Friday, July 15, 2011

A Prayer for My Best Friend

Usually on my days off I take Chase up to the Dearborn or Blackfoot wade fishing. Today I brought him to Missoula to see my cousin. She and her husband are veterinarians and have been doing all the check-ups and shots and any other problems he's been having pretty much his entire life minus the couple years I lived in Grafton, WI. He's been limping for over a month now so I figured it was time.

You have to understand, Chase has been with me nearly every day for the past nine years. We fished countless streams from the Blackfoot and Bitterroot to the Milwaukee and Manitowac and dozens in between. We've shot pheasants and grouse--ducks and geese and wouldn't have gotten even 10% of them if it wasn't for him. We've traveled cross-country at least two dozen times together. He can sleep in the car for 12 hours without fussing. He's gone through 4 career changes, 6 moves and 8 different girlfriends and he's always been there to either make them feel welcome or comfort me when they are gone. I've seen him lie down showing no pain and nothing but compassion when my cousin's kids climbed on him--take the abuse from an autistic boy's hard play with a smile and only ask for more and I've never seen him so much as growl at anyone, especially the kids, unless he was protecting me or someone close to me. He truly is the best companion, the best dog, the best friend I've ever had.

Today Chase was diagnosed with a bone tumor. Best case scenario is that they remove his entire front right leg and he lives a couple more years. They don't know if it's progressed or if it will come back. As you can imagine I'm deeply saddened by this. I can only hope for the best. Even if he can't hunt afterwards, he can still be my guy for a little while longer I hope.

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