A tribute to Chloe…

I don’t like to blog about my personal life on my business site, but found writing about losing our family pet  so unexpectedly very therapeutic.  Our pets are a part of our family and touch many of our lives.  I hope it helps me with the healing process and will touch your life as well.

About 5 years ago, we had to put down our 17 year old golden retriever (Sande), who was our first “baby” as a newly married couple.  Some would say she was our trial run on parenthood.  As young and new parents, I can’t say we did bad by her since she lived to the golden age of 17, which in dog years is far longer than one could have ever hoped or dreamed.   We must have done something right!  Sande went on her next journey on the rainbow bridge and a few months later (September 5, 2008), Chloe came into our lives….

She, too, was a golden retriever.   She was white as a cotton ball when we brought her home.  As she got older her coat turned to a beautiful golden with a few remaining white spots around her collar.  At 8 weeks, she was one big fluff ball weighing only 5 lbs 7 ozs!

Our oldest son, 14 at the time, was afraid to hold her she was so fragile.  He kept saying, “Mom, I’m going to break her.  She’s so small!”  On the drive home, I remember holding Chloe in my lap as she stayed by my side, shaking.  It dawned on me that she must be petrified!  These huge strangers have taken her from her mom, her 9 siblings (yes, you read that right… there were 9 pups in the litter), and her comfortable surroundings.  As happy as I was for her to join our warm and loving family, I felt so guilty for removing her from hers.

Chloe was the love of our lives.  She brought happiness and laughter to the four of us.  Anytime the doorbell rang, she was the first to greet whomever was on the other side, whether they were friend or stranger.  If you left the house to get the mail, she would greet you like you were gone for a week with her tail wagging and a glow in her eyes that shined with happiness!  When the boys got home from school, she would prance around giving them the best greeting.   I can still hear the laughs and giggles after a difficult school day and being greeted by her, fighting over who would be loved by her first!  When she saw you putting your shoes on, she would sit near you with a wishful gleam in her eyes … you could just tell she was hoping it was time to go for her most favorite part of the day, a walk.

When I would exercise on the treadmill, she would follow me upstairs, get in her bed, and watch and wait until I was done.  No matter where you were in the house, she would not be too far away, making sure she could see you wherever you were.

It was April 24th, 2013 that Chloe left us.  Kyle, 16 at the time, found her laying on the back patio when he got home from school.  I was at lunch with a friend, laughing and sharing our dog stories, and how we can’t imagine our lives without our Goldens when I got the franctic phone call from Kyle.  The screech in his shouting voice will be one that I will never forget.  “What?!  How could she be dead?!”  I said, “I’m coming right home!”

When I arrived, Chloe looked peaceful …. Her eyes were partially open as if they were keeping an eye on the gate waiting for us to come home.  I don’t know why she was taken from us so soon … and why she got gipped out on life like she did.  She really did LOVE life and was the love of ours!   Once we stop hurting so much, I know we will look back and smile on a wonderful, albeit way too short, 4.5 years we had with our dear Chloe.  Having to make a decision to put one pet down, and another leaving us so unexpectedly, neither are easy.  I don’t wish this sadness on anyone.

Chloe, as you crossed over the rainbow bridge, I hope you met up with Sande and are both trotting and prancing around as dogs should.  Your spirit and love of life will stay with us forever.  Till we meet again…  Goodbye our golden child…

Chloe Collage

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