Sep 14, 2010

One of a Kind

Our Chance is getting older.  Not being the type to celebrate dog birthdays, I'd have to look up his birth certificate to tell you exactly how old.  Around 12 I think.  Like people years, dog years are on fast forward (times 7).  Seems like just yesterday that we picked out the "crazy" red puppy that scrambled just out of reach when we released him from his pen.  Not sure why that didn't deter us from choosing him but it didn't.  Fate?  Destiny?  Luck? ........ Chance? 

Chance has been a handful. 

He eats EVERYTHING he can get his chompers on.  It's the Labrador Retriever in him.  He has eaten whole loaves of bread, garbage, chocolate (scary & messy) and something my husband calls "cat treats".  I won't explain that one.  He ate a whole box of paint gun pellets.  He once got a hold of a battery and chewed on it.  Probably from one of the kids' toys.  Thank God he didn't swallow anything but he had a bad case of the drools for a few weeks until his tongue and lips healed.

He's a barker.  Not a neurotic barker and not a yippy barker.  It's a deep bark he lets loose to let you know he's there, or that he wants something.  He's also a snarfer.  At least that's what we call it.  If he's gotten into something and you start pointing at him accusingly ----- he curls his upper lip up and does this sort of huffing thing with a little growl.  Never seen any other dog do it. 

My son-in-law says he's a tool but I can tell he secretly likes him.  My husband calls him Butthead but also calls him the best dog we've ever owned.  My sister went from hating him as a puppy to being openly in love with him today.  My Mother feeds him treats on the sly when she visits (like he needs anything else).  For me Chance is top dog.  Never been and never will be another dog like him.  He has all the usual dog qualities.  Loyalty, devotion, a desire to please...... it's why we love dogs isn't it?  But somehow, in Chance, they're all wrapped up in this unique bundle that would be impossible to replace. 

Having owned Chance I totally understand how somebody would pay a small fortune to clone a dog.  Though I'd be afraid that the "nurture" side of the nature/nurture equation wouldn't be adminstered in the same dose in a Second Chance.  We wouldn't end up with the same dog.   

Chance has started to slow down.  These days he walks instead of runs up the stairs.   He's getting really gray in the muzzle.  He has arthritis that needs to be treated with steroids and pain pills every day.  There's no getting around the fact that he's a senior dog now.  No way to escape the heartache that is headed our way.  I suppose the heartache is the price we pay for having the privilege of the perfect companionship we receive from our dogs, whether we deserve it or not. 

These days I hug him a little longer and harder.  Pet him a little more vigorously.  Tell him he's a good dog more often and slip him an extra biscuit here and there.  If somebody asked me to design the perfect world there would be lots of things I would change but near the top of my list would be that dogs live longer. 


  1. I've been blessed with two Chance doggies. Charlie and Penelope. They made us their humans, and taught us to be loyal and more loving.....and now we have a third Chance in Wesley...a crazy, barky puppy all dressed up in blue/black hair.

  2. Ahhh.
    You and chance certainly have blessed each other.

  3. Aww, this was a heartbreakingly lovely post. :)

    I know cats are not the same as dogs, but I do love my kittens...and I am dreading the day that my "old ladies" (that's what I'm calling them these days) pass on.

    Chance sounds like such a great dog; you're lucky to have him as a member of your family. :)

  4. I've been there. Our long time pets have access to a part our hearts that people just can't get to. I'm glad you are taking the time to give him some extra attention and love while he's still with you... sounds like a character!

  5. He is a great dog, give him a good long scratch behind the ears from me.

  6. Rosemary - nothing compares to the love of an awesome dog.

    Mom - That's the truth. I know everybody thinks their dog is something special.... but I guess everybody is right. It's a special bond between a dog and his humans.

    MHP - Don't apologize for being a cat person. It really takes something to earn the respect of a cat. High praise indeed when they love you.

    Pat - It isn't like anything else in the world.

    Scarlett - Done!

  7. he's got such a lovely smile and reminds me of our lovely old Thorn the smile is just about the same -