After having to put down our beloved Whitney due to liver failure, it did not take my daughter and I long to realize we needed another dog. A couple of weeks later, we went down to the local animal care and control to look for our new family member. We had agreed to look for a female dog, at least two years of age and not bigger than 35 pounds, as we felt with our living environment, this would be best.
There are always so many wonderful animals at the local public pounds, and it is always hard to walk through and try to pick out one with so many fearful and hopeful faces begging you will pick them. We went through the kennels looking at various dogs, and while there were many that I pray found the right home, we were unable to find one that “spoke” to us.
My daughter and I decided to go through the kennels separately and look over the dogs again. After some time and having a few dogs brought out to interact with us, my daughter came up and handed me a small steel-grey puppy, literally pushed him into my arms and said, “Like this one”. This little puppy snuggled his head into my neck and let out the biggest sigh of relief – and my heart just melted. Instead of a two-year-old female who would be no more than 35 pounds, we ended up adopting a ten-week-old male, (that was found on the streets as a stray) who the pound told us would grow to be around 55 pounds.
Oh, he was a handful, potty training, going through the teething phase, learning to walk on a lead and all the other obligations that come with a new baby puppy. He got his name when we were visiting a friend a couple of days after adopting him. Our friend had a female rottie (Katie), and while we were visiting, treats were given to each of the dogs. My puppy gobbled his up and then ever so slowly, creeping inch-by-inch approached Katie, keeping a close eye on her. Katie just watched him and showed no aggression whatsoever. Finally, when he was close enough, he darted in, grabbed the treat that was between Katie’s paws, and ran off like the dickens with it. At that point I knew his name – Chance.
While Chance was always a handful, he was a great dog. Always wanting to please, accepting of training, and one of the best family members anyone could hope for. He became “my” dog in more ways than one and became “that one special dog” everyone has at one point in their life.
In the fall of 2010, I noticed Chance seemed to be losing weight for no reason. We went to visit our vet, who seemed to know from the moment he walked in the room what we were dealing with. Chance had an auto-immune disease that was attacking the proteins in his body. The vet advised there were medications we could try; however, the prognosis was guarded at best.
One evening, about five weeks into treatment, (and I still don’t know why this night) I put Chance’s head into my hands and pulled his face to mine. I told him I would miss him terribly, but I would be okay. When he was ready to let go, I would help him and be with him as he crossed.
The next morning, when we went out for a potty and walk, Chance walked to the gravel area and went potty and then pulled towards the house. Even with as bad as he had to have been feeling those last weeks, he always looked forward to his walks. I tried to coax him to go walking, but he just kept pulling back to the house. That prompted a call to the vet who said to bring him in right away.
As the vet explained to me, the disease had moved into Chance’s lungs and they were not deflating correctly. He was starting to slowly suffocate, it would only get worse and there was nothing that could be done to help. At only five-and-a-half-years-old, it was time for Chance to leave us. Chance had let me know that morning that he had fought all he could, and it was time.
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He was so loyal even to the end, and it still seems as if he was waiting for me to tell him I would be okay with him crossing before he took that journey. The passage of almost nine years has not softened the loss I feel, and the tears still flow as I write this. Although I have had several other personal dogs that I have loved dearly, and have fostered for a wonderful rescue and helped countless other dogs find loving homes, the loss I feel for Chance has never gone away. As I said, Chance was “that dog” for me.
He will always be in my heart, and I know when it is my time, brat that he is, he will push his way to the front of the pack to meet me at the Rainbow Bridge.
Story submitted by Kris Arnold from Mesa, Arizona.
Chance’s story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!
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