RIP, Chester: 12/28-1/3 Weekly Wrap

Chester 9/2/05-1/2/16

Yes, in case you missed it, we came to the end of our long road with Chester this weekend. It was hard, it is hard, and only time will help, I know this; it’s not the first time I’ve been here. But first let’s go on to happier things.

I’m joining up with Holly of Hoho Runs and Tricia of Misssippipiddlin to recap last week.


You don’t have to be a runner to join in & tell us how your week went! So how was my running last week?

  • Monday: Dogwalk, 3.5 easy on TM, YFR Foundation postrun
  • Tuesday: Tone it Up Kettletoning, YFPR Strengthen & Stabilize (ice storm; no dogwalk — not many steps, either, but I’m ok with that)
  • Wednesday: 3.5 easy on TM with 1/2 mile of strides, YFR Foundation post run, shoveling the ice off our driveway . . .
  • Thursday: YFPR Strengthen & Stabilize, Dogwalk, 10 minute yoga flexibility & relaxation
  • Friday: Bill Hogan 3.5 mile race (which is really 3 3/4 miles), YFR Foundation postrun, Dogwalk
  • Saturday: Dogwalk
  • Sunday: YFPR Strengthen & Stabilize, 3.5 miles easy with Darlene, YFR Foundation sort of post run (did some grocery shopping first), Yoga for Emtional Stress, Dogwalk

Mileage: 14.25 (+ .25)


Out of Focus — perfect for New Year’s Day!

Running update
For most of the week it was cold and windy. I also knew I had my “race” coming up New Year’s day. And since I just knew I didn’t have it in me to run long this week (even not knowing what was coming), I chose to skip a long run in favor of 4 short runs, which is the first time I’ve run 4 x week in months.

The good news is that my body feels fine. My New Year’s Day race went well — I’ll recap it at some point in the future — and running yesterday with Darlene got me out of the house, which was a good thing.

There was only one day of strength training this week, but that’s just how it is sometimes — remember, I am striving to respect my body. I was so busy with Chester, so tired; I had every intention of doing some Thursday but it was a very long day. Saturday I really didn’t have the energy for even yoga.

I’ll get back at it this week. Today, in fact!

On the Teeter Totter

Chester update
It’s the final update. He wasn’t doing great, but he wasn’t a lot worse. I’ll write about what was going on because you just never know who you might help.

I started trying to write Chester’s story months ago. I started, and realized I could easily write a book about him. At some point I want to get more info about all my animals on the blog.

Read 5 Ways to Know It’s Time if you don’t know Chester’s story.

So he’d started to leave over a bit of food sometimes and occasionally not take a treat. This dog was little more than a walking stomach for most of his life. He also started needing to go out more frequently during the night. My guess was that his kidneys might be failing, but it was to the point that it really didn’t make sense to check on it.

He had collapsed a few times over the past few months (which is not unusual for a dog in end stage congestive heart failure), and Friday night he collapsed, but it was different this time — his legs jut gave out and when I picked him up, his eyes were going back and forth. That lasted about a minute and then he seemed okay.

There is a disease called vestibular disease that happens sometimes in elderly animals, and this is sometimes a symptom. Except he didn’t display any other symptoms (I’d had a cat with it, so I was familiar with it). It was the first time my husband had witnessed a collapse, too.

I don’t doubt that we could have kept him going for a while longer, but I just knew it was time. I knew it a couple of weeks ago. It was hard, because he was still eating; sometimes he was normal, running in from outside, tail wagging. But most of the time he was just so tired. I didn’t want to wait until he couldn’t walk or wouldn’t eat.

I didn’t want to disturb the vet on her day off. That night he had some diarrhea and needed to go out many times. He ate all his breakfast, though. I emailed the vet, and she got back to me, and she said to bring him in at noon.

So we spoiled him rotten. I baked some dog cookies. I gave him that chew he loved so much, and traded it for one last kong. And we brought some leftover steak and a cookie with us to the vet, and one of his favorite toys and bed.

It is so hard, of course. It’s even hard to write this. His presence is just everywhere in this house; he was my little shadow, my little protector, my velcro lapdog.

Lola & Gizmo are a great comfort and they help me laugh and smile sometimes. They don’t even seem to realize he’s gone.

Weekend Favorites
Obviously there wasn’t much good about this weekend. The New Year’s Day race, of course: seeing friends there, having a good race.

