Friday, March 18, 2016

Goodbye Chippy








The love of a dog is a special thing indeed.

It's awfully tough when they must leave us.

I've often written about Chippy, our 18 pound Dane-hua-hua. I'm sorry to say that Chippy has, well, cashed in.

The Flusher blog is steeped in Vegas truth with a little bit of poetic license thrown in, and some clearly made up details that most people spot. The stuff that happens at home is based in some kind of fact both past and present, and liberally extrapolated into ridiculous fantasy.

And that's where Chippy the Dane-hua-hua lived.

Chippy, of course, wasn't a real dog, at least, not as described. She's sort of an amalgamation of all dog's I've had (like the terrier that weighed 18 pounds). She didn't really have a 12 pound head and 6 pound body.

But there was a real dog, a lovely wonderful dog, upon which Chippy was mostly based.

I got her as a pup from the Humane Society, many years ago. She was a border collie lab cross, beautiful, and as a puppy, her breath smelled like sweet waffles. We've been through hell together and back again, and she was the happiest dog I ever knew. She would wag so hard she'd be on tippy-toes and bend in half from one side to the other.

She had a rough run the last few years, suffering from arthritis, stomach ailments, encroaching blindness, deafness, an amputated toe, and horribly, something called degenerative myelopathy, which made her hind legs progressively more and more paralyzed.

Last October, she'd had some problems and I took her in to the vet. The diagnosis was a huge tumor, probably a type of cancer that would kill her in a month.

I opted for the $1400 surgery because she deserved a chance. A little miracle happened - the tumor wasn't what they though, even though it was the size of a large citrus fruit. (The sizes of these things come from the Big Book of Tumor and Hailstone Comparison Objects featuring golf balls and grapefruits.)

The tumor was benign and would have killed her by blocking her intestine had I not opted for surgery. She had a great recovery and the last 5 months were bonus months with my little pal.

Winter was hard on her, and things were compounding. It was difficult going out in the ice and snow, and she was becoming incontinent. For the last 4 months or so we took her out 10 times per day. She was on four different pills including painkillers, 4 times a day.

When we fitted her with a diaper, she wasn't ashamed. She was proud! She strutted, as if to say, "Look! I have... CLOTHES!!!"

Lately, things started to compound, and kidney failure was added to the mix.

A year ago, I had a talk with her after the DM diagnosis.

"Don't leave me," I said. "I am not ready for you to go. Don't go yet."

In return I promised I'd never let her suffer.

Well, she stayed for a year, including the really lucky bonus 5 months after her surgery. But lately, things became clear. She was winding down. She was losing weight, not eating anything but treats. The last two days, on a couple of occasions, we had to hold her back end up so she could drink.

Yesterday, we let her go. St. Patricks Day. I liked it, because I will remember every year.

It is one of the saddest and most difficult things to do in life to put down a friend who has been with you every day for 13 and a half years.

She deserves a spot in this blog that isn't made-up or silly or fantasy. I think after 750 some odd silly posts, I deserve one or two serious ones.

So that's the reason for my stopping in the middle of this blog for a few days. I need to heal a bit, and I don't feel very fucking funny right now.

Perhaps in a day or two I will pick it up again. Maybe it will do me good to keep busy writing.

If you have a dog or a cat or a pet that you love, go and tell them. And ask them not to leave too soon.

Because even after so many years, it's always too soon.

The Real Chippy. Rest in peace, girl.
For what it's worth, there is another dog in this household in Flusherville (for reals). She's a lovely girl too.

And she is, by pure chance, an 18 pound Dane-hua-hua.

Named Chippy II.

54 comments:

  1. Very sad. Nothing is harder than having to let a dog/family member go. I have been there

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  2. God speed, Chippy. You will be missed even by those whom you never met.

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  3. Awwwww, very sorry luv... I couldn't read the post because of the memory oh mine. Whatever, but I know it is difficult. Pets are family. It's Keepbooks here but I'm drunk and can't figure it out.

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  4. So sorry for your loss..i enjoy your blog regularly and can relate to how you feel, our girl is getting up there in years and i dread the day we have to say good bye, sending prayers your way..feel better soon

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  5. Must of been hard to write this particular blog. So sorry - it's been a couple years since our Murphy left us and we still miss her. Take your time but hurry back!

