For those of you not fortunate to see what Chandler looked like when I first got him, here is a photo taken the day he came home with me, June 23, 1995.
Chandler came to live with me 14 years ago today. I saw him on a Sunday and as you know fell in love. But I had to wait a few more days before I could bring him home. I needed to buy all the necessary puppy supplies.
When the day came to get him, I was so excited. My friend Rose came with me so she could hold him while I drove. He snuggled against her shoulder and chewed on her earrings for most of the ride home. He also threw up a little on her. We had to make a stop before getting home so that we could get his nail cut. Being raised on grass, his nails never wore down, so they were like talons. When we got to the groomer, I was terrified to hold him. I was so afraid I would hurt him.
Once home, I put a collar on him. I had to get a kitten collar, and even that was too big. Chandler was all of 3 pounds. My ex's dog Burt, a yorkie, was none too thrilled to have a rival in the house. Chandler charmed the entire neighborhood. All my dog walking friends came over to meet the new addition to my family. Chandler fell in love with Tarzan instantly. Tarzan is a Golden Retriever, just 5 days older than Chandler.
Chandler loved to wrestle with Tarzan. When Tarzan would get tired of it, he would gently put his paw on Chandler and flatten him out. As Chandler got older he started humping Tarzan. Didn't matter where - geographically or physically. Chandler would just climb up on Tarzan and go at it. Could be on Tarzan's side, didn't matter to him. Thank goodness Chandler was fixed.
I remember walking him around the neighborhood when I first got him. It was like I was seeing everything through his eyes - seeing everything for the first time. But, when he didn't want to walk, he could make himself weigh 500 pounds and I had to put all my strength into it to move him. Chandler developed a fear of manhole covers that no one understood. He knew where every one in Brentwood Forest was and well before he would come upon it, he would pull to the side so he wouldn't have to walk on it.
Chandler and I had so many great times. I miss him constantly and adjusting to this new normal is taking time. Chandler gave me a great life. If I could go back in time and know that if I didn't get him, I would have been spared all this pain, I would still get him. I would not trade the 14 years with Chandler for anything.
I love you Chandler. I'll see you at the rainbow bridge. But until then, play with Kristy, Sugar, Bravo, Eli, Mulder, and Blackie. I know you are at full strength and energy again.