Sunday, October 04, 2009

goodbye chase, we love you

Chase is on the right, this past January with his beloved sister Kyra. Chase had a malignant tumor removed when he was 5 years old, and we were told at the time that we could do radiation and chemotherapy but there was no real way to predict how things would progress.

He has been on a homeopathic protocol for most of the time since then, and is now 10 years old. The tumor returned earlier this year, and he has been on a new course of homeopathic treatment, which seemed to slow the progression of the cancer significantly.

He was happy and in good spirits, mobile and with good appetite, right up to yesterday. Last week we wondered if we were getting close and I asked Chase to please let me know, very clearly, when he was ready to go.

This morning he would not lie down. He moved slowly through the downstairs of our house, looking at me as if trying to tell me something. It was when he went to the front door, which we never use to go anywhere, and stood there waiting, that I realized he was telling me he was ready.

It didn't transpire quite the way we had planned and hoped, and he had to be taken to a vet's office to say goodbye. He actually perked up when they got there, which lets me know even more that it was time.

He has been the most loyal friend imaginable to all of us. His good nature, love of play, and handsome face have enriched our lives for ten years. We wish it could be longer, but I'm glad he's done with the tumor, and know that it was time for him to move on.

We love you, Chase. Your wonderful spirit is with us always.


Enchanted Forrest said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Too many beloved Corgis have left of late. I can't help but wonder if there is some huge Corgi Picnic going on at the Rainbow Bridge that needed so many in attendance.

Forrest and Morgan

Lisa Paul said...

So sad to lose a loyal doggie friend. Our first Fox Terrier had a tumor as well and we went the whole route of operation, radiation, etc. Until he let us know it was time to stop. We kept him on pain medication as long as he was happy, then took him to the vet. He's now buried at Two Terrier Vineyards above Lake Charles, which is named after him.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm so very sorry to hear about Chase. Please pass on my condolences to your whole family.

It's so hard to say goodbye to a friend we've loved for so many years. I'm sure although he was sorry to leave his beloved family, he is happy where he is and will be watching over all his friends at November Hill. His spirit will always be with you.

the7msn said...

Oh, Billie, I'm so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. How wise of you ask Chase to tell you when it was time, and to be ready for his answer when he told you. Hugs from all of us at the 7MSN.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss, billie. So sweet that Chase let you know in such a clear manner.


Dougie Donk said...

I'm so sorry to hear this news. My thoughts are with you.


billie said...

Thanks to all of you wonderful friends who have left comments and condolences.

It has been a very difficult day for us. We have been preparing but all along I hoped that a miracle might happen and the tumor might decrease in size. This morning something had clearly changed and normal functioning was no longer possible.

He was very clear and I am so grateful that I didn't feel in the least bit conflicted about the decision. I think that was my biggest fear - that it would be hard to know when it was time.

The horses were quiet when I fed breakfast this morning, as if paying their respects. And Dickens met me on my way back inside, up on the fence where he summoned me and crawled into my arms.

The burial was difficult at first but Kyra was with us and the cats as well, and by the time we were done there was a sense of peace to his passing.

It makes me happy to think of him at a big, noisy Corgi Picnic with lots of Corgi clacking and playing. The thought of him running w/o the weight and interference of the tumor makes me happy too.

Again, thank you for the comforting words. I know all of you understand the joy and the sadness that comes with living with animals whose life spans are not as long as ours. Ther is no way the joy doesn't outweigh the loss, but the loss is big when it happens.

ponymaid said...

Oh my, Billie, we are so sad to read this. I am glad your beloved friend is at peace and please know you are in our thoughts.

billie said...

Thank you, ponymaid and Sheaffer and co.

I woke up in the night feeling very empty and sad and, thinking of Chase, reached my hand down beside the bed where he used to sleep much of the time before the tumor (for the past 9 months his special sleeping place has been in my daughter's bedroom) and felt his head there. He would always lift it so I could feel him there, and that's what happened last night.

It is so much like Chase to be right there when we need him. Even if it means taking a break from that big Corgi picnic!

We have mounded his grave site and are placing stones there as an ongoing way to manage this. I came in from the barn this morning with several big stones and placed them as I walked in through the backyard. I can see this being a regular practice. It felt nice to visit him that way.

Michelle said...

Billie, I am so sorry about Chase. I know how hard it is to lose a friend and I know that, as nice as the support is, you still have to live through those moments of grief. I am so happy for you that you have found a way to memorialize Chase. How is Kyra handling everything? You're all in my thoughts.

billie said...

Thank you, Michelle. There were some tough moments yesterday, one in particular when I realized that the blackboard in my laundry room, where I usually have the animals listed by name, but currently have a quote, would have been so distressing to me if the names were on there now.

How would I ever be able to remove his name?

Even the idea of erasing his name off the board sent me into tears.

Last night before falling asleep I lifted my head, thinking I had forgotten to give him his last remedy of the day.

But everyone shared how many stones they had placed, and that seemed like a good thing. It has provided us all with a ritual, which I think can be so important in dealing with grief.

Kyra spent some time yesterday lying under the trampoline staring at Chase's grave. She also spent some time beneath my daughter's bed refusing to come out.

But she ate all her little meals throughout the day, had some treats at dinner, got a bath, and seemed to enjoy her freshly laundered comforter by my bed.

For now, we won't leave her alone here if we're all going out. She has the cats for company but they have the ability to leave the backyard, and I don't want Kyra by herself after so many years of never being alone.

There may be a rescue Corgi in our future. We'll see how things go.

Unknown said...

Billie, I am sorry for your loss and grief. Each little friend is so special and precious, so joyful a blessing to our lives, so worthy of our tears. I like to imagine mine waiting just a little ways up the trail, in a beautiful happy place, waiting for me to catch up. So we will see them again.

billie said...

Thank you, Kyle - I know you have experienced this not so long ago yourself. I like your image of the trail and us catching up to them again.

Jane said...

Billie, I am so sorry for your loss.
I wish you moments of joy in memory, and freedom to mourn when the grief comes up.
What a lovely, wonderful dog!

billie said...

Thanks, Jane. It's been interesting that the weather on Sunday was beautiful and then we had two days of quiet rain. Today the wind is starting to whip up and I see some pale blue sky starting to show.

We have all had our own episodes of crying still more, and I've also had moments of intense relief and peace, as though he is checking in with me, letting me know.

Kyra has perked up a bit, and is barking at things again. Last night she took Chase's spot by my bed and seemed to be soaking his energy in.

I think we're getting past the loss of his physical body and now starting to tune in to how much of his spirit is still with us.

Janet Roper said...

Hi billie,
Hugs & harmony to you. What a beautiful, moving tribute to Chase and what a testimony to the connection the two of you have that he told you it was time to move on.

I'm with you in spirit, let me know if I can do anything for you or the critters.
Hugs & Harmony,

billie said...

Thank you, Janet. I know you too have just been through this, and I so appreciate your words.

We will call on you if we need to - it is wonderful to know you're there.

Buddy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.


billie said...

Thank you, Buddy - I so appreciate it.

Peggy Payne said...

I'm sorry about Chase, Billie.

billie said...

Thanks, Peggy. Give those big dogs of yours a big hug!