Taking Time to just be together–A lesson Chewie taught me.

***I wrote this right after Chewie died last September.  Recently Brandon said, ” I don’t want to disrespect Chewie but can we talk about if we will get another dog?”  I’m not sure I’m ready!  Read on….

Well it’s official.

 I obviously should not be out in public.  Nor do I know if I’ll ever be able to wear any other kind of mascara except the waterproof variety. 

Our beloved dog, Chewie, died two days ago and instead of sitting around crying (which believe me I have been doing!) I decided to run to the store.  First, I tried donating back Chewie’s unused syringes thinking maybe some other furry friend could use them (Chewie had diabetes).  “Sorry we aren’t allowed to take those back.  Well, we could but we’d just throw them away.”  With tears starting to leak out of my eyes, I blubber, “You would just throw them away? No!” while backing away from the counter with the aforementioned needles.  As I’m racing out of the store my eye catches on a plaque that says something about a house not being a home without a dog in it.  And the flood gates, or in this case my tear ducts, burst open.  I drive home with my tail between my legs (It would be if I had one!) and comfort myself by remembering that my tough cop of a husband had tears in his eyes yesterday morning when we woke up and realized that Chewie had died during the night. 

I’m glad I have some time during the day to grieve the loss of our furry friend while my two boys are at school.  The story of how we got Chewie, short for Chewbacca, (Yes, my husband Mike is a BIG Star Wars fanJ) goes something like this:  Way back in 1998 after much, much begging and pleading on my part Mike agreed to get a dog.  Well, not exactly.  We saw this little fur ball with HUGE brown eyes– who could, by the way ,fit in our winter coat pockets–and this was the dog for him.  Not just any dog would do it had to be this one.  And ANY dog Mike said yes to was the dog for me!

Chewie, was our first baby,( albeit a furry one) a reddish, brown Pomeranian with a white stripe on his face and white paws.  Many have said he looks like a little fox.  He was just adorable but also a tiny spit fire!  He raced around the room doing loops and laps and cracking us up. 

Oh, how I wish we had a video of it—but we will just have to remember in our mind’s eye. He wasn’t what I’d call an easy pup.  As is typical he loved to chew and many a shoe and sock were casualties.  Potty training, as is the case I’ve heard with small dogs, took quite awhile.  Or maybe we just didn’t realize back then that a puppy requires a lot of attention and training.  But oh how we loved him and brought him around to show off to family and friends. 

Our first human baby, Brandon, arrived in October 1999 and man was Chewie boy jealous—and with good cause!  So much attention was taken away from him!  Poor pup.  Little guy that he is (even full grown he only weighed about 12 pounds) he managed to move a futon across the room with his small mouth to get our attention and say, “Hey remember me?”  But, luckily for Chewie, as Brandon grew up he fell in love with Chewie.  And he became Chewie’s biggest  fan, taking hundreds of pictures of him.

Luke, who arrived 5 years after Brandon, well, we aren’t so sure what he thinks of Chewie, because Luke has autism and is mostly non – verbal.  But, since Luke is always eating things like sausage and pepperoni, Chewie  loved to follow him around and wait for him to drop a treat on the floor.

                In the last few months we’ve known Chewie’s time was getting closer.  He was 14 and had thyroid trouble as well as the diabetes I mentioned before.   In May he developed a cough and  X-rays the vet took showed fluid on his lungs as well as an enlarged heart.  So new medicines were added into the cocktail mix. 

In the last few weeks he had been sleeping more, having accidents in the house and he developed an ulcer on his eye.  We talked to Brandon and he seemed to know that Chewie wouldn’t be with us much longer, although since Chewie still had some bursts of energy we hoped he’d make it until his birthday in December.   After a really rough weekend for Chewie I made the dreaded appointment with the vet for a couple days out.  We spent the day before the appointment petting and cuddling Chewie and taking pictures. 

                And then overnight he died at home so we didn’t need to bring him to the vet and he showed us that it really was his time.  We are thankful to God that He allowed us to have the day saying  goodbye  to our beloved pet but we are still grieving the loss. 

Because of the pain now do I regret the decision to bring Chewie home with us way back in March of 1998?   Definitely not!  The decision I do regret though– or maybe saying the little decisions I made repeatedly is more accurate– is letting the stress and busyness of life get in the way of spending more time with him.  Just playing, petting and cuddling him.   Simply being near and focusing on good old Chewie dog instead of rushing around getting things done.  Granted, there always seems to be less time in the day then is needed and caring for my youngest son, who is a special needs kid like I mentioned can be exhausting.  But aren’t there always reasons (good and bad) why we let time with loved ones, including those with four legs, get in way of just being together?  

In our on –the- go -multi-tasking culture I/we need to make more time to simply be with family and friends.   To slow down, take a deep breath and pet our family members with four legs.  I wish I could pet Chewie now that’s for sure.  Like I said, it will be awhile before I can use mascara that isn’t waterproof.


About morethanwords1

I'm a mom of two very different boys. One has no probelm talking, loves and is gifted at reading and writing and the other has a bright smile, amazing laugh but can barely talk.
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