Where do I begin with Chance? Well, it all started about 10 ½ years ago when I received a phone call from a friend who had a puppy that she could not keep. I had just moved out of my parents’ house and was missing my pets from home. What was the harm in looking, I thought. Well, it was love at first sight. There before me was this tiny little bright white pup trying to climb onto the bed. He was way too small to get up there, and danced around hopping on his back feet till he noticed that there was someone new in the room. He was the cutest thing that I had ever seen and we instantly hit it off.
I took him home and was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to take care of him so I called my mom and asked for help. She told me to schedule an appointment at a local vet, find a local pet store and stock up on chew toys ‘cause he was going to need them. Then she asked me what I had named him. Name…hmm. I hadn’t thought about that until I remembered that there was this cute dog in a movie that he looked like and his name was Chance. Chance sounded like a good name too but it was a shame he would never really know that he had a name.
After a couple of months I had noticed that he never came to me when I called his name. Sure, he came when I motioned him to come but I never put the two together. So I took him back to the vet and there I found out that my cute little pup was deaf. They had told me that his ear canals were not fully developed and that I was in for some hard work.
Chance being deaf never really was that difficult to adjust to. We started off slow with hand signals and we had so much trust in each other that it almost came naturally. Before I knew it, he would come, sit, stay, shake, and lie down. He also never would go further than maybe 20 feet before checking to see where I was. So it all worked out and I never really thought too much about it. I talked to him, called his name when I motioned for him to come; it was, dare I say, easy for us.
Over the years we shared many memories that I will cherish forever. From camping trips and lake visits. Oh yeah, he even rode sea-dos with us at the lake. We covered many miles together. One of Chance’s favorite places was the beach. He loved to swim. It didn’t matter where we were – if there was water he was in it. My mom had a swimming pool and he would never get out of it. He loved jumping off the diving board, especially onto your head. If you were floating on a raft he would make every effort to get onto it too.
All these great memories were much needed because on May 21st the worst news was delivered to me and that was when he was diagnosed with lymphoma. I had noticed some hard small balls in his throat and when I had made an appointment with our vet she knew that what I had said would not come with any good news.
I opted for an alternative approach with Chance because I had heard so many mixed things about chemo. We decided that a quality of life would be better than quantity. My regular vet prescribed him some prednisone and our holistic vet started him on herbal supplements and tweaked his diet a little. It seemed like things were going well but about 3 weeks into it his lymph nodes had gone up again, so we tried a higher dose of the prednisone for a few days and it worked but didn’t work for long. We weren’t sure how far along he was but it wasn’t looking good. I made the best of it and spent every moment I could with him making new memories.
What made things easier for both of us was Chance was able to go to work with me and the support that I had from my co-workers and friends was amazing. We lived every minute to the fullest until he looked at me with those huge brown eyes and told me that it was time. The hardest part was trying not to be selfish and keep him around even though what I wanted for him was peace and comfort. I made the hardest decision of my life but it was the best for my friend and loving companion of 10 ½ years.
I think about him every day and even though he is not here physically anymore he lives inside me and I can feel his presence everywhere. I love my Chance and I thank him for making me a better person and am so happy to have shared part of my life with him. I grew up with him from that excited nineteen-year-old girl and that 7-week-old puppy, we formed a bond that will never be broken.