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  6. So sorry, RF. Losing a best friend sucks. But remember, you will meet up again at the Rainbow Bridge. I will have several special fiends waiting for me on the Bridge, including most recently my 19-year-old beagle who we nursed along for 1.5 years until it was best for him to rest in peace. Chippy's all healed and happy and living the good life again, waiting for you and QQ.

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  7. I'm so sorry for your loss. It hurts so much doesn't it. I hope Chippy is frolicking away across the rainbow bridge.

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  8. Awww RF - my sympathy to you. It's amazing that your sad post written with such love can still make me smile as I remember my own pets who are no longer here.

    Jenny G

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  9. I love your blog and look forward to each new post. But I'm also painfully aware of how difficult it is to lose such a special part of your life. Godspeed Chippy, and Mr. Flusher, please take all the time you need. We'll wait.

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  10. So sorry for your loss and happy you were given the time together. May Chippy be in open fields and chasing rabbits.

    Ron

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  11. I am sorry for your loss. You gave her a great life, and she loved you till the day she died. I am happy you have another furbaby to love, you deserve no less. And Chippy will be happy that you have another dog to love and make you feel less sad. Thank you for adopting, I get all my animals from shelters or abandonment issues.

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  12. This was a tough, yet heartwarming read. Chippy was a beauty. You won't ever stop missing her. She was there for you and she for you. You is in the plural, because the QQ is included in my thoughts.

    Chippy II will be a well-loved girl. She couldn't be more lucky.

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  13. That's rough. Thanks for sharing Chippy's story. I've got allergies in my eyes right now. --NMchop

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  14. Chippy was a beautiful dog. You were lucky to have had each other. I think I have something in my eye now. Condolences on your loss Flusher.

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  15. Sorry for your loss.

    Jeff in MN

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  16. Sorry to hear, we've all been there........

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  17. So sorry to hear this, we have all been there......

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  18. I'm very sorry for your loss. Losing pets is very hard - sometimes harder than losing humans that are in your life. Hang in there, Flusher.

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  19. You've made me laugh....and now you've made me cry. Hugging my chocolate lab tonight.
    So very sorry for your loss....

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  20. You've made me laugh and now you've made me cry. So sorry for your loss.

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  21. As a fellow dog lover and current dog father to 4 rescue dogs I can completely relate. We had 5 dogs up till last August when in the series of two days we saw our sweet Lola, all of sudden become lethargic and have breathing trouble. A trip to the emergency vet revealed a big mass in her thymus intruding into her heart wall. She was bleeding internally and we had to make the decision to euthanize since it was unlikely she would have survived surgery. My wife and I were blindsided. You realize in these moments how much these four legged animals mean to us and how we become bonded to them. Still it sounds Chippy had a good life and she hit the jackpot when she left the shelter to be part of your family. Deepest condolences to you and Mrs. F.

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  22. My thoughts to You and the QQ-its never easy,to let a loved animal go-but,its for the best! Take care of Chippy 2! Chriss in UK

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  23. That really was hard to read. We lost our dog to cancer 10 years ago and I remember how heartbreaking it was for my wife and I. You have my deepest sympathy flusher, but know that you did the best for your 4 legged friend. RIP Chippy.

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  24. :( i'm so sorry. Pets are our saving grace in life.

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  25. So sorry to hear. But you did the right thing. Got a dog too. Take care.
    vegas2083

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  26. I'm very sorry for your loss. It hurts to let go of a close friend. Chippy will be waiting for you both with wagging tail, and you'll always have her with you in your hearts.

    StatFreak

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  27. Beautiful dog Flusher. We know the pain you are feeling. I think dogs are more than pets or family. They will do anything for us without talking back and just wag their tails to show us how happy they are that we have provided them a home.

    A Prayer for you and Chippy

    "Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

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  28. Sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing this sad but heartfelt story

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  29. So very sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is every bit as difficult as losing any human member of your family. Know that Chippy will be waiting for you someday at the Rainbow Bridge. You did her right.

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  30. Very sorry RF and QQ. All Dogs do go to heaven.
    -wpete (Lucas McCain)

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  31. Royal as you can tell, we all feel your loss and sounds like most of us have been through the same thing, 4 dogs for us have come and gone through the years. The pain always seems to be there. Hang in and know we are with you. Take care

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  32. I'm so sorry. My heart hurts for you and the Mrs. Chippy had a great life, and you were the main reason she did. As you said with Duke a few years back, the game is worth playing even though the house edge can never be overcome.

