An Overdue, and Sad Post

Chilly the Dog
In October I didn’t get a chance to post about this, but we had to put down one of our dogs, Chilly. He was a sweet, senior Australian Shepherd that we adopted just three short years ago. I knew the minute I saw Chilly’s picture on the rescue group’s website that I had to have him. We had adopted him as an older dog in 2013 and gave him to the kids as a Christmas present. Initially told he was about five years old, within a year we knew he was very much older – probably 9-10 years old, maybe even older. In 2015 he began aging rapidly – eyes turning milky, difficulty taking the stairs. But he was just as sweet and awesome as ever, and when we gave him a very short haircut this summer he became almost like a puppy again without all that fur on his body!

Due to his age, Chilly had been experiencing very weak back legs from arthritis beginning this summer. He was due to the go to the vet for his latest checkup and bloodwork but we took him in a few days early because one day his entire back half went completely numb and he could not walk. Literally, he went outside on his own four legs, and when I went out to check on him a few minutes later, he could no longer walk and just laid there in the grass, unable to move. I immediately took him to the emergency vet, and they found a very large tumor under his right leg that was causing the numbness and sudden inability to walk. It must have been a very fast-growing tumor because at his grooming appointment in the summer, they did not mention feeling anything, nor did we see anything amiss once he was shaved down for that late summer cut.

That face! Love that face!
The emergency vet gave us some medication to help him sleep comfortably during the weekend while we debated what to do. On that Saturday morning I had to drive out of state for a family event (Denis graciously stayed at home with Chilly), but by the time I arrived in Virginia, Chilly was no longer eating – not even treats – or drinking, and Denis called me Saturday evening to tell me that Chilly dragged himself to the kitchen, flopped down and didn’t move for the rest of the day. He was still alert, but unwilling to move at all – Denis placed towels under him to keep him from peeing on the hardwood floors, and to make it a little softer for him.

I drove back home that Sunday morning, and upon arriving home, Denis and I took him to our regular vet where we had him put down. My poor son was a basketcase and crying off and on all day.

Chilly will be greatly missed – he was a great older dog with the sweetest temperament. He went through a lot health-wise during his time with us (that’s what happens when you adopt senior dogs and accidentally use unqualified dog sitters), but I know we gave him a good life these past three years.

Interestingly, once Chilly was gone, our last remaining cat, Mini, changed her behavior yet again. With each pet loss, she has become more social. When we had four cats and two dogs, she rarely left our master bedroom closet. Upon losing the alpha cat, Stinky, she began coming out into the bedroom. With the next cat, she’d actually roam the house and spent more time downstairs. But with the loss of Chilly the Dog, she has started to SLEEP ON THE COUCH in the TV room. Where the people are. What?! That has never happened in the 18+ years she has been part of our family. Given the fact she may outlive us all, I wonder what she’ll do when she’s the only pet left in the house…


RIP, Chilly. You loved us well.

My Signature

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