My run with Darlene. I have been so tired I haven’t wanted to leave the house, but being at home is really difficult too. Being outside of the house, running, being with a friend — it all helped (thank you, Darlene).

Getting uninterrupted sleep. It’s been at least a month, if not longer, since I was able to just go to bed and sleep through the night.

Tell me something amusing about your furry friends

27 thoughts on “RIP, Chester: 12/28-1/3 Weekly Wrap

  1. I have never had to put a pet to sleep but I have had some die and understand how you feel. I will miss Chester, too. Big hugs!! ❤


  2. I’m so sorry to hear about Chester. I know how hard it is to lose a pet and have to make the decision.

    My pooch is also a lapdog but as a staffy he is a lot bigger than your Chester. That doesn’t stop him from jumping up and trying to sleep on my lap though.


  3. Oh, this made me heart stop a beat when I clicked on this 😦 I am so sorry, it makes me so sad for you.
    I am glad yo have still have some sweet furry babies, but I know it takes a long time to go through the grief process…so sorry again.


  4. I’m glad you shared the details of Chester. I can’t imagine how hard of a decision it was for you but I think for me it would be more comforting to know he left peaceful, without a struggle. I too lost a dog this week. I have several outside dogs, not that they are any less important than my inside dogs. Judd was old we really don’t know exactly but around 10-12 years he’s been with us. I did know he’s been slower getting up, not running for as long as he usually does. It had me thinking about loosing him so everytime I saw him I’d make a special point to pet him more and love on him more. I got a phone call from my neighbor and he was laying out in his yard like he was just sunning. I think his heart just gave out, no struggle, just here one minute gone the next.


    1. I’m so sorry, Trish. Of course they are just as important!

      Many years ago, when I was a kid, we had a Sheltie, who yes, just died in his sleep of a heart attack.

      None of my animals have ever just gone to sleep peacefully. One option we did have — it was the holistic vet that put him to sleep — was to do what they called long needle acupuncture.

      The long & the short of that was that there was a very, very small chance he could get better; a 50% chance he would have just gone to sleep on his own; and the possibility it would make no difference at all.

      I probably would have chosen that, but I knew my husband didn’t want it, so we decided to just put him to sleep.

      And yes, I agree, I wanted didn’t want him to suffer.It was hard because sometimes he was fairly normal, but it was less and less all the time, and the truth was this was only ever going to end one way.

      I still tear up writing about him, of course, and I keep looking towards all the spots he used to lay keeping an eye out on me.

      It’s so hard to watch them age, sometimes. I wish you peace and am sending you and Judd loving thoughts. We will see them again!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry! You know you’re making the right decision for them, but it’s awful. None of our pets have gone in their sleep, even though that’d be ideal. We always had to make that decision for them.


    1. Yes, I’ve always had to make the decision, too. I pray for them to go in their sleep, but with Chester, we pretty much knew he wouldn’t; the cardiologist had told us a long time ago that it’s very rare for that to happen with heart failure.

      Thank you so much.


  6. Oh Judy I’m so sorry. Pets are family and it’s just so hard, even when we know the end is near. Many hugs to you. May Chester live on in your heart forever.


  7. I’m very sorry about Chester. It’s never easy, but our fur children add so much to our lives that it’s worth that final heartbreak. Okay, something animal amusing… my 4yo 15-pound cat thinks he’s still a kitten, likes to tuck into my neck and shoulder and suckle and knead, but only me, no one else because I’m mom. I have an angelfish that comes to me when I say hi to him. I always know when my black cat Sheba is unhappy with me because when we go to bed, she falls asleep on my chest, and instead of laying her face next to mine which is normal, she turns her backside to me. I get a tail in my mouth or flicking my face. If I move too much when she’s trying to fall asleep, she stretches her whole arm (front leg) across my face to make me stop. I had a cat that passed on a couple of years ago that always kept his favorite toy in the water dish so he always knew where it was (he did that his entire life). And, last one I promise, one of my many cats knew I had a severe headache that woke me up, she found a pressure point at the base of my head and kneaded that spot gently until I went back to sleep. She was my little guardian angel. Well, maybe these weren’t amusing stories, but I hope they made you smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you could definitely go on, those are great stories, and yes, they made me smile!

      Years ago I had a cat named Puss who used to like to lay on my back. I always wished I could teach her how to massage my back!

