Goodnight, Sweet Prince, see you soon…

My sweet boy, Chevy, the Goldendoodle, got very sick and was put down yesterday. This dog was the sweetest dog I’ve ever had the pleasure of being friends with, and I’ve had a lot of dogs.

He most likely will be my last large dog. We are getting older, and as you know, large dogs need a lot more attention and exercise. It’s not fair to them not to be there for them during the day. You’d think our lives would be winding down in our old age, but instead, we find ourselves busier than ever.

This past week has been a really tough one. I’ve been quite ill with a very bad bronchial infection and missed an entire week of work. I’m still not 100% yet, but I can’t miss any more work so hope to get back in the saddle on Monday. Have you ever been sick and mourned at the same time? It is absolutely the worst.

I don’t know how people do it without the hope of Jesus. I’m so grateful I have my faith.

I haven’t written on this blog in awhile for several reasons. For one, I don’t believe in putting drivel out there. I don’t want to waste my readers’ time. For another, I honestly don’t know which topic to write about and I get overwhelmed. I’m passionate about so many things, but which ones do my readers want to know about?

Another reason is technical issues with this site. Those are being rectified, and I hope to have a shiny new site in the coming months that will be a lot more user-friendly for my readers.

In the meantime, I needed to let you know that Chevy went home to wherever dogs go. I hope they do go to heaven. I hope that I’ll be reunited with my pets in the afterlife. Chevy got me through so many hurtful things these past eleven years. When I could find no comfort, when friends left me, Chevy calmed me. All I had to do was lean into him, bury my face in his soft fur, and I felt better.

I never felt scared or afraid with Chevy in the house. For a gentle dog, he had an enormously scary bark. He was my security alarm. When my family was away and I was alone, I never, ever had to worry about uninvited intruders. As soon as anyone so much as put a toe on the driveway, Chevy would sound the alarm.

He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He never showed an inch of aggression. But strangers didn’t need to know that. His bark was enough.

He hated swimming. He was scared of his own shadow when we got him. We drove all the way to Kentucky to fetch him. All because I’d seen my first Goldendoodle on a motorcycle trip to Mackinac Island with my husband. As soon as we got home I looked for rescues online. That’s how I found Chevy.

Chevy a few months after we got him and my granddaughter, Trinity

He hadn’t been well socialized and was kept in a cage most of his puppyhood. He was 11 months old when we got him and terrified of everything. He shook just going for a walk. He shook when someone new walked into the house. He was terrified of balloons. And the groomer. And water. And men he didn’t know. And he was afraid of women, too, but would warm up to them faster after a while.

Chevy wasn’t very brave, but he was my best furry friend. I do have a menagerie. I still have my pug and my Boston Terrier. And they are my friends, but Chevy was a heart dog. Chevy was my sweet, loyal buddy. He was a quiet presence. He demanded so little and gave so much to me.

He loved trash. Nothing delighted him more than getting past the kitchen gate to rummage in the trash bin. We’d come home to garbage scattered wall to wall. But he was so sweet, I could never get mad at him. It was our fault for leaving garbage at his disposal. Naturally, he thought we’d done him a favor.

He always had to carry something in his mouth. A ball. A sock. Trash. A shoe. Whenever we were missing a shoe we’d look in the backyard. Most of the time we’d find it there. He never chewed them up. He just carried them.

When we brought the kittens home four years ago, he kept track of them. One time I accidentally put a load of clothes on top of them in a laundry basket and Chevy emptied the basket to get to them. I was aggravated with him until I figured out what he was doing. He always had a good reason for doing things. He never did it for some dumb dog reason or for plain naughty reasons.

Except for trash.

When the twins brought home their pet rats about a year ago, Chevy was keenly attentive to them, and protective. He was like a nanny dog. Oh my goodness, this dog’s heart! I’d never had such a sweet dog. Jake, the Boston Terrier is a narcissist. And Frankie, my pug, he’s just into naps and laps. Chevy was the caretaker of our brood. I miss his big rug-like presence on my couch.

Chevy put up with Jake’s bossy orneriness. I felt bad sometimes because before Jake came (Jake has his own story of how he got here), Chevy was the boss. Jake would have none of that, of course. And Chevy sweetly submitted. Chevy was a lover, not a fighter. I never, ever saw him get angry. Ever. How many humans can I say that about?

I guess that’s why I love my animals so much. They never hurt me. They don’t care what I’m wearing, what I look like, or whether or not I meet a deadline. They don’t know if I’m rich or poor, fat or thin. Their only expectations are food, water, shelter, and scratches behind the ears.

Animals always put life in perspective for me. And Chevy was my soft place to fall these past ten years. It’s been rough. And he kept me grounded.

“C’mon, Mom, let’s snuggle.”

“Mom, you don’t want that whole hamburger, do you?”

“Donuts? Did you say donuts, Mom?”

“Chips? What chips? Ohhhhh, you mean the ones on the end table I didn’t think you’d miss?”

“Mom. Mom. Mom. Wake up. Wake up. I gotta pee.”

Chevy never once had an accident in the house except for once, and when he did, he was sick and terribly embarrassed. Toward the end, he was vomiting a lot, and he felt awful for doing so. We never scolded him because it wasn’t in his nature to leave a mess like that.

Unless it was garbage. That boy loved his garbage.

I keep mistaking the lumps of blankets on the couch for his presence. It’s going to take a very long time for this house to readjust itself around the vacuum of his absence. Amazing how one beast can change the atmosphere of a room. A house. A life.

I miss him. But I rejoice that I got to know him. And love him and cuddle him and run with him. He had the most beautiful run. There are so many things I wish I could do over. I wish I could have spent more time playing with him. I hope he forgives me for not doing that more.

And I really do hope he’s somewhere now frolicking pain-free and happy. And carrying as many shoes in his mouth as his heart desires.

I miss you, Sweet Prince. Rest in peace.

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