3

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