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  33. Sorry for both of you. Some person or animal will come in and replace that wonderful unconditional love and lessons we get from our family pets.

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  34. So sorry, Royal. Chippy was like getting quad aces every day.

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  35. I'm sorry for your loss. Just gave my dog a big hug and wiped away a few tears. Take care RF.

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  36. Aw, I hate when dogs die. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  37. So sorry for your loss. It's so hard to say goodbye to your best friend.

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  38. Flusher, I will add my condolences here with the rest. I too lost my best bud Jesse in July after 11 wonderful years so I understand where your heart is right now, I was there for almost 2 weeks. I keep a picture of him as the wallpaper on my phone as he is in my thoughts every day as I am sure Chippy will be in yours. It is said that time heals all wounds and I don't know that I necessarily agree with that but it does soften the hurt a bit. I wish you and Mrs F all the best.

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  39. What a sweet girl. I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like she was a great friend. I'm glad you were able to be with her, and get those extra 5 months of time.

    We said good bye to our lab 2 years ago (who'd we had for almost 14 years as well), and it was so hard.

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  40. Thanks so much for sharing RF. Sincere condolences for your loss. I'll be giving our two fur-babies an extra long hug tonight after work.

    Travelling_greg

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  41. I, too, will add my condolences. Only dog lovers truly understand the hurt you and Quadqueen are suffering right now. Your compassion explodes in your blog here. I hope that very soon you will be rewarded with a new companion to fill your hearts with joy again.

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  42. I still feel sad when I think about Casey, and he's been gone for 20 years now. But the good times still make me smile. You'll always have those. My sympathies.

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  43. Flusher - i am so sorry for your loss. You did Chippy justice with your beautiful words. I hope you have some peace soon.

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  44. My heart hurts for the loss of your family member. Thanks for showing us this other side of you......I am sitting here in tears after reading your tender and sensitive comments about Chippy.

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  45. So sorry for your loss. Pets are family and always are painful to lose. <3

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  46. Oh Flusher, my sympathies to you and the Quad Queen on the loss of your dear friend and furbaby. We who have lived with pets know the unconditional love they bring to us every single day. When we have to say goodbye it's devastating. You gave Chippy a good life. Now she runs without pain, chasing squirrels on the other side of the rainbow bridge. God bless.

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  47. Flusher, my sympathies to you and the Quad Queen on the loss of your furbaby and friend, Chippy. Those of us who have pets are blessed with their unconditional love and support and losing them is devastating. You rescued Chippy and gave her a great life. Now she runs and is free to chase squirrels on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. God bless.

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  48. I had a beloved furry child that suffered nearly the same fate. I was lucky to squeak out an extra year longer than you had. I didn't feel so lucky before. I'm sorry. I completely understand the pain and loss. I am glad Chippy 1.0 is not suffering and has moved on to something brilliant I'm sure.

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  49. Like many fans, I am sorry to hear of your loss. It is never easy to lose a friend - furred or furr-less.

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  50. So sorry RF, made me sad reading this but also the love you expressed is so warming. hope you and QQ are hanging in there and the happy times are holding you up. best wishes

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  51. This is Mav. RF, I also am so glad that you shared your story about the tribulation and loss of Chippy. You've made our lives, and the world, a richer place because of it. Our family had to put down our canine family member (who ran the household) 34 years ago, also at the age of 13, as she had developed leukemia. But it was the right thing to do. The decision becomes simple when you think about things from their perspective instead of ours, and decide that their overwhelming pain and discomfort is so much greater than what we suffer in letting them go. It would be selfish to not do the right thing. So we should just do it. Chippy is not only frolicking in a wonderland; she is thanking you for ending her misery. Be ready for dreams about her to happen years or even decades in the future. Most likely they will have good vibes; but if a dream has bad ones, just know that it's only your psyche catharting itself. I recommend that you don't make any big or permanent decisions in the midst of your sorrow, but let time pass until you are mostly back to normal; only then can you know what's best. My condolences.

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  52. Really sorry for the loss of Chippy. I hope you can take solace in the wonderful 13 years of memories you guys had. We are all winners when we experience the love of a dog in our lives.

    Rest in peace Chippy. Tbone3336

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  53. So sad to hear about Chippy. We had to let you down go a little over a year ago.hope we never have to make the decision again.hugs to you and QQ.


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