Thursday, July 28, 2011

Good Bye Chase

As planned, I took Chase to Missoula on Tuesday for an operation to remove his front leg. He had a tumor and removing his leg was the only option for any kind of prolonged life. Lot's of dogs run around with three legs right? As long as we stop the spreading of the cancer, he should live for at least a couple, if not a few more years. Given the fact that at nine years old he looks more like he's 4, he should come out of this fine.

On the way to Missoula we stopped off at one of our favorite fishing holes on the Landers Fork of the Blackfoot. We didn't fish because I didn't want take too much time but we did walk along the river and played a bit. Walking back to the truck, he jumped up and nipped at me like he always does, wanting to play more. He swung his paw at me like he did somehow always seeming to hit me in a bad place. I wrestled him down, putting his head between my legs and scratched his back roughly pushing him side to side. He loaded up and took his place on the back seat and we headed down the road.

I left him at the clinic in Missoula Tuesday afternoon. I put his blanket in the run and left a ball and my stocking hat. I said goodbye as he weaved inbetween my legs like he does, stopping for me to scratch his butt. Kneeling down I said I loved him and kissed him on the nose. When I closed the gate I looked back and he sat there looking at me like he had no care in the world. It would be alright. His ears were perked up and lips pulled back like he was smiling. "It's gonna be ok, Chaser. I'll be back."

My cousin elected to do the surgery on Tuesday afternoon because they had time and didn't want Chase to stress being there any longer than he had to. Chase died the next morning. I was called Wednesday evening with the news. I didn't sleep much last night...not sure when I will again.

For those of you that have spent any time with Chase you how amazing he was. He was so good with the kids I worked with. (Sometimes I thought he should be getting paid instead of me.) He was the one thing I could look to, to calm me down when I was stressed or pissed because I knew he hated seeing me like that. He was absolutely, bar none, the best fishing companion a person could possibly have. It wasn't always like that because he used to run up-stream and jump in to swim back to me but once we worked that out, he was awesome--always at my side waiting for a chance to lick another fish. He made me feel safe in the back country and took off the edge when I felt alone at home. He wasn't the best hunting dog but then again, I wasn't the best shot so were a pretty damn good team. He truly was the coolest dog in the world.

Goodbye Chase.

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