It was the beginning of May during the 4th grade when we got Chloe. I remember waiting at home when my parents left to get her. I had never had a puppy before -- our dog, Tiny, was very old by this time -- and was so excited. When they brought Chloe home, she was so tiny. We wrapped her up in a pink blanket that had been rubbed on her mom to keep her from missing her. I carried her around like a baby. I remember sitting on the couch and just holding her as she slept -- only for her to wake up a few minutes later and play until she just couldn't anymore.
For the last few years, Chloe had been very cranky; about a year ago, my mom had surgery done on her mouth to remove several of her teeth. Miniature dachshunds are notorious for tooth problems. Chloe was so happy after that -- back to being playful and not-so-cranky! With the addition of softening her food in water, she seemed to be doing really well, not throwing up as much, not being so lethargic.
However, about two weeks ago, my parents started noticing that she seemed very confused at times and was very lethargic. There were times she couldn't sit still and didn't seem to know where she was. About a week ago, she seemed to not be able to get up steps or climb into her bed; sometimes, when my mom would pick her up she would yelp or cry, but my mom couldn't figure out what was causing her pain. Eventually, she stopped being able to eat -- although she would still get excited for dinner time, she wouldn't eat or finish her food. My mom said she'd take her in to the vet to see what we wrong, but I think both of us knew it wasn't good. I had been dreading going to Idaho, afraid that Chloe would pass away or have to be put to sleep without me there.
On Tuesday, my mom texted me to tell me that she'd taken her to the vet and that they found a large tumor on her spleen. They wanted to do surgery after a few blood tests. I googled spleen tumors in dogs immediately and then stopped because it seemed that none of the results were good. (Note to self: never google anything.)
On Wednesday, my mom texted me to tell me that the vet had done the surgery and discovered that the tumor was cancerous and had spread to several other organs. She was put to sleep shortly afterwards. While I still didn't get to say goodbye -- and I wish I could have been there when she passed -- I know it was absolutely the best decision that could have been made. Even if it meant a little bit more time with her, it would have been stupid and selfish to make her suffer unnecessarily.
I spent most of Wednesday getting weepy off and on at work. It still feels very surreal. Chloe was almost 15 years old; I've had her as a pet for over half of my life! She was always there -- a little lump at the end of my bed or beside me on the couch -- through some of the hardest times of my life. I missed her while I was away at college. When she was a younger dog, I would play with her by hiding a squeaky toy under a pillow on my lap or under my feet -- and she would dig dig dig desperately trying to get it!
I will miss seeing her in her little red plaid bed in front of the fire. I will miss hearing her high pitched little bark to be let back inside (which I could always hear, clearly, even at my house down the hill). I will miss laughing as she chased the cows or rolled on her back in the living room. I will miss her constant licking (her nickname as a puppy was Kissy) and her happy noises (re: grunts). I will miss making her sit pretty. Rubbing her little soft ears. Patting her belly. Rubbing her lower back. I will miss the way she would meet a new animal -- Remus, a cat -- and get excited, wagging her tail straight in the air and pointing her ears up. She was a traveling dog: trips back and forth to Idaho, to Las Vegas, to California. I will miss taking pictures of her, waking her up from naps, and talking to her in the "bad dog voice" to make her drag her little hind legs.
Chloe was the best little girl I could ever ask for. I loved her so much. I hope she knew that.