Yesterday was a bad day. A very bad, no good, very bad day.

But instead of reliving the badness of yesterday through words, I’m choosing to write about the beautiful memories left behind.

My little pup, Chloe. She had plenty of other names. Bird. Birdy Bird. Chloe Bird. Bird nation. Munchy. Chloe-eesha. She responded to all of them. She was with me when I graduated High School. I remember that she fit in the cut off end of a tube sock. My mother and I had gone shopping for fabric. I had this idea that I was going to line my walls with decadent fabrics. Probably something I saw in a Middle Eastern restaurant. We came home with Chloe.

She never had a “puppy” stage. She hated to do things incorrectly. She was always a little lady. Always peed on three legs, because she didn’t want pee to inadvertently touch her. She hated to go outside when it was raining. Or snowing. Or just too cold. Or too hot.

She was great on road trips. As long as she was with her people, she really didn’t care where she was or what was happening. She loved her family. With the exception of perhaps Eli and Kitty. I’m sure she thought I’d lost my mind when we brought Eli home.

She was with me when I lived in Connecticut. She fell in love with James too.

She moved with us to Massachusetts.

Then to Maryland.

She barked at everything.

If there was a purse, a bag, a pile of clothes, something soft – you could be sure to find a Chloe in it.

She slept in our bed every night. For the past month or so she had taken to cuddling very close to us, which was unusual for her. Maybe she knew.

I have to say, I was really unprepared for this, even though when I woke up Friday morning, I knew. Poodles are supposed to live forever. Or at least, much longer than ten years. I wanted at least two decades out of my little Bird.

The house is too quiet. Strangely empty, even though Sammy’s here, Eli’s here, Kitty’s here, James is here. But Chloe isn’t. And I miss her so much.

I’ve lost a dear sweet furry friend before. Taffy, Chloe’s big sister (not by blood, but by family) left us back in 2006. I kept her going too long, and it was selfish of me. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to let Chloe go. I knew it was the right thing. For her. Not for me.

I know some people won’t understand. But I never wanted kids. I’ve always loved animals. Dogs especially. Chloe was my baby. I would have gladly stepped in front of a truck for her. No, it’s not the same as I feel for my son. That’s different. But it’s huge. Immense. And a very big part of my life.

I’m grateful that Chloe chose me to be her person.

And I’m thankful that she’s no longer in pain and can finally rest. I told her yesterday, as I held her and stroked her sweet little head, You’re going to the best place. Taffy will be there, you can lick her eyeballs (a favorite pastime) and there’s going to be unlimited rostisserie chickens. You can eat FOREVER if you want. And you’ll never get a tummy ache. And it’ll never rain or be too cold or hot. And you’ll always get cuddles. And there will always be a fresh pile of laundry right out of the dryer – just for you. 

I know eventually I will be able to think about her without crying. Not today and not tomorrow. But eventually.

Yesterday, after Chloe had passed away silently and peacefully in my arms, the vet said something that did make me feel a little better. She said, “Isn’t it wonderful that we can give them this? A quick, painless passing. No more suffering.”

Yes, it is.

Rest easy, little girl. Mommy loves you.