The first twelve years of her life are a mystery. Somehow, this sweet little Pomeranian was picked up as a stray and taken to a shelter in Independence, Missouri. A rural no-kill rescue group pulled her from the shelter when she was out of time, but they quickly discovered she was deaf. The rescue group knew they wouldn’t have much luck placing a senior, handicapped dog, and they didn’t want her to live the rest of her life in a kennel. So they sent out a request asking for help. I received the e-mail and offered to help. So her temporary foster mom got her groomed and cleaned up, and then volunteers worked together to transport her across the state to me.
From the beginning, everyone who met this sweet little dog seemed to fall in love with her. And the feeling was mutual. Chenille was always happiest when she could sit on a lap and be petted. She was usually very quiet, but she had the funniest habit of barking twice when she wanted something. It was never three or more times – just twice. “Bark bark”. Then silence. If I ignored her, a few minutes later I would again hear her signature “bark bark” - her quiet way to remind me that it was time for dinner.
Chenille was a very easy dog to care for. She liked to curl up in a cat crate and sleep, and then come out when it was time for dinner or petting. She liked other dogs, cats, and of course people of all ages. She liked to curl up on your lap and watch TV with you, and she'd put her paw on your arm to remind you to keep petting her if you stopped. Before long, a very nice couple fell in love with her and decided to foster her until she was ready to be adopted. So Chenille went to stay with her new mom and dad, and I got visiting rights.
No one knew it at first, but Chenille had some health problems. Could it be why she ended up as a stray after twelve years? We’ll never know. But it seemed that as soon as one medical issue resolved itself, another took its place. Chenille was on several different medications to treat her symptoms, but she continued to get worse to the point where she could not keep food down. One of the vets was kind enough to take Chenille home with her for a week to be able to observe her symptoms first-hand. She worked with a specialist to identify the problem. Sadly, Chenille was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disease. A disease without a cure. And our only option was to watch her starve to death or to put her to sleep and end her suffering.
So on Tuesday we made the decision to let her go. I said goodbye, then held her while she passed. Her life after being rescued from the shelter wasn’t very long, but I believe she was more loved during those months than ever before in her life. Thank you Jessica, and Dr. Ann, and Janice and Robert, for filling her life with love.