The events I'm about to let you in on happened June 2008. I think I'm finally able to re read what I wrote then. I let the words poor out of me like water from old faithful. I didn't stop to fix my sentences, correct spelling, or capitalize at the time. I haven't been able to read this to do so until now. I've tried a couple of times, but couldn't go on. I am stopped with the feeling of old milk in the pit of my stomach, that like an idiot I drank without smelling the carton first. I seemed to remember things with a strange clarity, typing so fast that at times I just threw in some reminders in parenthesis so I could fill it in later. Strangely, I can remember the extra details like nothing I've ever remembered before. As much as it pains me, I want to keep this memory, and posting it here means I won't lose it among the recipes, doctors appointments and football games that clutter my day to day. Forgive me the occasional English class failure, I'm no author.
Chet was an amazing dog. The pain here is real, and raw, even now. We miss him every day...I still sometimes catch myself almost calling Harley "Chet". I don't love easily, but when I do, it's with everything I have. Chet was my love personified in a big black fur ball.
Also, I should mention that Jay was in Iraq, which is why I had to go through the hassle of trying to reach him on the computer. Thank God for Commo guys, computers, and satellite phones, otherwise I would have had to decide how to proceed on my own, which would have been infinitely harder on me.
Sunday morning I got up lazily. I had nowhere to go, nothing in particular to do. I got up, got dressed, and cleaned up my bathroom, putting things away, and wiping down the sink. Chet whined and did his little talking thing to me to tell me that he needed to go out, so Chet, Dobby and I all headed downstairs to the back yard. A little background, a couple of months ago, Chet’s vet told me he was too fat. At about 90 lbs he was looking a little puffy, and he had what they called a fatty tumor, cut through the next couple of months, we had stopped giving him people food, and the sweet puppy we’ve had for 9 years started raiding the trash, learned how to open the cabinets, stole bagels, a whole pound of ground turkey, and learned how to open the fridge! Smart puppy. I learned to live with it, scolding him only mildly. He’s not going to listen anyway. Anywho, Everyone said he was looking slimmer, but I couldn’t tell. The Vet had told me that since the tumor was so close to Chet’s man parts that if it got larger he might have issue peeing, so I’ve been watching him every time since, just about. Totally paranoid that he was going to have issues and be in pain. This Sunday morning, He was squatting to pee, but nothing came out. Oh, crap I thought right away. I’m thinking it’s Sunday, what the heck am I going to do? I told the dogs to come back “Get in the house, guys”
Chet looked at me with this strange look, almost like “mama, I can’t” his eyes so different, and sad I knew something was wrong. Usually when I call for him he jumps up, and scrambles for the door, but this time he very slowly, and very heavily lowered himself to the ground. “Chetter, come on buddy” no real response, other than him looking at me again so pitifully. I walked over to him, and started talking to him, you know, what’s the matter, come on bud, all that. I picked up his chin and looked at him, and I knew there wasn’t any time to debate what I had to do. I leaned down and picked him up. All 90 lbs (or so I thought, later at the Hospital, he weighed in at 63 lbs, huge weight loss) I grunted and started to sweat, but got him to the couch, and placed him there so I could get the phone. The scary thing was, he wouldn’t lay all the way down, he sort of half crouched there on the cushion, so I lifted his back legs and helped him down.
Of course, on Sunday there is no vet. No one. I called every single vet listed in the phone book. Frustrated, and now a little more than just desperate, near tears even, but not knowing why, I got online, and googled Tennessee vets open on Sunday nada. So just Tennessee. Vets. I got one number. When I called they were also closed, but listed a number for a pet emergency treatment service. I called and finally got a hold of a human. I let her know what was going on, and that I needed to bring him in. At this point I’m thinking that my baby’s bladder is filling as we speak, and he’s going to burst it with all the water he just drank out of the toilet. Seems he was thirsty enough to lumber over to the bathroom, but pooped out at the front door. I tried to get a hold of Jay via email, but he wasn’t responding, and I just found out that the PETS facility was in Brentwood, on the other side of Nashville, so I had at least an hour drive ahead of me, and I had to get Laurel from her friend’s house. Printing out directions while shoving bagel down my throat and combing my hair, I called Laurel. I tried to get Chet to walk to the car. Leash in hand and gently tuggin on him, he sat solidly on the sidewalk. I had to carry Chet to car. Usually he sits with his head on my arm, or at least as close to me as he can while I'm driving, and drools and pants the entire trip. this time he didn’t pant, he just gingerly laid down in the seat, moaning as he slunk to the cushion. Part way through Nashville, Chet all of a sudden fell off the seat onto the floor. He scared the shit out of me...Laurel and I both staring down at him in fear. He just looked up at us, clearly upset, and in pain.
