Your Pet Loss Diaries

'Patti & Chewbaca'

About Chewbaca

Chewbaca my Basset mix.

The sweetest and most beautiful soul that came into my life unexpectedly.

When did you lose Chewbaca?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at about 4:00 PM MST

At which stage of pet loss grief do you feel you are currently at?

Or how are you feeling right now?

I've come to terms with making the decision to end his pain, but I'm still very sad that he's no longer here physically. I'm also still very tearful. I'm trying to get to the point where I can smile when I think of him rather than cry all the time. I've been seeking out grief counseling, which has been helpful.

Patti & Chewbaca's Story so far

In December 1999 my mother and I bought a duplex. We had discussed getting a dog for my son but I was against it. Well my mother didn't listen. She went to go get my son from school and was gone longer than usual. When she got home she surprised me with a dog. I wasn't happy but when I saw his sweet face I fell in love with him instantly.

He was abused before we got him so he had behavioral problems. We were very patient and loving with him. I remember vividly that he came with this own blanket (more like a comforter). Shortly after he arrived we gave him a bath and we didn't realize he was white because he wasn't well taken care of. Well as soon as he dried from his first bath we took him to a pet store and bought a new collar, leash, and a plush toy. Soon after we get home we take him for his first walk. This is one of the best memories I have of him because he took his plush toy and held it in his mouth as we walked around the neighborhood.

As we got comfortable with each other I noticed that he did odd things. At first, we fed him the food he came with but we noticed he liked to flip water from his water bowl to his food bowl. I came up with an idea that I thought would make him happy...we bought Gravy Train so that he could make his own gravy LOL He also "nested" like a cat. Before napping or going to bed he would pick the blanket up with his mouth or his nose and get it situated enough for his to be comfortable. These are all great memories.

Chewie became such a wonderful companion because he was eager greet me when I got home from work. He was also very eager to listen and lick away my tears when I was having a bad day. Although he was a Basset mix (medium sized dog) he always wanted to be in my lap, which I always welcomed.

As he aged, he still had a great personality and he was still always eager to spend time with me. He slowed down but was always up for a walk around the neighborhood. His vet gave him a good bill of health just shortly after he turned 14 years old. She was amazed at how healthy and vibrant he was. However, 10 days after this Chewie had a seizure and mini stroke that scared my son and I. His eyes were shifting back and forth rapidly and he couldn't walk. We rushed him to the vet and they diagnosed him with Vestibular disease.

The first 3 weeks after the diagnosis we weren't sure if he was going to pull through. This is because he wasn't eating or drinking by himself and he couldn't walk straight. One night my son and I heard him in the kitchen eating and drinking by himself. We were happy and celebrated with Chewie. After the diagnosis he just couldn't sleep on my bed any more because of the motion sickness. My son opted to sleep on the floor with Chewie in his room. So my son's mattress was on the floor next to Chewie's orthopedic bed.

He continued to get better but 5½ months later he started to decline. We made him comfortable as best as we could and he still showed his personality. Sadly, he was starting to have more bad days than good. One night he just couldn't stand any more and he stopped eating. The next day I made the heart breaking decision to free him from his pain.

He passed peacefully at the vet hospital that he'd been going to since December 1998 and with the vet that had been treating him since early 2000.

I have cried so much due to the loss of my best friend. Even after a week I still tear up remembering him. I still listen for him and go check on him. My son has had a hard time sleeping because Chewie is no longer laying next to him any more. I've also had a hard time putting his food and water dish away...I know this will take time (baby steps).

He was such an awesome dog. He taught me so many things and I will continue to put forth what I learned from my precious baby.

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