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R.I.P. Chewy

Chewy’s gone.

There is no way to express how difficult it was for me and Barbara to make the decision to let him go today. But his quality of life was not improving. He didn’t seem to be getting better, at least not convincingly enough that we could be confident he’d be "normal" again, at least for a few more months. It was obvious that he had just gone too far downhill.

I feel, and Barbara agrees with me, that Chewy was in significant physical pain, too. We hadn’t noticed it sooner (there were so many things to notice), but his heart was constantly pounding, sometimes harder and sometimes not as hard, sometimes faster and sometimes not as fast. That’s a decent indicator that something very stressful is going on, and for him that could only have been pain.

Barbara, often with my help, was syringe-feeding Chewy several times a day. Each time, it took around an hour to get something like 100cc of liquified food into him. And the poor kid really didn’t like it. It was uncomfortable, no doubt, and the food didn’t taste good to him — nothing tasted good any more. He wouldn’t even share my breakfast cereal with me; before we went off to Bucharest, he nagged me constantly for just another bite of cereal.

So, as with so many others, we held Chewy in our arms and whispered sweet nothings in his ear, telling him how much we loved him and what a good boy he was, as the medication was administered. And we kept on hugging, kissing, and talking to him for a full seven or eight minutes after he was pronounced dead. (I worry terribly that mere cessation of the heart doesn’t mean cessation of the brain — in the late days of the French Revolution, it is reported reasonably reliable that several people who were beheaded were seen to mouth words to their families…after their heads were chopped off!)

So, Chewy’s gone to the bridge, where he can annoy Sly, snuggle up to Ballet, and play, play, play the way he never really could after he came to us with his poor mangled feet and arthritis. For all his medical problems and undoubtedly constant pain at some level, he was always happy, wagging his tail, giving kisses, and rubbing his face up against our legs.

So long, Chewy. We will always remember your enormous capacity for happiness and we’ll never forget the love you gave us.

On this day..

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4 comments to R.I.P. Chewy

  • Harleysmom

    I know it was difficult, but it’s quality, not quantity we are after. His quality of life was definitively gone. Hugs to you both.

  • I’m soooo sorry about Chewy. He loved you so much, I’m sure he’s glad you made that hard decision for him. How did he get his name? Did he chew a couch or something? :)

  • Dawn, thanks for your sympathy. That boy never chewed a couch or anything else in our house that he wasn’t supposed to chew. “Good as gold” is, I think, the phrase to use.

    We actually never knew how to really spell his name. When he first came to us, he was overly attentive to (that is, chewing on) his right rear paw, which looked like a lawnmower ran over it mere weeks before with no subsequent medical treatment. That led to some of us thinking his name must be Chewy (or, alternatively, Chewie), since he was chewing on that foot.

    But I disagreed. His name must have been bestowed on him many years earlier, long before the paw was mangled. So one day it occurred to me that perhaps it was “Chuy”, a common Mexican name (I haven’t heard it used in other Latin American countries or in Spain, but maybe it’s used there, too). But we’ll never know. So, in this blog, you’ll find it spelled various ways. In the end, we opted to put “Chewy” on the box that will hold his ashes, since that’s the spelling most people knew.

  • Kim and Dan

    I understand it is a very hard decision to make at times, thank you for being the kind gentle people that you are and making the decision for ever smiling Chewy.

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