Thursday, March 4, 2010

In Memory of Chenille

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. 
We miss you, sweet girl. 

18 comments:

Mango said...

It is always a difficult decision, but we rely on our humans to help us out when life loses its joy.

Slobbers,
mango

Frankie Furter said...

The greatest love is the one willing to let go.

Kea said...

I'm so sorry, am tearing up reading this, but of course it was the right decision. I lost my first cat adoptee unexpectedly three years ago from a blood clot, no prior warning, so there was no decision for me to make, he couldn't be saved. So I dread, just dread, the time when I have to do this for Annie, Nicki and Derry or any other fur companions in my life. (Unless I go first, of course.)

I'm so glad Chenille had all that love in her life, at the end. And I'm sure she was a joy to all who knew her.

mayziegal said...

Oh, I am most sorry to read this. But I can tell from her pictures that Chenille lived her last days happy and loved. That is all any of us can hope for. She is very lucky that such wonderful peoples opened their hearts and their homes to her.

Sending you a million kisses,
Mayzie (and her mom)

Amy and The House of Cats said...

I am so sorry that you had to let Chenille go, but at least she left knowing that she was loved.

Kari in WeHo said...

what a sweet tribute. It sounds to me like the right decision was made

Nuthatch... said...

There is nothing harder but we make a world of difference to those whose lives we touch, even if it is only for a few days or hours. When they cross the bridge it is with the touch of someone who took the time to love them and who will grieve their passing. That is a tremendous gift, never stop giving it.

Bobby said...

To end her life with such love, and those few months you gave her were so good the past would have been forgoten. You did the right thing well done.

fosterdoggies said...

What a sweet little one. What a sweet little life she had as I'm sure the amount of care and genuine love she received completely blew her past out of the water - out of her memory. And what a blessing she was for all who knew her along the way.

Two Country Poodles said...

I just came across your blog today. I really relate to alot of the posts you have made. I actually don't live that far away from you and do alot of rescue/transport work up your way.

Its really hard to loose a dog. I was so happy to read her story...and how she had a few wonderful months with you.

-Katie

Stella, Gunther and Betty said...

Hi Laurie,

Thanks for stoppin' by. Our family knows the happiness and sadness of fostering. We had a foster Pug here for 6 months and when he went to his furrever family we all missed him a LOT! Yesterday, our home just approved by the county's animal services to be a foster home for the little ones and elderly instead of havin' wait it out at the shelter.

Hugs,
Stella, Gunther and Betty

Anonymous said...

Godspeed sweet Chenille. Say hello to Gillagan, Peewee, Maggie, Skippy, Weezer and Berry Pie. Please give a kiss to Dexter. He was the best friend I ever had. Your friend, Kenny

laura said...

I'm so glad the last phase of Chenille's life was happy and comfortable. Wasn't she a sweetie!

Schwang said...

What a great story. It's good to hear she was able to live out the rest of her time so well-loved.

kissa-bull said...

our mommish's eyes are leaking for you. you are one brave angel to be able to foster all these babies even through these difficult times
we send you extra sugary and slobbery kisses from the whole pittie pack

JulieB said...

Oh Laurie, I'm so sorry. It is devastating to go through a situation like this. I dealt with the loss of one of my foster pets last fall and it was very unexpected and absolutely horrible. I never had to go through that before and I really dread the day I have to do it again - whether it be a foster or god forbid, one of my own. Nothing can prepare you for the experience and the heartache you feel is overwhelming. All I can say is that at least she had people caring for her and giving her love for the last few months of her life. That's more than what some animals receive, which is truly sad. I think I'm going to go hug and snuggle my fur-kids right now. Thank you for giving Chenille the opportunity to experience human compassion!

meowmeowmans said...

Oh, we're very sorry, Laurie. Thank you for loving Chenille so much and so well. We are glad she was able to experience real love in the last part of her life.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

A sad story, but we're sure she was very happy being loved and cared for those last few months.