It is a sad day for our family. Yesterday afternoon, we learned that our dog, Chloe, has cancer. She is 13 years old. She has cataracts and she is 90% deaf. She is a beautiful old lady at the end of her life. So we have decided not to put her through the rigors of chemotherapy. Instead we just want to make her final days as happy and comfortable as we can, until it is time to say goodbye. We don’t know how long she has left. It is probably in the range of a few weeks to a few months. For now, thankfully, she is still energetic, playful, and she is not in pain.
Today’s photograph is simply a snapshot I have wanted to take for quite a while, one of those that I create in my head and then put off and put off in favor of more important tasks. With Chloe’s diagnosis, I knew I had to get the picture before it was too late. It’s not a great work of art. It’s just a symbol of the lives these two pups have shared together, a reminder of their bond which I wanted to record, for after they are gone.
Chloe and Lindy are sisters from the same litter. Way back in 1994, my mother and I decided to get our cocker spaniel puppies at the same time. Chloe (on the left in both photos) was Mom’s dog. Lindy was mine. Mom and Chloe lived alone, and they loved each other so much. Lindy and I were also on our own, in our little one bedroom apartment in Dunwoody. My mother and I were very close and spent a lot of time together, so Chloe and Lindy grew up together. They are as close as any two sisters can be. When Mom passed, Chloe naturally came to live with us. She grieved so much when Mom died. In the year after her death, my family and I renovated my mother’s house and moved back in, making it our own. Chloe was home again, but her human wasn’t here anymore. She loves us as we love her, but she has shown a lingering sadness in these past five years. Even today, she often lays by the front door staring out the window, and I wonder if she is there still waiting for Mom to come home.
I know there is much debate about whether our dogs go to Heaven. Scripture does not give us a definitive answer. I, for one, believe they do. An innocent being, one of God’s creatures, who devotes her entire life to serving and loving her human … I can’t imagine that Chloe won’t see Mom soon. I believe a joyous reunion is in store for both of them.