Phillip Chesnut recounts the pain of losing his beloved pet.
10 years ago, my wife gave me the most wonderful gift. It was something that I had been asking for and wanting for years: a pug. I was in the Navy so I never had the space or the schedule available to take care of a dog. Finally, in 2003, I received station orders to a reserve unit in St. Louis, Missouri where I would be stationed on shore and able to rent an apartment to live. So, guess what her first house warming present was: An extremely small, fawn-colored pug puppy. It was, by far, the most beautiful puppy I have ever seen in my life.
We named him “Tibbles.” Granted, it’s not the most savage of dog names like Brutus or Killer, but it definitely fit his personality. Amy adopted Tibbles as a gift for me, but, in the days leading up to the time that she would present me with Tibbles as a gift, a bond was created that would never be broken. My wife went through quite a few sleepless nights, with Tibbles next to her in her bed chewing sticks from the back yard. The connection that was made between my wife and that tiny pug was nothing short of a miracle.
Tibbles became an attachment of us, our first child. He saw us through our marriage, our first house, our children, and every first moment that my wife and I shared together. He has been there, for all of it. He was also a physical attachment to us. He slept in our bed every night, nuzzled up at my wife’s stomach and spent every second on the couch as close as possible to us.
About two years ago, Tibbles became blind and deaf and his and our life changed forever. He was no longer the energetic, fun-loving dog that the previous eight years had brought us but he was still happy as could be cuddled up next to us in bed and on the couch.
Three days ago, I took Tibbles to the vet because he wasn’t eating and was throwing up. His Kidneys had failed and two days at the animal hospital with fluids pushed through his body only made him worse. We brought Tibbles home on his final day and held him for about 4 hours. We realized that we had to say goodbye when every breathe he took was a struggle. Carrying him out of our house as my wife said goodbye, and saying goodbye to him myself as he took his last breathe was the hardest moment I have had in the 34 years that I have been alive.
For the past 10 years, I have been truly blessed by the love and admiration that Tibbles has shown us. Our dogs live solely for our companionship. There are no gifts, no treats, no physical objects that make them as happy as just having us around. A pat on the head and a big hug is equivalent to my dogs as buying my kids a new toy. Only a dog can show that kind of love. Only a dog will wait patiently for 9 hours staring out the window just to get that one kiss on the head when we get home from work. Words will never convey just how blessed my life has been to have that little pug in my life. He has definitely left a hole in our life that is far bigger than his little body could ever imagine.
Thank you, Tibbles, for showing me how to love unconditionally. Thank you for following us through every step of our life together. I hope you know just how loved you are. I hope you know that you were never just a pet. You were our first child and everything that our marriage stood for. You were the greatest gift I was ever given.