Goodbye, Chyna Bear.
This week has been...interesting.
As a married couple, one of our biggest purchases (after our house) has been our furry friend, Chyna. We found her at a rescue in Elgin, Texas, which was then a 2-hour journey north of us. When we first pulled into the rescue ranch, up came running a half-blind mutt named Bootsie and a sweet dachschund named Itty-Bitty. I didn't know what to expect as a first-time dog owner and a two-time victim of a dog attack.
As we chatted with the owner, her silver German Shepherd, Milo, made a grand appearance. And right after came Trooper, a gorgeous, 100-lb golden German Shepherd with a heart of gold. I was intimidated by his size. The owner re-assured us that he was a big sweetheart. She gave me a chance to walk him down her driveway and I will admit it made me anxious. Still, I gave him a chance.
Trooper dragged me the whole way there and back. He sensed my tension and hurriedly walked me back. He was a sweetheart. Like a gentleman, he walked me back to where S and the owner stood chatting. We had brought along our siblings, and they immediately showered Trooper with all the attention.
It was then that I noticed a skinny, timid female German Shepherd, lingering in our shadows. She was anxious, scared and uncomfortable. Her ears folded back, tail tucked in....but I couldn't help it. I approached her and she immediately nuzzled into my arms, as though I was her protector. She had an injured leg and a cut across her face. Her bones stuck out and visibly underweight.
S knew she'd come with issues, but he also knew that she would be a better first dog, because of her quiet temperament. So we brought her home. Two hours in a car, she curiously and fearfully watched the cars whiz by. The adjustment period for Chyna was rocky. She was afraid of everything and everyone. Her diet, her walks, her interactions with others. Everything was a re-alignment of her fears. Someone had deeply engrained fear in her and it took us a couple years to get her comfortable.
She was a lover of butt rubs, raw chicken, car rides, long walks, chasing squirrels and greeting us every morning. Her true nature of love and affection began overwhelming our hearts. For five years, she has displayed her Creator's love, loyally and limitlessly.
Today, cancer has forced our hand into the difficult decision of letting her go. She has fought it like a trooper for the past year, but this week she has been telling us she is ready. She has stopped eating and is too tired to even give us a kiss.
We understand, Chyna Bear, and we honor you for how gracefully you pursued us. We are forever grateful for your heart of gold. And we will never forget you for every hairy tumbleweed and stinky fart that you let out silently.
Thank you, Chynese Checkers. Death is no match to the beautiful memories that you have engrained into the tapestry of our life.