Chewy, Zoey’s favorite dog, is a very important dog in my life. Since Kyle and I first met more than four years ago, Chewy has been a constant in our new relationship then in our marriage and the two cross-country moves we’ve made together as a family. Chewy was there when I said goodbye to Mya, grieving alongside me and, I think, she even helped to snap me out of my depressed state. Chewy was there too when we brought our new baby, Anya, home. She’s a solid little dog (well, not really that little) with the most even-tempered, friendly personality. Rather jovial and sometimes even playful, Chewy is aging but she keeps on keeping on with a doggie smile on her face.
When I first met her, Chewy did not play with toys, chew on bones, or even sleep on her giant dog bed. She was a lone wolf just floating through life with a quiet, solitary man as her companion. Enter me…and Mya…and Lily, Lucy, and Zoey. She greeted us with a welcome wag; opening her heart and home to us. She even shared her guy with me without ever batting an eyelash. She loved us from day one.
With all the animals around, Chewy learned what being a dog (and a cat!) was all about. Mya taught Chewy how to chew on Nylabones, to play with squeaky toys, and how to find joy in the comfort of a dog bed rather than the hard wood floor. Chewy even picked up behaviors from the cats and is now a proficient self-grooming dog; licking her paws and wiping them over her face just like a cat. Initially it was fascinating to watch this evolution of behavior. Now we find it hilarious! All along, I think, Chewy needed animal friends; another dog to show her how to be a dog – or a cat just to show her new things.
When Mya died, Chewy wandered around aimlessly for days scattering Mya’s toys all over the house. One day, while picking them up, I realized that Mya was not the one who had put them there and I just cried and cried. That is when I realized that Chewy was hurting and mourning just as I was. It was a sobering moment of realization and I fell deeper in love with Chewy for sharing my burden of sorrow.
When Anya came into our lives, Chewy was visibly happy. While initially she might have been exhausted, she was a gracious big sister and even taught Anya a few things – like how to be a good girl in her crate. In return, Anya – in true Husky form – taught Chewy how to mess with the cats and how to talk! Chewy now speaks with a variety of sounds and follows Anya’s lead when it’s dinner time; wrestling, play-growling, baying and “boof”ing to get our attention. As if we’ve forgotten that it’s 5:30…or ever missed a mealtime!
Chewy is truly a one-of-a-kind dog. You know how people always talk about dogs being our constant companions? Well, I think that Chewy is the definition of companion. As I type this, she is curled up on the dog bed just feet from me. Always close. Here to live and let live. Always happy to see us and always happy to just be. How lucky are we that she chose Kyle that fateful day when he adopted her from the Michigan Humane Society more than twelve years ago?! Lucky. Really, really lucky.
Chewy was definitely not used to having a camera in her face. She still isn’t a fan and will run whenever it looks like we’re taking a pic. We have lots of pictures with a golden/brown smear in them: Chewy darting from the view finder.
This post is dedicated to the victims and families affected by today’s tragic school shooting in Connecticut. You are in our hearts and our minds and we’re sending you love and strength. I sincerely hope that you have a companion to cling to today and in the dark days ahead.