It’s funny how we can have our hearts broken and it literally feels like the worst pain in the entire universe. Somehow we feel as though we will never be whole again our entire lives.
I had my heart broken my a boy once and I’ve felt that deep, deep pain in my gut. Two years ago I thought I would never be the same again – but time proved me wrong. It’s funny how we can feel so much and then over time we can forget just how painful something once was. It might be a touchy subject for years to come, but it won’t always cut so deep – the wound will scab over and, given time, the scab will heal. It might scar, but even scars fade.
Yesterday I felt my heart break once again. I was reminded of just how deep that pain can course through your entire body. I was so caught up in myself yesterday – I’ve had THREE EKG’s the past week and no answers to any health issues and although they are slowly getting better (or I’m just getting used to them?!) it’s still so difficult to not have any concrete plans or answers moving forward. My mom sent me a text saying that we needed to talk and even though she’s my mother, it still had that effect of a the stereotypical, “We need to talk” text that usually signifies a break up or an argument. So me and my overly anxious self began to freak out. I put my boxing gloves on, prepared to fight her on whatever it may be she was upset about. She called me and as I began to rant and defend myself before she could get a word in edge wise, she stopped me. Our english setter, Chloe, passed away in her sleep late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
I crumbled. I felt myself fighting back tears that could not be contained. I SOBBED. My chest ached so badly – whether from other issues or the pain of what felt like my heart LITERALLY cracking into pieces, I’m not sure. Chloe was born in June of 2004 – right at the end of my 4th grade year in school.
I’m pretty young still and so I haven’t had the chance to have many pets, but let me tell you – Chloe was one of a kind! Chloe was wild and wooly as a puppy – always up for playing. She LOVED catching tennis balls and could literally play frisbee FOREVER. She gave hugs – I kid you not. Whenever we walked through the door after a long day, Chloe would run over and jump up and wrap her arms around our necks. If two of us were hugging Chloe would come and jump up to join in the love. Chloe loved made up stories (we called them “Speckle stories”) and whenever we knelt down to whisper them in her ear she would throw one paw up around our shoulder and pull us in even tighter. Chloe did NOT have great table manners, but she would always climb up in someone’s lap once dinner was completed and survey the table – ya know, just to make sure everyone had gotten enough and there was nothing going to waste 😉 We took Chloe hiking and she would get in the water that was near the hiking trails we visited. Chloe would chase the fish and try to catch them. My mom even taught Chloe how to call me – before she would leave for work in the morning’s she’s say, “Chloe, let’s say goodbye to Sarah Catherine” and Chloe would start howling for me.
Chloe was fearless – for better or for worse. The neighbors would call us and say, “There’s a dog in a pink winter coat running through my yard – did Chloe escape again?” she was always ready for an adventure – even when we weren’t up for the challenge! Chloe got into SO much trouble – she found bees nests, had stables in her arm, had to have surgery and have her intestine’s stitched up, and so many other things.
There’s so many stories I could tell about Chloe. But I think the most remarkable thing was how she was by my side through every major change in my life. Chloe saw me thrive through middle school. Chloe saw my initially struggle with anorexia when I was 12. Chloe saw me fall into depression – she was one of the saving grace’s in my life when I found myself feeling completely and utterly hopeless. Chloe watched me cry…and NEVER failed to comfort me. Chloe watched me jump for joy. She LOVED music and was always there for every practice session. She also loved listening to me sing and play the guitar I got for my 18th birthday. Chloe was there for holidays – the best ones and the hardest ones. Chloe was there when I first went off to college in 2012 and she was there when I returned home in 2013…defeated, hopeless, and sick.
Chloe was a great example for me – she went blind during the summer of 2013. A little less than a year ago, she developed diabetes and had to have insulin shots with every meal. Chloe never gave up hope and she kept pushing through. And as silly as it sounds – she set a great example of how to keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward even when you can’t see the ground your placing your feet upon (literally and figuratively). Chloe trusted us to take care of her because she had no other choice, but she taught me that it’s okay to trust people to take care of me and provide for me – sometimes people will let you down because no one is perfect, but most of the time, they will be there to love you in whatever way they can at the time.
I’m really grateful that God grants us the capability to have more than one best friend throughout our lives. I loved Chloe with all my heart – every last nook and cranny was taken up by her presence and the loyalty, trust, ad love I had for her. Then little Rachi came bouncing (given her spirit and spunk, I think “crashing” may be a more accurate description word to use here) into our lives. God didn’t take away some of my love for Chloe in order to make room for Rachi in my heart – he simple expanded my heart and filled me with the capacity to love both of them endlessly. And that will be true for any other pets I may have during my life. My love for Chloe won’t ever be replaced or lessened by another best friend’s presence in my life. Dogs truly are man’s bets friends, but thankfully, God granted us the capability to have many best friend’s during our one short lifetime.
Here’s to my old girl – her speckle stories, squeeky toys, fish chasing, car ride loving, stinky breath, practicing buddy, self! Forever in my heart. Thanks for the memories sweet, Chloe! Rest in peace – I know you’ll be up in heaven dancing to my music ❤ This isn’t goodbye – it’s simply, see you later!
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
― Josh Billings
― Will Rogers