I’ve taken a little break from the blog recently. On December 28, 2014, I lost my best friend and companion of almost 12 years, Chance. Thank you for all of the nice emails and messages checking on him during his battle with kidney cancer, it meant the world to me.
This is Chance’s story.
It all started one Sunday in August 2003 when my ex-husband and I were out on the boat with our female boxer, Ginger. Some friends of ours asked if we were interested in another boxer. Apparently this local dog named Chance was headed for the pound if someone didn’t rescue him soon. He was too unruly for his owners.
At first I said, “Ohhhhh no, I can’t take on the responsibility of another dog.” I worked in real estate sales at the time and just happened to have an appointment the next day in the community that Chance was located in. I called his owners and asked if I could visit Chance.
When I got there, Chance was chained to a tree and was skin and bones. He had the saddest, most confused look about him. I immediately told his owners that I would take him and cancelled my appointment, putting him straight into the back seat of my car.
I went to where my ex-husband was working and said, “Look what I am bringing home!” Needless to say, that didn’t go over too well.
Better to ask for forgiveness than permission, right? 🙂
As soon as I took Chance through the front door, he tried to fight with my female boxer, Ginger. I thought to myself, “What have I gotten myself into?” I gave him a bath and took him to the vet for his vaccinations.
My ex-husband didn’t speak to me for almost a week after bringing this dog into our home that constantly tried to fight with Ginger and was EXTREMELY unruly. He tried to drag us on the leash and was hell on 4 legs. I came to the conclusion I was going to keep him until finding him a home where there were no other dogs. I signed him up with a local pet rescue and was going to be his foster until an appropriate home was found.
Meanwhile, Chance gained 7 pounds in the first 7 days of being with us. After 2 weeks he and Ginger suddenly started playing and boxing one day in the middle of the living room. I cried. He finally realized she was not a threat and was not going to take his food or attention.
I still planned to place him in an appropriate home, since my ex-husband wasn’t too keen on the extra responsibility.
One day while at work, I got a call from my ex (then) husband. He said, “We’re keeping the dog.” Of course I asked, “Why is that?” He replied, “Well, he broke his leash and ran off like a bat out of hell. He ran straight down the dock and jumped on the boat wanting to go for a boat ride. He’s a boat dog and we’re keeping him.”
It was at that point these 2 men bonded and became best buddies. Chance was his sidekick and boat buddy.
So Chance spent lots of time on the water. He and Ginger were best friends and got into all kinds of mischief together. I’ll never forget Chance peeing in some a*shole’s cooler on the sandbar. The guy threw a fit even after I offered to clean his cooler and give him new ice (I had 3 extra bags on the boat!). What a turd. Chance was a work in progress and needed lots of training. Now I’m glad he peed in his cooler.
Chance would always find a comfortable seat. ALWAYS. No matter where he was.
Or a comfortable spot UNDER a seat…
He loved kids.
He loved fishing.
He loved best friends.
He loved me.
Chance was even fortunate enough to have a beautiful step-mom that loved him just as much as I did!
Chance wasn’t keen on cold weather.
He was happiest with water and sunshine.
Chance’s favorite place to lay was in the sand. Over time he became the perfect dog. He was the life of the party and everyone loved him.
I don’t know if he liked sailboats too much, though. I think he was more of a motor boat dog (or maybe I’m speaking for myself). 🙂
My ex-husband and I separated in 2012 and agreed to share the closest thing to a child we had (Ginger passed in 2010). I kept him one week, he kept him the next. It might sound crazy to some of you, but it worked. No matter what our differences were, we both loved Chance and couldn’t be without him.
Every day when I got home from work in the summer, I’d sit on my front porch to wind down in my rocking chair. Chance was always right beside me. Every kid in the new neighborhood eventually came to visit him on a regular basis.
Chance always wanted to know where his mama was.
When I got stressed out, all I’d have to do is look at how he enjoyed life to get my reality check. Chance was so thankful just for being loved.
So full of life and stamina, I thought he would live forever. This was Chance in 2012.
