Rest In Peace Chochi

You were the sweetest, most loving dog we’ve ever had.  You filled our lives with love and laughter.  How can you be gone?  How can the line between life and death be so thin, that you can cross over in just minutes?

Chochi 6-09

Chochi on the day we brought him home from the kennel. He was a little over a year old at the time.

On Saturday, you did your usual happy dance up and down the hallway when you saw me putting on my shoes to take you on our evening walk.

Chochi 4-12

You pulled ahead on your leash and sniffed every interesting clump of grass.  We watched our neighbor’s squad of ducks waddle by.  Their white male turkey was showing off his tail feathers to the hen turkey.


 It was starting to get dark when we returned.  I closed the gate and removed your leash.  I said, “All done!”, like I always do and like always you ran full speed into the woods at the edge of the yard.

Chochi-big eyes 7-09

Then you turned and started back toward me.  You howled a loud, piercing scream.  You fell to the ground.  I yelled for my husband, while I buried my face in your shoulder.  “Chochi, Chochi,  I love you Chochi.”  I kissed your velvety ears.

Chochi-head down  7-09

You were limp.  Your eyes twitched and your heart was racing at a frightening pace.  My husband bent to stroke your leg and gently lay his hand on your heart.  It was still then.  I laid down on the grass and let my tears bathe your face.

Chochi-in blue grass 7-09


Chochi was a rescue dog.  He picked out my husband.  Both times my husband visited him at the dog shelter, Chochi drew near and nosed my husband and licked his hand through the kennel cage.  Chochi’s former owner had kept him underfed and abused.  He had scars on his snout and was afraid every time we raised our hands, thinking it was a prelude to being hit.  I’d raise a hand to brush my hair or take a glass off the shelf and he’d duck his head.  In time, though, he felt safe and loved in his new home.

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

Everyone loved him and he returned that love tenfold. He was sweet-natured, affectionate, even-tempered and enthusiastic.

Now my husband and I stumble through our days, with our grief as present in our home, as Chochi used to be.  But I know that, in time, we will remember how soft his fur was, how he’d bump us with his nose when he wanted attention.  We’ll remember how he loved walks and carrots and how he liked to sleep under the table while we ate.  We’ll remember how he always wanted to be near us and how peaceful we all felt together.

And when we remember, we’ll smile.

Chochi was so contented and happy to be sleeping with his head leaning on my husband’s feet. I took this picture last week.

Monday Meanderings – Sorrow and Gratitude

 Last night when I was driving home from the grocery store, a large brindle pit bull mix dashed out in front of my car.  He bolted out so fast that I didn’t even see him.  I just heard the thunk of impact, saw him careen through the air and land on the other side of the road.  I slammed on the brakes and ran from the car screaming and crying.

Immediately a woman and two men were at my side, assuring me that it wasn’t my fault.  It had happened too fast.  The lady put her arms around me and I buried my head in her shoulder and sobbed.  One stranger comforting another. There had been two brindle dogs and the second one had run away, scared.  One man tried to follow it, hoping it would go home, so the owner could be told about the one I hit.  But the dog ran too fast, and the man couldn’t keep up.

The other man went to his car and got out those blue plastic gloves that doctors use and he moved the dog to the roadside.  I briefly wondered why those were in his car.  The lady made me sit down and she continued to hold me.  It turned out that she was a doctor and she was worried that I was in shock and shouldn’t drive.  We called my husband, but he was out in the garden and didn’t hear the phone.  I told her that I’d be OK to drive the rest of the way home, but she insisted that she should drive me home in my car and her husband would follow and bring her back. She said a person’s judgment can be impaired when they are in shock.

So, in addition to the time they spent with me and the dying dog, they added another half hour to their day by driving to my house and then back to where they’d started when the accident occurred.  When I got out of the car at my house, the woman gave me a hug before she and her husband drove off.

I only know her first name; that she is a doctor and what her specialty is.  I will try to find her in the phonebook and thank her for her extraordinary kindness.  In the car she told me, that in light of what happened in Japan, if one person can’t reach out to another in need, than we really have nothing of worth.

I’m not going to write about the specific details of what happened to the dog that I hit, but the brutal images are burnt into my memory now. However, alongside that memory, is the memory of the kindness of strangers, who went out of their way to comfort me and assure my safety on the way home.

If you have a dog, please keep him/her in a fenced yard and keep your cats indoors.  Someone is grieving today because their beloved dog never came home last night.  Love your pets well–they give so much to us.

My rescue dog

"I love you, Chochi!" (my dog)