This past week we watched my mom’s dog which was “once upon a time” my dog. He has been around for a long time and this week had me remembering all this dog has seen in his lifetime. I got him at 16 years old. This was about the time my parents split up and we moved from our childhood home and left everything behind. We left the green shag carpet, the furniture I grew up in and everything I knew and loved. It was sudden and it was just my mom, my brother and me. I was coming out of my rebellious years and felt mature to handle the divorce. It wasn’t a surprise but still heartbreaking. We didn’t have much of relationship and I know she made every effort to make things better now that she had us on her own.
My best friend’s brother was giving up his pit bull 6 year old month pup he named Cochise after the Indian chief. I don’t think he quite measured up to his name and breed. The name “Cheis” meant “having the quality or strength of oak” but he was as gentle as a poodle. When I heard they were looking for a new home I immediately wanted him. I asked my mom if I could have him and she was reluctant. I gave her promises that he would help me slow down and change. Who would know how timely it was for him to come into my life as I would pour whatever hurt I felt into this dog.
This is also about the time I met my now husband. I brought Cochise everywhere I went that included sharing the time I was spending with the boyfriend. About a year later I found myself pregnant and my mom made the decision to move to LA. I had to make a choice; me and Daniel already decided we were going to keep our baby. This meant I wouldn’t be leaving with my mom and I couldn’t bring my dog. By this time my mom grew to love him. He was a good dog. I trained him well. This was tough, I was 17 years old. Making an adult decision and leaving my family and coming into this new life with my now husband.
This would end up being the best gift I could give my mom. Fast forward 16 years later he has seen many seasons in our lives. At one point he moved back with us in the first home me and Daniel had together. This is after he got beaten by 4×4 by my mom’s neighbor. Only because he got into his yard. The perception of a pit bull. This broke all of our hearts. My mom wanted to protect him and asked if we could take him. It was risky because we weren’t allowed to have a pit bull breed but we had our own place to have him.
I now had a toddler son and this would be his first dog. Oh how he loved him. He would poke at him, wrestle and try to ride him. I remember the day we thought he bit him as they were playing. All we heard was a scream. This would be the first time my hubby would snap at him. Only to realize he didn’t; he had not a scratch on him. One day during his laps around our little yard he collapsed. It was a scary moment and we rushed him to the Vet ER. I called my mom and we couldn’t afford to treat him. It was a sad moment but whatever the Vet said about what it could be; ended up not being serious. He actually was back to normal the day after. Eventually we could no longer hide him in our home. My mom moved by than to Las Vegas and she was ready to have him again.
Here we would be all together again. We merged our families along with our pets into a shared household. I came in with my chihuahua baby girl Gia. Who I had gotten during another hard time in my life. He is now almost 18 years old making him 85 years old in dog years. It’s unbelievable that he is still here with us. My mom’s greatest companion. She says she doesn’t need to date because she has the love of her life.
I was reluctant to watch him over the week. He is already outliving his dog life expectancy. My mom also knows how nervous he gets at my sister’s house since he also survived an attack from my sister’s bullmastif. I honestly just don’t want him to pass away on my clock. We all know he is very close to leaving this earth. He has cataracts, arthritis and is showing many elderly traits like uncontrollable bowels/urination and I believe some confusion as well. With my husband’s experience working with the elderly he knows those traits and dogs have them too.
The first day he was sick. He got into some trash and my poor hubby and boys had a lot to clean up after. We were worried, annoyed and had thoughts to put him out of his misery. My mom was on call if she needed to come home. He got better and we got through the week. I believe he’s still here because he doesn’t want to leave my mom alone. I am afraid of the day he does goes. It’s another reason we got another chihuahua. It still could never replace Cochise. He continues to pull through. Cochise is certainly living up to his name, he is as strong as oak! Even though we lose patience with him at times; having him this week reminded us all how amazing he really is.
I think about the bond we have with dogs. They are so dedicated and have a love so unconditional. I know for my chihuahua Gia. My “Dog-ther”. I got her right after the news that my mom couldn’t be a live donor 5 years ago after being so close. I remember pouring my hurt in training her. Her companionship during the hardest times in my life helped me with the healing process. She sat through dialysis treatments, moped around with every hospitalization and till this day is very attentive to when I don’t feel well.
Our 4 legged lovely companions can be with us through thick and thin only asking for our love in return. I’m thankful for sharing my life and my heart with our dogs.