Tag: goldenretrievermixes

Photography Challenge Day 11: Remembering Chewi

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.

Chewi investigating the snow in Boston

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.

Chewi enjoying a dip in Boomer Lake

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.

Anyone in there??

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.

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Start of National Pet Week

The first full week of May was designated back in 1981 as National Pet Week by the American Veterinary Medical Association, to celebrate America’s more than 200 million pets, and to encourage responsible pet care every day of the year (petweek.org/about-npw.html).

So I thought that I’d share a picture of different pets over the week, and some background on all the pets that I’ve had over the years–plus a reminder to adopt, don’t shop for your next pet.

Chewi watching for food to drop

So I’ve always had pets my entire life–cats, dogs, fish, parakeet, and a rabbit. When we moved to OK, we left the rabbit with friends (it was difficult enough to move cross country with two kids, a dog, and three cats). The rabbit was cool, but it did chew through basically all the cords in the house (it was a “free range rabbit), so Stripe had to be rehoused. The parakeet, unfortunately didn’t last that long–Bigfoot, my cat managed to figure out how to open the cage (even after putting twisty ties on the cage door). The fish have always come and gone (certain species don’t live that long, and my one trial with an salt water tank was almost disastrous).

With the cats, we’ve had nine through my life: Ritalin, Bigfoot, Cyprus, Slash, Cesar, Gandalf, Pyewicket, Waffles, and Pancakes. The first six have passed over the rainbow bridge over the years–the last three are still with (the breakfast duo and Pyewicket).  With the cats, unless they managed to get out of the house and get lost (Cyrpus) or get sick (Cesar & Gandalf)–the other three: Ritalin, Bigfoot, & Slash all lived to be between eighteen and twenty years of age. Our cats have always had long lives due in part to the fact that we don’t let them out of the house (indoor animals always have a longer life span than outdoor pets or feral cats do).

Also with the dogs, we’ve had nine through my life: Ferret, Frodo, Shadow, Okie Thunderstorm (Storm for short), Chewi, Speedbump, Piranha, Spelunkers, and Boozer.  Again, six have passed over the rainbow bridge over the years (age or health related issues), and currently we have two (Chewi and Piranha) who are going to be both sixteen (Chewi) and fifteen (Piranha) this year. Both are starting to show signs of old age (loss of sight, hearing), and Chewi has other issues as well (cancer) that are starting to slow her down.

Choosing the correct pet is always important–are you in a house, an apartment, living alone, with others? What is your day like, how active? There are some people who are strict dog or cat people–I’m a both person–I’ve always had cats and dogs, and I will probably always have at least one or the other. Once I move again–I’ll be taking Pancakes with me (I’m not going to stress out my dog by putting her through another move, so she will be allowed to live out her life in comfort at home), but within six to nine months of being where ever, I’ll probably get a kitten so that Pancakes has a new playmate and someone else around during the day while I’m at work.

I know that there are people who also only want purebred dogs or cats (and we’ve had several over the years), but I would advocate going to the pound or animal shelter and find your next family member there. The number of animals that are abandoned, lost, found, and end up at an animal shelter are staggering–they also need a home, and while they may be a little more skittish than others, they love just as well as those that are sold by different breeders.

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Photography Challenge Day 54: Chewi

Well today’s photograph is brought to you by Chewi. Chewi is the eldest dog in the house, as she will be sixteen the end of May. I know a lot of people ask about her name (especially when they hear me call her Chewbecca—yes, I know that the Chewi in the movies is male, and I’m perfectly aware of the fact that my dog is female).

She got her name Chewi, because she chewed on just about everything when she was a puppy. She is the responsible party for the reason why the ficus isn’t as large as it could be (as she had chewed off two-thirds of it). She also hasn’t met a tomato that she isn’t willing to eat.

Chewi lounging around this evening

I also call her Chewbecca, because as a puppy she was a little fuzz butt. She has been able to maintain that youthful puppy personality for quite awhile and it has only really been within the past year that she is starting to slow down just a little. The last time we went for a walk around Boomer Lake, it took us a little longer than usual, mainly because Chewi didn’t have her normal speed and attitude for the long walk. Now I know that when we go up there, we’ll do a short walk, she can splash in the water (because what retriever doesn’t love water), and then we’ll head back to the house.

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