Chi Chi was truly more of a human to us, than a dog. He was raised and treated as our own child. I got Chi Chi when he was just 11 weeks old. He was not the normal size Yorkshire Terrier, in fact I believe I was told that he and his sister were the biggest of the litter. Funny thing is that he always had a "big dog" personality and only liked larger size dogs. He never took interest in smaller dogs. He was a cutie with tons of energy. He always had a spunky and sassy personality, yet sweet and loving. I remember how he would like to play with my hair when I would be sleeping and if I'd wake up and look at him, he would jump back and forth because he wanted to play. He almost seemed hyper at times with the amount of energy that he had, but he was still a very good boy. He never chewed up anything, he was very easily housebroken, and all he wanted was your love and attention. For the first half of Chi Chi's life, it was pretty much just Chi Chi and I as far as I was concerned. I went through some pretty difficult times and that little guy was always there for me. I remember when I would cry, he would sit on my lap and lick my tears and just look at me with those big loving eyes of his. It would instantly mend my heart. I have to say that after losing Chi Chi, I had a lot of guilt for different things. And a lot of it had to do with those first several years that I had him. I just feel that there are some things I could've done better for him or done different, but I know I did my best to give him all the love I had and to provide for him the best that I could. When Chi Chi was about 7 years old, I met my husband Tai. I believe to this day that the best years of Chi Chi's life began when he lived with us and Tai's family as well. In my husband, he found the best Daddy in the world. Tai showed him so much love and did all the things a Daddy should do. He loved playing with his Daddy even when his Daddy would drive him up the walls at times, he still enjoyed it. It was heartwarming to watch them interact with one another and often very funny too. As much as Chi Chi loved my husband and I, we often felt he loved his Grandpa and Grandma even more! He adored his Grandpa, he could almost be considered his shadow, the way he'd follow him all around and never take his eyes off his Grandpa. They had such a close relationship and he was truly loved by his Grandpa. And how he loved having Grandma rub his tummy when she got home from work. He was needless to say very spoiled by everyone. If you'd mention "Grandpa and Grandma" those ears would perk up and he'd instantly start looking all around for them. We got to the point where we'd often have to spell those words out so that he wouldn't get so worked up and so excited. But that little man was so smart, he eventually figured us out and learned what we were doing. I am truly grateful for all the love he had from everyone. We were definitely blessed to have my husband and his family come into our lives, but I have to say that we were the ones who were truly blessed to have Chi Chi in our lives. He brought so much joy into our lives with his presence and all the cute, silly things he would do. He loved lettuce and all kinds of vegetables so whenever I would be cutting vegetables in the kitchen, he would be right there at my feet "grumbling" for some. If you would leave a bowl of salad on the counter, he'd growl at it non stop until someone gave him some veggies. Our little man used to love riding in the car so if he saw you getting ready or saw that you were leaving, he'd get all excited and start following you around and not take his eyes off of you. If you asked him if he wanted to go, he'd start barking and jumping all over the place. If he was mad at you or if you tried to feed him something that he didn't like, he'd take all the water from his water bowl and put it into his food bowl. He'd always get a treat when it was bed time so sometimes my husband would go into the bathroom and close the door and Chi Chi knew that he had the treat with him so he'd lie at the bathroom door with his nose right in the crack of the door and just wait there. If my husband took a long time, Chi Chi would scratch at the door and growl as if to tell him to hurry up. It was very funny to watch. He was so smart, he understood everything you said even hawaiian words that we had taught him. I wish I could mention everything, but I would definitely run out of space because there are far too many things to list. But I hold all those memories close to my heart now because it's all I have. |
Chi Chi was relatively healthy for nearly all of his life. With the exception of a couple of not so critical surgeries a few years ago, he never had any major health problems. In the early part of 2007, during his annual physical, we were told that he was really healthy, looked great and even seemed younger than his age. However it was mentioned to us for a second time that he had a heart murmur. And again when we asked, we were told that it was just something to keep an eye on. He was fine until Christmas Eve when we noticed that he wasn't himself. Then on Christmas Day, he started to breathe harder than normal, but he seemed to be in good spirits and still did all the things he would normally do. We decided to take him into the Vet on his 14th birthday, December 26th. And all I can say is I wasn't prepared for what we were told. The Dr. said he had partial heart failure aka congestive heart failure. But she was optimistic that with the right medications, he would be fine. So of course we remained optimistic as well. During the month of January, Chi Chi seemed to be responding positively to the medications he had been taking. At his one month check up, his Dr. was very happy and impressed to see him looking so much better. He wasn't bloated anymore and wasn't feeling yucky and his blood work looked really good as well. The only thing was that he had experienced a couple of "fainting spells" when he overworked himself and because of that, his Doctor said that she would need to add another medication for Chi Chi to take to ensure that wouldn't happen again. After a couple of days, he really didn't feel well. His spirits and everything was still great, but his appetite changed and he only preferred certain foods or treats. At this point in time, we began taking Chi Chi to the Vet weekly. I'd get so worried when he appeared so bloated and uncomfortable and I started to worry about every little change that occurred with him. In his last month, we tried everything we could working with his Doctor and different medications to try and get him well. It was during the last two weeks that he was with us that we noticed that he was almost continuously bloated and it just seemed like none of the medications were working for him anymore and what just baffled us was that he was still eating, drinking