Health Dogs World…Life Without a Dog

Healthy Dogs World...Chloe at 4 years old

We lost our 17 ½ year old rescue dog, Chloe, last month.  I knew it would be hard to adjust, but I never thought she would leave such a hole in my world.

Those of you who truly love and “get” dogs will, I’m sure, understand what I’m writing.

The times when you automatically think, “It’s 4:30; I need  to feed Chloe”, or you just think you hear her in the house.  She was a very lucky girl as my husband works from home so she was rarely alone.

Finishing dinner, cleaning up, taking Chloe for her evening walkies.  Old habits die hard, and the expectation of time to be spent with her searches for other activities to fill the void.

We adopted Chloe when she was 4 ½ years old.  I must have been the luckiest person in the world as I was there volunteering when her first family surrendered her to the Buddy Dog Humane Society in Sudbury, MA.  It was love at first sight.  I picked her up in my arms, and she plunked her head down on my shoulder…I brought her home with me.  That was over thirteen years ago.

We had over thirteen years of a healthy dogs world with her, but it’s never enough.  She was diagnosed with a primary lung tumor when she was sixteen.  We put her on a cancer diet, and she did great.  We made the decision not to put her through chemo or radiation, and at her age, any invasive procedure (even to determine the type of tumor) wasn’t an option.  We were determined to give her the best time that she had left with us.  She had a wonderful last year and amazed and delighted her vet and us!

She slowed down a bit that year, but still went for three walks a day and would bark that special little bark at us to come and play with her in the living room.

When she was done, the end came quickly; cancer did not win though.  Her kidney levels started to go up suddenly, and she started having seizures.  Kidney failure was the problem and a possible brain tumor was suspected.

After six days of trying to control her kidney levels, it was clear her quality of life was gone; the only way we could have brought her home from the emergency vet’s was under heavy sedation.  Not wanting her to suffer, we made the hard decision and said “good-bye”.

I can’t imagine my life without another dog someday, but Chloe’s loss is going to take a while to find its place in my life and for the pain to soften.

To Your Dog’s Good Health!

Cheryl Major and Chloe!

Chloe at 17


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About Cheryl Major

Cheryl Major has been a volunteer at The Buddy Dog Humane Society in Massachusetts for 14 years, and has been on their Board of Trustees since 2008. Her blog,, is a labor of love. She has also been involved in passing animal protection legislation at the city and state levels and was a regular guest on New England Cable News (NECN) for their "Adopt a Pet Segment". This blog is dedicated to the joys and challenges of dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages with whom we share our lives.

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