He started slowing down in 2014 and I knew he had lived his better days. Chance started having pee accidents and we eventually discovered he had kidney cancer. There was nothing we could do but keep him comfortable and feed him good food. Chance loved his grub. For years, I cooked him a mixture of brown rice, meat, veggies and sweet potato or pumpkin. Eating his homemade food was euphoric to him.
The day came where Chance wouldn’t eat and we knew it was time. It was his last pleasure in life and his body had become weak and frail. His time here was at an end. I didn’t want it to end, but knew we had to let him go with the dignity he so much deserved. We took him to the vet so that he could cross over to the rainbow bridge.
This is the last picture I have with Chance, taken about 6 weeks before he passed. I will always be grateful to my best friend Melissa for taking the time to photograph us at one of Chance’s favorite spots.
I have comfort in knowing that his best friend Ginger was at the rainbow bridge waiting for him to run and play once again.
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ~ Will Rogers
I just “stumbled” upon your blog looking up recipes. I saw you were a “Boxer Mom” and then of course I had to look for pictures of your Boxer. I am sorry for your loss – having gone through losing my Boxer I can imagine what you went through… it’s one of the hardest things I ever went through. I lost my Boxer to cancer – I wrote about it on my Blog too as part of my healing process. I still to this day get choked up if I allow myself to think of his last day … so I only choose to remember the happy days with him!
Chance’s story is amazing. Thank you for sharing. He sounded like a wonderful dog and he had wonderful “parents”. I know that if God makes something so loving, then I know you will meet again.
Amy @ The Blond Cook
Thanks Tina! He was a great dog.
Hi…..Amy! Just going thru some stuff on my iPad and saw chances story again! Hoping you are doing well and coming along! This is something that takes a long time! Thinking of you And hope you are feeling better. Regards to you and god bless chance!
Oh I forgot to mention,I will keep your lovely story about chance so I can always see him! Irene d.
My heart has complete understanding of this wonderful tribute. I have had many treasured dogs and cats pass over the Rainbow Bridge. My last Chesapeake Bay Ret. would not pass from spinal cancer we believe until we got a new one and he could oversea him for 8weeks. Very gently as he was in such pain, we think he did not want us to grieve when his time came and we had to call the vet. He broke our hearts with his loss but our young pup fulled the void it has been 3years now he’ll be with us by our sides each day. I hope you find a new one when the time is right and your heart is open, Chance and Ginger would love to see their mom share her love like she did with them. Till we our dear ones at the Rainbow Bridge.
Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen
Oh, Amy, I’m a big giant blubbering mess after reading this beautiful post. I know how special Chance was and I know how incredibly difficult it is to lose a pet that you cherish so much. You gave him such a beautiful life.
Oh, your story got me! Chance sounds like a beautiful soul, I am happy for you that you had the chance to love him and know that he loved you too!
Your sweet and sad story has me positively squalling. Even the mean cat is concerned.
I had to put my best friend down last summer, and life has never been the same. I also knew when the time was nigh, and unselfishly let her go with dignity. She was a gorgeous, all black German Shepherd, and named Shadow, appropriately so, for she was my shadow. The loss will always be a bittersweet thing, but we know they have no more suffering and are probably playing like young pups over the bridge. I just hope when I go, Shadow is the first one to greet me. I send you hugs of comfort, and the hope that both of us will find another companion who needs us, just like we need them.
What a beautiful tribute, Amy. Chance was lucky to have you as his mama. 🙂
This was wonderful. God Bless Chance.
Hello…I’am sincerely sorry Chance has passed on to doggy heaven. But doggy heaven and cats too has to be a lovely peaceful place…my feelings for animals are so huge that sometimes I get sick in my stomach just thinking about their issues! I want you to feel good that chance is in the comfort of ginger and hopefully they met my little Leo who also passed recently! I try to keep a smile on when I see his picture knowing I will see him when I get up to that peaceful place and hoping I can meet ginger and chance! Wishing you the best in the new year! Sincerely , Irene DiMaggio!