The kids had long left the nest and we had settled into a relatively quiet semi-retirement. Looking back, I guess it must have been too quiet for Joanna! A couple years before, our daughter had been given a cute little pug she named Zoe. Joanna fell in love with that dog, and just had to have one of her own. My argument against taking on a pet at that phase of our lives was not enough. Chloe became part of our family in 2002.
It’s true what’s written about pugs — they are fiercely loyal, will do anything to please and just want to give love. Chloe quickly became a loved member of the family. She was tolerant of the grandkids, especially Megan our eldest. Megan would spend a couple of weeks with us each summer during her preteen years. She’d bring Chloe into her room and dress her up in costume jewelry and parade her around the house. Although Chloe wasn’t too happy with the situation, she put up with it! Chloe was “Joanna’s dog”, but she and I really bonded during our daily walks. Over the years, Chloe developed diabetes; a tendency for epileptic seizures and had cataract surgery in both eyes. She was even bitten by a pigmy rattlesnake! Through it all, she carried on as if nothing could stop her. A really great companion.
When Joanna became ill, Chloe was her constant companion, snuggling up to her in the bed; sitting by the chair at her feet; licking Joanna’s feet! She wouldn’t come near my feet (absolutely fine with me!), but every night she’d have a go at Joanna’s! Chloe knew when Joanna wanted company and when it was best to keep her distance. As Joanna began to slip away, I believe Chloe sensed it. When the end came, Chloe stood with me in the driveway. As the hearse pulled away, Chloe let out a little cry. The hospice nurse standing there with us said, “Chloe’s saying goodbye!”
For the next three years, Chloe was my absolute best buddy as we helped each other through the grieving process of losing Joanna. A few months before Chloe passed away, we spent a week in a cottage at the beach on Captiva Island in Florida. I returned to the cottage for a week later that year and snapped the Flock of Gulls at Sunset photo at the top of this page. I like to think Joanna and Chloe were sitting with me that evening enjoying the moment.