I know it seems odd that I’m typing this out, but every time I try to talk about it I begin to choke up and can’t speak. So this will have to do.
Yesterday my best buddy Chance moved on to a place I cannot follow, for now. He goes to rest and recover in the Summerland, where he’s young again, where bones don’t ache, where he can run like the wind and chase frisbees and sticks to his heart’s content and never get hurt, where there’s always good food and clean water, where the thunder isn’t scary, and it is warm if you want it, or snowing if you want it. Chance loves to play in the snow.
Since he arrived in my life, Chance has taught me volumes about love, and patience, and balance. He was always on the bounce, ready to go, no matter what had happened. He helped me understand how to get past the little things, how to be in the moment, and kept me from losing the last shreds of my sanity as the world has slowly been disintegrating.
Yesterday, I had to set him free from the trials of this world. The cancer we fought so hard that was in his front leg has reappeared, this time in his sacrum, eating away the bone, clamping down on the nerves to his entire back half. While radiation treatments and hospitalization might buy us a week or two, it won’t last long. And his quality of life will greatly suffer from such treatment.
So I did my best to clear my schedule, went to the hospital to pick him up, and brought him home. I made his favorite foods, hoping to picnic with him. He managed a liver treat. He didn’t really wake up except to drink like a camel and fall back asleep. Around 3 in the windy afternoon we went out to his favorite spot in the field. We sat there, him under a blanket and as needed, a quilt, sheltering with a sheet between us and the Chinook winds. He roused a little, and grabbed his frisbee, and watched the other dogs, and people. We pretended to have one last tussle over the frisbee. Then he fell back asleep.
And at 4 in the afternoon, in the bright sun and the wind, Dr. Griffits came out to the field so we could help him travel to the Summerland. And with his favorite toys with him, the feel of wind on his neck and face, the smell of warm spring grass in his nose, his family and friends surrounding him, he traveled to that kind place to rest for a while.
We all miss you terribly, big guy, but thank you so much for those 10 years.
I’ll see you there, in the Summerland, before you know it.