Archive for the ‘Chloe & Bella’ Category

Sept. 5, 2010

On the very early morning of Sept.5, 2010, Chloe, Bella and I were leaving a hospice patients home. It was our favorite patient and he had just passed away. The night had been very long and I had noticed the last 24 hours, Chloe seemed to be a little lethargic and had spells of panting. I said to Bella that I wasn’t sure what this day was going to bring for us.

I found it very difficult to go to sleep as I watch Chloe having very labored breathing.  Part of me was in denial and hoping she was just tired and would pull herself out of it.  I gave her extra lasix for the fluid build-up around her heart.  I could feel that. It seemed to alleviate the problem but only for awhile.  She would go off by herself and I could tell by the way she was laying that she was uncomfortable.

I called my friend Elaine late in the afternoon and she came by to take Chloe and I to the small animal emergency hospital.  I couldn’t do it alone. I was fearing the worst and in my heart I knew what was ahead of me.

Upon arriving they took an x-ray of her heart. This little six pound dog had the heart the size of a grapefruit. I was horrified to say the least!  I was told there was things they could try and they could do more tests and with the tears running down my face, I said no! No more! She was 12 years old and had cheated death twice before.  After all of the quality life and love she had given me, I couldn’t put her through all the needles and tests to maybe extend her life another few days, maybe a week or two……possible a month.

There wa a time I thought it would be easier on me if I just went home one day and found her deceased.  After all of our work with hospice and me making it a point of seeing that no one passed away alone, I changed my thinking on that.  I was determined she would not die alone.  I would be with her at all costs.  I had made both her and Bella two promises. The first one was that I would always come home, and the second one was that I would always help…….meaning that if they were hurt I would make it better, whatever the problem was, I would take care of it and make it better.

It was agreed they would put her on oxygen and pump her full of lasix to relieve that fluid build-up and see how she did.  After an hour or two she seemed to stabilize and they said I could see her. Around 11:30pm they sent me home with the promise that they would call me in time. If she was going to pass or have to be put down I would be there , there was no other options. If they couldn’t promise that, I wasn’t going to leave. I know I was asking a great deal of them to make me that promise.

I went home and curled up with Bella and cried myself to sleep, fully clothed in what I had on and on the sofa with the phone in my hand. Again in my heart I knew it was just a matter of time.  At 3 a.m. the phone rang.  I was told to hurry. She had taken a turn for the worse. As I drove like a wild woman up the street, I called my friend MaryAnn who lived not far away and asked her to meet me. She was particularly close to Chloe and I knew would be there for the both of us.

As I ran in the building they were opening the  doors for me to get me to Chloe.  There my princess was, laying on this table with and oxygen tube to help her breath.  I scooped her up into my arms and told her that momma was there to help as I had always promised.  She just kept looking up at me and I kept telling her that I loved her and would help her.  All the while my heart was shattering in little pieces.  After about seven or eight minutes I nodded to the doctor to do what was only right……maybe not for me at that moment…..but right for Chloe. Two small injections it was over. My Chloe has crossed the rainbow bridge.

Chloe not only was Rockford’s first K-9  hospice volunteer and the founder of the pet visitor program at the hospice we volunteer for, but she had her AKC basic obedience title, her CGC and Therapy dog designation.  There wasn’t anything that I asked of her she wouldn’t do and she was a friend to everyone she met.One breeder we met called her “enchanted”. Maybe she was. To me she was the little girl I never had and the best friend I could ever ask for.

Author’s note:

Chloe Tales…..Memoirs of a Yorkshire Terrier  is finished and will be published on Kindle (Amazon.com) with hard copies to follow soon after.




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Today while visiting my regular hospice patients, a nurse at the facility I was came to find me.  She asked that when I was finished and before I leave the facility would I stop by and see the man sitting in the hallway by the nurses station. She went on to explain to me that this man had been unresponsive for several weeks, but when Bella went by he smiled and said “puppy”. I agreed I would see him.

When I approached him I picked Bella up so he could pat her.  With in a minute or two he was smiling and saying “Bella is a good dog” “nice Bella” “Bella is a good puppy”. The staff at the facility were all smiling.  The man even laughed when Bella gave him puppy kisses!  I agreed to stop and see the man every week when I visited my hospice patients.

Bella always makes a new friend and neither one of us want to ever say no. I doubt I ever forget the way I felt after that visit.


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Bella has truly been a blessing to me!  I adopted her approximately 4 years before Chloe passed away.  Having Bella here to come home to that night after putting Chloe down, really saved me.  She stayed close and licked away every tear.

In the months that has followed she has really come into her own.  In fact I really never realized how much she walked in Chloe’s shadow.  Chloe was the diva – the princess of the two. She was the picture of what every Yorkie was to look like.

Bella on the other hand, had the sizing and the color but her eyes were smaller and she had this “puppy face” that would be that way forever……not that it is a bad thing! She has a face that would bring the strongest of men to their knees. She didn’t have all of the hours of the formal training that Chloe had as I knew I wasn’t going to show her, but she watched Chloe and learned all of the obedience words from her.  She went with Chloe and I when we did our hospice visits and saw what she need ed to do there, and learned about the respect she needed not only for the patients and clinical workers, but also the wheelchairs, walkers, canes and busy hallways.

Now Bella walks into the hospice office and extended care facilities  with all of the pride and in no ones shadow.  She has arrived!!!

Readers…..I introduce you to my Bella!

Dressed for Christmas!

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My two girls!

Bella and Chloe

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As some of you already know, Chloe was a gift from my mom a year or so before she passed away.  Chloe and I quickly became like Siamese twins….we were joined at the heart.  We were a team at everything including training, dog shows, caring for mom and dad, and hospice care.

Chloe passed away in 2010 of congestive heart failure.  Her legacy is living on through the Pet Visitor Program at Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center in Rockford, Illinois.  Chloe and I started that program a little over a year after my mom passed away.

Currently I am working on a book called Chloe Tales……Memoirs of a Yorkshire Terrier.  It is her story …….told by her through me. It will have pictures of her during different phases of her life and will appeal to children, dog-lovers, therapy dog owners and more. Hopefully to be out before Christmas 2011!

Lady Chloe Bella Canne    (Chloe)

It is with a very broken heart that I must tell you of Chloe’s
Born in Springfield, Illinois, Chloe was adopted and brought home to
live in Rockford, Illinois February 14, 1998.  At 7 months she started
manners training at the Quansa Training Center.  It wasn’t long into
her training she proved she had the heart and spirit of a competitor.
Upon completion, she took and passed her K-9 Good Citizenship and
achieved her basic obedience title.  She also earned her Therapy Dog

In 2001, Chloe started pioneering a new role for dogs.  With a little
extra training she became Rockford, Illinois’ first K-9 Hospice
Volunteer, with Northern Illinois Hospice.  With this designation she
made visits to sit with terminally ill patients who were in hospice
care or at other times she gave comfort to the grieving. Chloe, along
with her best friend were not only a hospice team, but a team in
everything they did.

Left behind to mourn her passing and celebrate her memory is her
trainer/handler, and best friend, Gloria Dawson, her little sister
Bella, and many friends and training buddies.
Chloe was cremated and her ashes someday will go with Gloria.  Chloe’s
spirit will live on forever with all who knew her and the lives that
she touched.  There was never anything in my life that I was more
proud of than I was of Chloe.

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