water and his blood work still looked good. At around this time, we noticed that almost nightly Chi Chi would leave his bed which was right next to our bed and go into our living room because this is where we would find him in the middle of the night or the next morning when we'd wake up. As much as I wanted to keep him in bed with us because I wanted to look after him, he was never really interested in sleeping with us for majority of his life so I didn't want to try and force him to do something he didn't want to do. As I look back now, I believe that our little man probably knew way before we did that's for sure, that his time to leave us was near so he would go off to be alone in our living room when we fell asleep. On Tuesday, February 26th I woke up in the early morning hours to find that he had once again left his bed. We had puppy pads thorough out our house because after Chi Chi got sick, he would periodically have accidents. I found him lying on one of the puppy pads in the living room that morning so I picked him up, wrapped him in a blanket and just held him. I began to cry because I think in my heart I knew that he really wasn't doing well and that he was maybe starting to give up. And just like he would always do, he licked my tears and just laid in my arms. My husband woke up to see what was going on and he stayed up with us, we took turns holding Chi Chi. We called Grandpa and Grandma to let them know that he didn't seem to be doing well. Shortly after they arrived, Chi Chi's spirits just seemed to improve significantly and he began to walk around, took interest in giving his Grandpa kisses all over. We were surprised, but happy of course. We had decided that we'd take him to the Vet to get checked and to see what his Doctor would say because he was still bloated and still not that comfortable. During the visit, she basically said we could try one more time to adjust his medications and although I knew the answer...I asked her if we were running out of options and she said yes we were. She said if trying that didn't work then we would have to think about putting him to sleep. I stood there holding my baby and just cried. I didn't stop crying the whole time I was there. Grandpa and Grandma went home after the visit at the Vet and we took Chi Chi home to rest. As the hours went by, my husband and I could see that he wasn't getting better and Tai at some point looked at me and said it wasn't for him to make the decision, that it would have to be mine because I had Chi Chi since he was a baby. All I can say is it was the toughest thing ever to even THINK about. But I prayed long and hard, over and over for one or two things. I prayed for God to really show me that it was his time because I wanted so much to believe that it wasn't and that Chi Chi would turn around and improve as he normally did. I knew I would have tremendous guilt in following through with that decision even if I knew I was doing it out of my love for our little man. The other thing I prayed for was if it were really his time to leave us, for God to peacefully take him in his sleep. Later that day, I remember looking at Chi Chi then looking at Tai and saying if he is still like this tomorrow morning, we'll call the Vet. I couldn't even say those words without crying, it just broke my heart. Over the next few hours, we just spent time with Chi Chi and took care of him by doing our best to keep him comfortable. We basically took turns holding him. Although Chi Chi was willing to drink water, for the very first time, he refused to eat anything at all. We continued to keep him comfortable the best we could until about 10pm that Wednesday night. My husband was exhausted and was going to try and get some sleep. We had decided to sleep in our living room with Chi Chi because I knew this is where he would end up anyway. I wasn't ready to sleep. All I wanted to do was hold my baby and keep him as comfortable as I could. At one point, he was able to sleep for a while as I held him on my chest. But I had already noticed that his breathing had gotten heavier and louder. I cried almost the whole time that I held him. It was around 12am that Chi Chi no longer wanted to be held so I put him down and he went to lay down next to his Daddy. I watched him for a little bit and he seemed to be able to sleep. I had been up for almost 2 full days so I decided to try and close my eyes for just a little while. About 20 minutes later I awoke to a loud sound. I knew it had to be Chi Chi so I jumped up immediately and found that he had moved. It appeared and we strongly believe he was trying to make his way to the puppy pad that I found him on the morning before. He was such a good boy, that even then, he tried to make things easier for us. The next 20 minutes were our last with our little man. Those are 20 minutes I wouldn't want to relive because it was the most heartbreaking time of my entire life. He began to take his last breaths with his Daddy then I held him while he took his final breaths. I told him how much we all loved him and would miss him. I said it was okay and for him to go home. Tai called Grandpa and Grandma and they arrived almost immediately. It wouldn't be until mid morning that we would be able to reach someone at our local Humane Society to make arrangements for Chi Chi's cremation so we were all fortunate enough to have those last hours taking turns holding him. When it was time to take him to the Humane Society and leave him there, all I could do was hold him and cry. Just knowing that it would be the last time I would see my baby was extremely hard for me. But I knew he was at peace, no longer sick and that I needed to let him go because there was nothing else I could do. The first week was the hardest for me because there was such a heavy emptiness that I felt. When we brought Chi Chi's ashes home, it helped a lot. With the constant presence of Tai and his family, I was able to get past the near depression that I was beginning to feel. I just missed him so much as I still do now. It's been just over a month since our little man left us and life has definitely changed for us. There is still a sense of emptiness and sadness in our home, but we both find peace in knowing our little man is no longer suffering and that we have an angel watching over all of us, always. He's left little signs here and there to let us know he's been home and for me this has helped tremendously. We talk about him all the time, reminiscing about all the things he used to do that made him so special. I know it is going to take quite some time for me to get through dealing with my loss of Chi Chi. I look forward to that day at Rainbow Bridge when I'll be with my baby again.
When I think back on these times
In my dreams I'll always see you soar above the sky
Rest in Peace, Monga Boy. We love you and miss you more than you'll ever know.