It’s slightly sad, but fitting that it has taken me two years to finish your collage.
Your passing was the one that came from left field–while we knew your time was coming, we weren’t expecting it so soon after losing Piranha.
It has been two years since I had to say goodbye to Chewi—her cancer had progressed to the point that it was far more humane to let her go to the rainbow bridge, than trying to keep her here with me.
We adopted Chewi in June of 2002—technically she was suppose to be my younger brother’s dog, but since he was recovering from hip surgery—I was the one that did the nightly dog training (she slept with me and I took her out at night as needed). Pretty soon it was apparent that I ‘stole’ her as she bonded with me a little more than with my younger brother (but he got a puppy the following year from friends up in Wisconsin).
Chewi turned out to be a golden retriever/chow mix—but she was the sweetest dog there was; she never met a stranger that she didn’t want to say hello to, and up until it was time to let her go, she acted far younger than her years.
When we went for walks, she had one speed—warp. She wanted to explore everything and anything, and loved splashing in the water. Boomer Lake was a blast for her, as she could get a drink, get wet and make bubbles. When we took her up to Lake Vermilion—she enjoyed the water there as well. While she did find the yellowjack nest—she only showed minimum signs of pain from the numerous wasp stings she sustained on her nose.
She was a one of the kind dog—while I never got her DNA sequenced, we realized that she was unique when she continued to play as normal after getting spayed. We actually had to take her back into the vets to get her stitches repaired—it was then that we realized that her pain receptors must have been mutated as she never really showed any signs of pain.
She saw me through the final few years of undergrad, all of graduate school, and then
managed to see more the country than me when I decided to take a postdoc position in Boston. Since I have anxiety issues with driving, I hired pet movers to take her and Pancakes (my cat) out to Boston for me—they got to see the country, as they traveled both west and east on the move out there and then the move back home two years later.
I do regret that move—only because she became the only dog for two years and I didn’t have a roommate—so there was no other human around during the hours that I was at work and in hindsight that wasn’t totally fair to her (though she did have Pancakes for company).
During our time together, we walked around Boomer Lake countless times, explored various parts of the neighborhoods where we lived in Boston, enjoyed traveling (though she did insist on sitting on my lap in the car), and being outdoors.
I know that last year she and the others that have crossed over the rainbow bridge helped guide my hand in adopting Chaos right before Christmas (I mean his foster family had even named him Chewy). He seems to share numerous traits with those that have passed; that it feels like there is a small portion of them here with me now (though I know Chaos is a dog into his own right).
So, Chewi girl if you’re looking down from the bridge—remember I love you, I miss you, I haven’t replaced you, and I will see you someday at the bridge.