Chubby was not just a dog. To Maria, a 23 year old photographer in Cleveland, Chubby was more than half of her life. But some things does not really last forever. Even life itself. For Maria it was a difficult decision to make. Over the years, Chubby has gone ill and her health deteriorated due to a disease – cognitive dysfunction, the equivalent of Alzheimer’s to humans. Seeing her suffered despite her everyday usual routine cheering up Maria and making her day glow since she was a seven year old little girl. Chubby was her best friend, a cherished little sister. They grew together, they have lived together along with their home grown family for the last 16 years. Chubby was her favourite part of her being, her life.
A Pound dog finds a home and a family.
Her family got Chubby from a pound. They grew up and enjoy life together. She remembers disturbing her impatiently from her puppy naps just to be able to be and play with her, Whenever there are guests visiting at their home, she would often greet, “Do you want to see my dog?!” rather than saying “Hi” first. Chubby has witnessed so far the most important part of Maria’s life.
The dog has gone into life changing ordeal being at her old age. A couple of years back, cataracts strikes first followed by the loss of her hearing and other old age symptoms follows through. She lost traction of her paws, sleeplessness and just wanders going around in circles. An ordeal Maria couldn’t stand watching it and just simply broke her heart watching and thinking she’s suffering. The Vet recommended a supplement and later on pills to help her out. Chubby also cannot climb up anymore to her bed leading to a series of bed replacements to comfort her. Then she started throwing up and stopped eating. Some medicines don’t seem to work for her soon. Her anxiety and sleeplessness continue. Maria knows time is coming soon to her beloved pet but somehow she has not anticipated it sooner. Her blood works are fine but the x-ray reveals gallstones. Surgery was an option but Chubby was way too weak to go through it. The medicines might work but really no guaranty it could remove the stones. For 3 day in a row she did not take any food. And the very tough decision has to be done.
Chubby’s memoir in images.
As Maria decided to choose the day for Chubby to be put down, she thought of documenting their last days together with the help of a friend photographer, Suzanne Price. Some of Maria’s memoirs of her dearest best bud can be viewed through her website, just click the image of Maria and her late dog Chubby above to get to the link of her website.
Alternately, you can click the link below:
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My more than 30 years on living with my canine buddies, past and present. I was always fascinated what made them to be so happy that always made me also delighted seeing them. I initially thought it was their looks and moves that made them do smile and be happy. But there is something still more and beyond their physical attributes that made them lovable and purely happy.
Happy. A name I have chosen when my father asked me to name him. He was our first dog, me and my family had a far long time ago, more than 30 years as I vividly recall. He was almost the same age s my youngest brother. My brother is now 34. I remember it was because I find him so happy wagging his tail and wiggling his body that made me thought of his name. He was the center of me and all my family’s’ activities for the next 30 years of our lives. As we all go with what our lives through the years and as I reminisce the moments on the life of the longest dog buddy who have survived and shared with our lives, I recalled how each of these aspects played a great deal on what really made them genuinely happy.
Touching and petting. From the moment we wake up and Happy, our dog comes to each one of us wagging his tail and tucking his head on our legs and hands. We always give him the ritual of running our hands on his head or on his body.
Hugs and Talks. Whenever we all lie on the floor to watch TV, study, or just about any activity in the house, he would rush and sit or lie beside us. And we always reciprocate with either a hug or some pet talk asking him how was he during the day or any talks just to get him through the notion of wagging his tail, licking or nudging us anywhere in our bodies.
Playyyyyyyyyy! And as soon as everyone was settled and okay. It is like a cue that it’s going to be play time. If we are all on the floor, we roll, we tug and pull ourselves together as we talk and laugh about things that happened for the day. And if rolling and tugging ain’t enough and there was still time for an outdoor play, we go out the lawn and play some more with a ball, a stick or a Frisbee. And the day ends with all of us having a great day with everybody with our canine buddy.
Food and Treats. A day wouldn’t be complete with his food eating, potty and any kind of treats but as every dog’s fetish, a chunky bone left from my mom’s cooking was always a delight to him.
YOU. In the later part of our lives, when everyone has to find our own destiny and the house becomes less and less with people inside. He grew weary and dull. When my father has to go somewhere off to another country to work and provide for our college education. When one by one of us got to have and raise our own families and what was left in the house was my mother and youngest brother. The loud noise of barking and laughter also grew thin. It will only resume when each of us find our way back home during our visits and when everyone was around on family occasions and holiday visits. Until one summer about three years ago, mom called to broke a news we all don’t want to hear. Our beloved canine buddy have left us. Mom found him one morning in his crib stiff and lifeless. Mom said he seems extra dull and lonely and hardly eating his meals for the past couple of days. But she has seen him seem to be chasing a mouse in the lawn the night before he died. Although all of us were saddened by his passing. Father uttered that it might have been his time since our Happy is over 30 years and must have been too tired from his journey of giving us endless laughter and happiness and most importantly his unconditional love for us all. A friend psychologist told me that the gradual depression from the last years weakens him when one by one of us leaves the house and him getting less and less physical activity and attention adding up to his getting old. My friend further told me that our dog have made us his way of life and without us all his lifelong buddies, he was left with no other choice but to accept his loneliness without us. My Vet mentioned: YOU are his pack, his team, his family and without YOU, he cease to exist.
Journey of life. Having a pet animal is just like having another member of the family, we grow with them, we live with them, and we experience and share the JOURNEY of LIFE with our beloved pets. Celebrate life with them for they are truly an important part of our existence as we are the most important part of their existence too.
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