Andrea and I got Chloe on October 5th 2003. She had been born sometime in late August and was available to be adopted by early October. We drove out in to the country to the farm where Chloe was born and weren’t sure what we were looking for, or what kind of dog to expect. Andrea had read up on Schnoodles online and had seen a few pics of what they might look like. We liked the idea that Schnoodles wouldn’t get too big, would be smart, and wouldn’t shed. When we arrived at the farm, we met the owner, and then she showed us the puppies. They were all so little and so fluffy and cute. There were about seven or eight puppies, and when she let them in to the room to meet us all of the puppies ran in different directions. Most of them ran over to some bowls to sniff for food and water. The puppies had different colored yarn around their necks to help you tell them apart, and one puppy with purple yarn came over to see us instead of everything else in the room. I took note of that, and as we played with all of the puppies, we kept coming back to the one with purple yarn. Of course, that was the puppy we picked, our Chloe.
On the way home we were excited about our new addition and we stopped by Abby’s house. Her kids were excited to meet our new puppy, and we told them her name was Chloe. It didn’t seem right to have just a first name, and the name Chloe Louise seemed to fit nicely and it was the same middle name as Abby which made it even more special. The next few weeks were difficult but so much fun. We picked out a collar for Chloe and of course it was purple, her collar would always be purple. We didn’t have a yard at the apartment, which meant we had to take her out on a leash rain or shine. Chloe went poop in the apartment one time and after being scolded she never pooped on purpose indoors again. She was a fast learner, eager to please, and we loved her so much. Early on I taught Chloe to come, sit, and stay. Chloe eventually learned to beg and to do a lot of commands based on hand gestures alone, which was useful later in her life when she lost her hearing.
Chloe’s always been a good dog, the best dog. She wasn’t a typical dog in many ways. Maybe because we started out in an apartment, and maybe because I gave her a bath every week, she was a very clean dog that didn’t really love the outdoors. Chloe would avoid puddles, mud, and only would occasionally roll around in something gross. She almost always smelled good, and was always so happy after a bath, zooming around the house while I snapped the towel at her. Chloe didn’t really care for other dogs as much as she did people. On walks Chloe wouldn’t pay other dogs much attention, even when they were barking and straining to come sniff her. We took Chloe to a dog park once and she hated it. Chloe liked people and liked to talk to them with her little howl.
Chloe wasn’t always a perfect dog. She had her quirks. If you left food or anything remotely edible within reach, Chloe would find it. While staying with the Gobles she got in to Ryan’s lunch box and ate his protein powder. A few days before Christmas in 2015 she managed to jump up on the kitchen island and chowed down on a gingerbread house. When a babysitter left her Chick-fil-a dinner within reach, Chloe gobbled it all up. Chloe sniffed out, and shredded, an adult diaper that a guest had used for incontinence issues. In one of her grossest moments, she ate Connor’s poop after it had overflowed his diaper in to the exersaucer. Chloe also loves to shred tissue, it’s one of her weird nervous habits. If you leave tissue in any trashcan within reach, Chloe will pull it out and tear it into confetti. I spied on her once while she was doing it to see if she ate it and she didn’t. She just quickly and methodically tore it to little pieces.
We worried about Chloe over the years, but she’s such an easy going and sweet girl. When we had Connor, and later Paige, we were concerned that she would be jealous of the kids and worried she might bite them. Chloe was always patient with them when they were little, avoided them when necessary, and cuddled them occasionally. When we moved to Florida Chloe rode in the car with me all the way and kept me company. We haven’t had a fenced yard for the last six years of her life, and it’s been much more difficult to let her out than our house in Missouri. I’d considered leashing her when we let her out, but typically Chloe will just wander the grass, do her business and return. There have been a very few occasions where Chloe will see someone and run off to sniff them, and we’ve been fortunate that she’s always been very well behaved.
As Chloe’s gotten older, she’s slowed down quite a bit but somehow still has a puppy look about her. Maybe it’s the cute haircuts, maybe it’s her bright eyes, maybe it’s her size, but everyone is surprised when we would tell them how old she was. The last few years we call her our “old lady” and would try to be extra gentle and sweet with her. Chloe has never been much of a cuddler, but recently she would nuzzle you and bury her face in your lap. She likes affection and loves it when you rub her cheeks. Although she couldn't hear much any more I still talked to her. I’ve worked from home since 2011 and I thought it would be lonely to work from home, but Chloe has always kept me company. I talked to her during the day when I have trouble figuring something out, and it’s always comforting to have someone in the office with me. In the evenings Chloe would lie in the family room with us while we watch TV and liked to be wherever the family was.
