Monday, June 6, 2011

To sweet Che

Time came to an end for sweet Che-che this weekend.

It was time for her to go. My mom and dad did all they could for her before making the difficult decision to take her to the vet. But she cried relentlessly in the night, had to be carried inside and outside, was no longer able to figure out where she was, and had accidents in her bed. Not wanting her to suffer, they took her to let her life end peacefully and buried her in the back yard. She was 17 years old. We’d had her since I was in the fourth grade.

But I don’t want to focus on the sad times; there are too many happy memories of that dog. And, yes, I cried over losing this dog. She was part of the family for a very long time, and it’s difficult to think that the next time I go to my parents’ house, she won’t be there.

When we drove three hours to pick her up from a breeder, me and my fourth grade best friend argued all the way home as to who would hold her. She was so tiny and so cute, we both wanted to hold and pet that precious pooch.

She had quite an attitude. She was very sweet when you were sweet to her, but she was not afraid to get feisty, either. When she had her puppy shots, I warned the same friend not to touch her where she got her shots that day. “Where? Here? Here?” J asked, touching the spot, and Che-che literally went up one arm and down the other biting her – not hard, just letting her know she was NOT pleased. J, me, and Mom just died out laughing from this little munchkin’s attitude.

Dad, Che-che, and Vicki

She went to my school, and, in front of everyone, ran across the gym floor. I loved showing her off.

I dressed her in baby clothes and a party hat for her one-year birthday. We even had cake. I’m sure she loooovvved the baby clothes.

Che-che, probably for the first half of her life, slept in a pet taxi. And, for the most part, she liked her kennel. It was her refuge, her tiny home. And, when she was mad, she would storm off in it and DARE you to put your hands in her home. If she was REALLY mad, she’d actually put her paw out and slam the door closed (sometimes going as far as to bite the bars of the pet taxi to show her displeasure with whatever you did to tick her off). My cousin, B, one time decided to put his hands in the pet taxi after Che-che had closed the door. He barely made it out with his hands and then asked us why she bit him. Well….

She hated having her nails clipped, too. There were a lot of things she hated. She snarled, and it was one of those “be careful of the sleeping (or in this case, snarling) dragon.” It took two people to clip her nails. The vet muzzled her one time!! She also hated being kissed on her head. I did it a lot as a dare. Never got bit. But Che-che kinda liked me, too.

My mom didn’t like it when I found out Che-che’s “trick” with the vacuum cleaner. I still think the dog didn’t mind it much. I could take the vacuum cleaner hose, put it near her, and she would place her small mouth around it, and her cheeks would go inward. Mom said I was sucking her little guts out. (I promise, I’m actually a really good pet owner!)

Che-che also had a mischievous side. My parents’ bathroom is connected to their bedroom, and when she was younger (you know, under 11), she would hide under the bed and wait for my dad to come out so she could pounce on him. That was her favorite nightly game. I would lay in my bed and hear her barking and trying to get him. Sometimes, Dad would trick her, though; he’d cut the bathroom light off before he opened the door, and he said he could see her peering in the darkness, wondering where he was. And then the shoe would be on the other foot, and he’d scare her!

Granny, my cousin, and Che-che
Che-che was originally my pet, but she became Dad’s dog. She LOVED my dad, and she tolerated me and Mom. Dad took her bike riding (in a basket), but her favorite was riding on top of the lawn mower. Yes, you would see my dad mowing the yard with a large Chihuahua resting comfortably in a basket on top of the mower. She did that until, really, she got too old to enjoy it.

Speaking of mowers, in the “country,” we do all sorts of crazy stuff, like pulling a large piece of cardboard behind the mower with someone on it for fun. She loved running beside us, chasing us. However, she was not quite as fond of going water tubing. She was okay with riding in the boat, but she was not as comfortable riding on someone’s lap on the inner tube.

She loved to eat. MAN, did she LOVE to eat. My dad spoiled her rotten, and she ate everything. EVERYTHING. Eggs, bacon, ice cream (ESPECIALLY ice cream and cheesecake), ham, cake, etc…And, yeah, she lived to be SEVENTEEN.

She was in my bridal portraits. That was a great decision. We took Che-che, and I posed with her in my bridal gown. So she’ll always be somewhat a part of our wedding.

When we got Vicki five years ago, I told Che-che I would always love her and not to be jealous (as if she liked me better than Dad anyway!). Che-che was getting just a bit slower then, and Vicki, a puppy, would try to steal Che-che’s food/toy – from her mouth! Often she succeeded, too, so Dad had to make sure Vicki stayed away from Che-che so each of them only got ONE treat.

Che-che and Vicki
Che-che stayed at my house back in March for the weekend, and it was the last time I kept her (and volunteered to keep her). That was when she started going down. She cried all night, and I cried with her, not knowing what was wrong with her (though I was told that she had wanted a milkshake and some beef jerky – no joke).

But my last memory of Che-che is from May 29, the last day I saw her. She was rolling on her back in the sunshine. She loved lying in the sunshine, inside or outside. Before she started getting really sick (blind, deaf, etc), she would just sleep outside in the sunshine, enjoying herself. When it was cold, Mom would open the front door so she could lay in front of the screen door and get her Vitamin D.

She was a good pet, a good friend. 
Vicki, Puddin, and Che-che


Meredith said...


I know you said you don't want to focus on the sadness, but I'm still sorry!

Brooke said...

since 4th grade? you're probably quite a bit younger than me, but i can use context clues about your age to figure that your dog had a long and full life.

Mari said...

What a sweet pet and a good friend! I'm sorry for your loss, because they do become a member of the family. As you said though - it was a good life!

Ginger said...

Awe, so sad and sweet. Sorry for your loss, and I am glad you have Vicky.

misti said...

:,( Always heartbreaking to lose a pet no matter how old they are(especially when they're as old as Che - they're like a sibling!).

On a lighter least you know she's over the rainbow bridge ;)

Rach@In His Hands said...

Saying farewell to a dear pet is oh so hard, I know. They really are so special and love so deeply. It sounds like Che-che was a wonderful dog!

Essay Writing said...

Sounds sad...I love your writer’s voice in this post.