      She also liked on top of my hip if I were laying on my side, and oddly enough Lola likes to do that, too, although she never met Puss. Chester never did that.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My previous pup, Chelsea, had vestibular disease. It was awful. I couldn’t take it. We took her to the vet, and that is the only time, in the 27 years that I have been married that I’ve ever seen my husband cry. He didn’t even cry when his mom died. That was tough.

    We had just gotten Cleo the month prior, thinking that having a puppy would be good for my aging Chelsea. After Chelsea passed, I was so sad and I couldn’t even like Cleo. But she wouldn’t let me ignore her. She wormed her way into my heart. You saw that pix of her on FB yesterday. She’s got so much personality!

    I know we’ll be in your shoes soon enough–she’s going to be 13 in March– and I hate to even think about it. No one gets it unless they’ve had a dog. Sending you love and hugs.


    1. I know when I lost my own Cleo (previous cat), I resented the fact that Puss was still there, even though she was very elderly, even though she was already in kidney failure, too, so I get it.

      OTOH, we got the boys after Cleo was gone and they got me through a lot of rough times.

      Puss, btw, was our cat with vestibular. She just had a head tilt — it really wasn’t so bad. It got better, but she never completely lost the tilt.

      Funny story, though: she used to always throw up in the carrier on the way to the vet. Like clockwork. Only on the way there, never on the way home. I used to have to line the carrier so I could clean it out when we got there.

      After vestibular, she never threw up again!


  9. I’m misty eyed Judy cause I’m a dog Mama too. They bring so much joy to a family. I love you took Chester’s favorite things to the vet. My Mini diligently checked her Christmas stocking every morning for a month leading to Christmas Day. It looks identical to Mojo’s but she knows which one is hers. I’ve never had such a smart dog. She looks into my soul. Mojo was adopted to give her someone to play with. He is…special. I was going to ask how Lola was doing. I think she will realize he is gone, don’t you? Big hugs to you! I hope this week brings you a sense of peace and happy memories. Thanks for linking Judy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had no plans at all to adopt a second dog. And then one night I was looking at a rescue site, saw Lola’s photo, and just knew she was meant to be our dog. It was really the weirdest thing.

      She doesn’t even seem to realize he’s gone. Just like she didn’t seem to realize he was sick. Which is actually a good thing, I think. A mourning dog must be a very sad thing.

      She was partially adopted to give Chester company (he suffered from severe separation anxiety as a puppy).

      She really loved him but he could pretty much take her or leave her. He thought the sun rose & set on me, basically. A real momma’s boy.

      He was pretty smart, too, but I’m not sure he would have been able to tell one stocking from another! That’s pretty cool.

      Thanks, Holly; we’re doing ok. We had a lot of time to prepare for it. It’s still hard, of course, but I know we did everything we could and he’s in a much better place now.


  10. Oh Judy, this just breaks my heart. We’ve had other pets (hamsters), but I never got the “dog thing” until Max joined out family. We adopted him almost a year ago from a nearby shelter, and he’s a total momma’s boy LOL We just returned from a 9-day family vacation around 2:45 AM this morning. You were asking for happy furry kid stories….Max was bonkers upon our return arrival (and we brought him a new squeaker toy). I have never seen him so hyper. I mentioned we’re kind of new at this dog thing….well, we learned to NOT give a dog a new squeaker toy at 2:45 AM if you’ve been away for 9 days, because no one will be going to bed anytime soon LOL You are in my thoughts and prayers, I’m sure you have an endless supply of precious memories with Chester. Hopefully those memories will bring you some comfort during this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I grew up with both cats & dogs, but due to circumstances. Chester was my first dog as an adult. I was 43! And he was a total momma’s boy, too.

      Oh yeah, a squeaker at 2:45 after traveling would not have gone down well.

      We didn’t allow them to bring toys to the bed at night (although they certainly tried).


  11. So sorry about Chester. It’s a tough decision to put your pet to sleep, but I think you truly know when it’s time. It’s hard to see them suffer and feel so helpless. I’ll be thinking of you and praying that you find comfort and strength in the days ahead.


  12. I am so sorry for your loss. Pets are important parts of the family and the loss is huge. I still find myself occasionally looking for our dog, I can’t help it and I still find wads of hair in weird spots, just a little reminder that his spirit is still around.

    Liked by 1 person

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