Since September, Chloe hadn’t been feeling well. She had a UTI late September and we got her on antibiotics in early October. Towards the end of October we noticed Chloe wasn’t looking very good and I noticed she’d thrown up a few times within a day. Chloe’s always been pretty healthy, but she will have a digestive issue from time to time. A couple times per year I’ll go to get her out of her kennel in the morning and it will be a mess, so I wasn’t all that concerned at first when Chloe threw up. I became a bit more worried though when they weighed Chloe and she was only 10.4 pounds. Chloe’s usually 12 pounds and at her UTI appointment a month before she was 11.4 pounds. She was noticeably skinnier and you could feel the bones in her hips and back. The vet prescribed some anti-nausea medicine and they did some blood work, which showed poor liver function. I gave her the anti-nausea medicine that night and Chloe had a bad side effect from it. She seemed very dizzy, was walking sideways, and didn’t seem to control her limbs very well. After an hour or so it seemed to pass, but the next morning she started to get dizzy again and while I was holding her she started to spasm and I think she had a seizure. We didn’t give her any more of the medicine, but she had a few more dizzy spells and the nausea didn’t get better. Chloe was vomiting or having diarrhea for everything we feed her, and although she put on a little weight, you could tell she’s very uncomfortable and it wasn’t getting better. We tried dog food made for sensitive stomachs, beef with rice, chicken with rice, and just about anything we think she’d eat.
We scheduled an appointment with the mobile vet (Laps of Love) that does house calls for sick pets and will put them to sleep on November 17th. I really struggled with the appointment, especially since we had to leave her and go out of town for Thanksgiving soon after. At the appointment, we decided to try some medicine and some different food and to give her a chance to get better. Over the Thanksgiving holiday Chloe stayed with Grandma Alice for part of the time and then our pet sitter Deb. Her diarrhea didn’t improve, and she was definitely wasting away. Deb gave us the idea to try a different vet downtown at Brentwood animal clinic and we took her to see Dr. Hightman there. He gave us a lot of different medicines, insisted that Chloe was treatable, and put her on a new diet of prescription dog food. For the next week we had to give her multiple pills, capsules, tablets and even IV fluids multiple times per day. It was a lot of work and Chloe didn’t respond well at first. The IV fluids made it hard for her to hold her pee overnight, and she definitely didn’t like getting stuck with the needle. I took Chloe in for a follow-up visit after the first week and really pushed the vet to see if we were doing the right thing and we had a long discussion about the progress she’d made and how we could improve her digestion. Chloe was down to 8.11 lbs and was so weak. She got more IV fluids, different meds for liver issues, and we continued on. Over the next few weeks she slowly improved and for a while did pretty well. She was eating the prescription dog food grudgingly, and her stool improved and seemed normal. Unfortunately, over Christmas, she deteriorated again. She stopped eating, started getting weak, and started to have fluid build up in her legs around her joints.
On January 7th, we decided it was time for Chloe. We're thankful for all the time we had with Chloe, and at the end we were thankful we did what we could and were able to have her around over the holidays. We scheduled the euthanasia for Tuesday, January 8th at 5pm. We gave lots of love to Chloe for her last day, and gave her some tasty chicken and treats. Paige and Connor gave her lots of hugs and kisses. Andrea snuggled with her and wrapped her up cozy in a blanket on the couch. I took her outside quite a bit and gave her lots of extra affection. The appointment with the vet was fairly short, but it was nice that we were at home and Chloe was comfortable. Paige covered Chloe in her pink blanket and we sat with her on the couch as she slipped off to sleep.
Chloe was so special to me. I had dogs growing up, but Chloe was my dog. From the time she was a puppy to the time she was an old lady, she’s been my sweet girl. I love her so much and she is such a part of my life I can’t imagine my life without her in it. I knew the day would come when I’d have to say goodbye. It always seemed far away though, even when Chloe turned ten she was so fit and healthy. Even when she turned fifteen she was strong and happy. I don’t want to say goodbye to her, I don’t want to ever let her go. She was more than just a dog, she was a part of our family and we’ve gone through so much together. Chloe was with us when Andrea and I got engaged, when we got married, when we started a family, when we moved to Florida, and as we all grew and matured together. Chloe came in to our lives when we were 23 years old kids barely out of college. I just turned 39 and it’s amazing all the things we’ve done together and experienced together. Chloe was a part of everything and will always be a part of my heart. I know Chloe will not be forgotten, I just wish we didn’t have to say goodbye.
We love you Chloe Louise Vernon. Our Chloe Bear.