…skipping the rest of the unnecessary details here, we are at the PETS place, which was thank god, easy to find, we check in and wait. When we get in to see the vet assistant, Chet was still really out of it, but he cooperated really well. We saw he had lost weight and was happy for him, but concerned that it seemed so quick. (Chet was crashed on floor, but got up and walked to the middle of room, looking at the door on the opposite side, 30 sec before doc came in, like he knew he was coming) The doc came in and (what a strange coincidence, his name is Jeremiah) took a look at Chet, feeling his tummy and asking questions. Chet’s fatty tumor had shrunken a ton, and at that point I started to realize this was a big deal, but Laurel was in with me, so I shut up. Chet’s tummy is swollen, and doesn’t like to have it messed with, so they are going to do x-rays, and an abdomniocentisis, and blood work. We wait longer, and Chet is given Morphine, so he has to stay in the back. Doc tells lady her cat blood tests are back, and tells her the results in front of everyone, then asks me to come into the room with the padded chairs, and I joke to boo that this is the death room where they tell you the dog is dead, I’ve seen this room before, when my dad died, they are all the same. The x-ray comes back, and he has a gianormous tumor that is smashing everything into his ribcage, even his small intestines, and his colon is smushed. The doc figures Chet was thinking he had to pee, but his tummy was filling with blood, and the tumor was pushing on everything. Now, the doc throws stuff at me. Surgery. $4000.00 at the most. May need blood transfusions, might be bad ass tumor that will kill him in a month that they can’t get out, could have spread to other organs, this looks like a spleen tumor, or it could be a bleeding tumor, but benign. AHHH I can’t think. My dog is going to DIE. I can’t pay for that surgery, they can’t tell me if it will be worth it. They can’t tell me anything until they are looking at it. Oh Jesus, what the hell do I do? Now I loose it. Like I have not done since the guy messed with me at the airport and security had to pull me off of him. I cried, nasty, ugly cry, with the snot and all. I couldn’t even focus enough to register that laurel just heard all this. I start to lose it, and all I can think is I need my husband. This is our chetter cheese, and I can’t make this decision without him. The doc went through he options, I asked the few questions I could think of, and stare at the x ray forever. He asks if I need to think with Chet, or if I need to go to the lobby. I opt for the car. He just asked me if I want to put down, no he said euthanasia, my baby. I appreciated his blunt honesty; I’m the same way. I function better if people are more like he was. No sugar coating, thank you. I get to the car, call mom. I need her or bub to get Jay on the computer, if he’s there. Ron answers mom is at the movies, bub left to see his friends off. I call mom's cell. No answer. I call Bub, no answer; I loose it while leaving a message. I call mom’s cell again, Ron picks up and tells me about his dog Smokey, the best dog he'd ever had...whose death made him never want another dog again...Mom still isn't home, and Ron isn't the best person to help you on the computer, so I call April Wilson. She starts to help me but the password was wrong, Bub calls , but he isn’t near a computer, then he calls back because he sought out a computer. I opt to use his help cause he is a computer genius and can fix the password issue, so I let April go. Bub is on the computer forever, no Jay, I tell him to call back in 15 but then the phone signals that the battery is dying. No power cord. I wait 15 minutes inside the vet’s office, having given bub that number for Jay to call. I wait and wait. Bub calls at 15 minutes, no Jay. Ten minutes later Jay calls the PETS. HE talks to the vet. Jay opts for no surgery. So, I still think we are ok, talk again about surgery, just exploratory. Still so expensive I don’t know what to do. Doc says it's not a good idea to take Chet home. Doing nothing means he will die either way, and it’ll hurt to go slow, and at our home where we have to watch. So I explode with tears as I finally say we have to let him go. The doc says don’t loose any sleep,it's good decision. Laurel is very brave, but says she’s not watching. They bring Chet in, still high on morphine, so we can say bye. We hold him, cry, he wags his tail at me when I call him my chetter cheese, and his nose is snotting and his breathing is even worse than it was when we came in, panting hard, and slow. I take his collar and leash off so at his last minutes at least he’s free of those. The cell rings. It’s mom. I turn off the phone. The longer I hold him, the harder it is, so I knock the door to tell him to get it over with, so I can go throw up. Laurel goes to the lobby, and I check us out so I can’t have to later. I go back in and the doc sets him up
I hold Chet and kiss him and pet him, and talk to him, I’m crying so hard that you can’t tell what I’m saying, but I tell him I’m sorry and I love him, and daddy loves him. The pink stuff kills him very quickly, but he goes very quietly, and peacefully, snuggled into my neck, and I feel when he’s gone, all of a sudden he’s empty, no longer there. The lady comes in while I’m still petting him and I can’t let go of him. She takes a footprint for us to take home, and I go get Laurel. She knows it’s over when I come out, and starts to bawl. While I wait for the footprint, I hold her, and talk to her. We leave the office after they hand me the bill receipt, and the numbers for the cremation places. No lot cremation for him, I want my puppy back. We drive home at 4:00. We were there all day. I’m trying to not cry so I can see to drive, but I’m a feeling sick, and want to lay down in the middle of the highway. Gas is low, so we stop 20 miles from home, and get crescent sand. Cookies, soda (my first in MONTHS) and drive home. I don’t want to go home to Dobby without Chet, so we go to the movies. I know it’s odd, but I couldn’t go home. We saw "The Love Guru "and were actually able to laugh a tiny bit, but couldn’t stop wondering if I made the wrong decision. We go home and Dobby acts odd. Freaks out even. I go upstairs to call mom, and totally loose it again, and she asks me if I want her to come (earlier we almost went up there to get Miah) Miah knows nothing, so now Boo and I are trying to figure out how to tell her. They finally get there at ten, and I tell Miah while mom is outside. Miah cried for an hour, yelling she wants Chet, which she still does, periodically.
Jay didn’t realize that Chet was gone, so I had to tell him the next day. Mom staid for two days, which helped then, but as soon as she left, I felt like shit. I still do. I swear I can hear Chet sneeze, or his nails on the steps. I left food out for him, and called for him to go to the bathroom, and keep almost calling for him for bed. He slept with me every night every time jay left, so now I’m really alone. Dobby has been sticking to me, but has bitten me twice, breaking skin once. She’s really pissed off. She has been sleeping at my feet in the bed, and is always like an inch away.
Today was a shit day. I feel like smashing something. Throwing away all of our stuff.
Set up for Chet’s cremation, 10% mil discount. Bought a box, the lady called from California to ask if we are military, 10 % discount. At least this stupid army gives something back. All told, Chet came to us free, but left us for 680 bucks. I can list a million things I miss about him. My Chetter Cheese.