For more than 13 years, you have blessed this earth with your resilient presence.
During your first two years, you survived the streets, a high-kill shelter, kennel cough and the usually-fatal distemper virus.
For more than 11 years, you have enriched, enlightened and brightened my life.
You are my shooting star. You radiate a stream of never-ending light with your relentless passion for life.
When the distemper virus came back to haunt you two years ago, as it often does to its survivors, you didn’t flinch.
The mild attacks against your central nervous system grew more intense and severe over time.
But, it is wearing on you.
I have promises to make to you and keep.
I promise you will never, ever again meet the cold, hard floor of a shelter just because you require more of my time as a senior dog with health issues. It is an honor to care for you.
I promise to not trade you in for a younger model. You are my family. You are my son. You are irreplaceable.
I promise to do everything in my power to keep you feeling good. Never feeling pain.
I promise to give you comfort and make you comfortable.
I promise to lay next to you—whether on cool tile or atop a pile of warm blankets on the couch or bed—and gently pet your body and massage your ears until your face illuminates with contentment.
I promise to be there on the bad days.
I promise to hand feed you and keep you hydrated when you’re too weary to reach your bowls and do it yourself.
I promise to walk slow. If you want fresh air, but your legs won’t work, I will pull you in a wagon.
I promise to take you to your favorite place: the beach. I will carry you one block or six blocks from the parking spot to the ocean front. Whatever it takes so you can feel the fresh breeze kiss your handsome face.
I promise to listen to you. You may not speak, but you have ways of telling me what you need.
I promise when our excursions to the beach or a walk through the park no longer deliver a giant smile to your face, I will understand that is your way of telling me the time is near.
I promise I know you don’t want to leave me. I don’t want you to go.
I promise when the time comes, it is not me giving up on you. It is me setting you free.
I promise you will live in my heart forever.
You, my sweet Chance, are my shooting star.
You radiate a stream of never-ending light that will forever guide me wherever I go.