It is with the heaviest of heavy, heavy hearts that I write this.
We lost our sweet boy Chunk sometime in the wee hours of Friday morning, Jan. 15. He came through his surgery in November with flying colors and was recovering beautifully. He was starting to put weight back on, his zest for life did not alter a bit. We had a great day Thursday. After our walk, where he sniffed all around him, and stopped for a bit looking skyward taking in the breeze, we headed home. A lone raven circled up above us crying out. He swooped down, and quick as a flash, back up to a branch high up. I have always loved ravens and for that moment it seemed as if he and Chunk had an understanding.
I will let him tell you about how he found his way to us. No one can tell the story like he can, and how the universe worked for all of us that day.
Hello dear readers,
The way I heard it (over and over again and again,) it was my (soon-to-be) mom Linda’s birthday. She and my future family were finishing up dinner. For some reason she felt compelled to leave the table and wander over to the computer. She clicked on to Petfinder. There was no rhyme or reason, just a strong pull. They already had two dogs, Fred, and Ozzie, who were both total and complete goofballs. Ozzie was an old girl and had recently not been feeling great.
Well, Linda scrolled down, checking out the many different dogs available for adoption when she spotted me. It was an older photo, my rescue photo. I was 6 weeks old and had been brought in after a lady walking by a parked car at a Petco in Galveston, Texas, heard me crying and whining from the trunk. She called the police who forced open the trunk. There I was, a small, terrified whimpering shivering bundle. The owner of the car was arrested (there were several warrants for his arrest) and I was immediately brought to a shelter where I stayed for three days. I soon went to a wonderful foster home for six months.
Linda approached her family and said, “I want this dog.” She always said that something, some force of the universe spoke loud and clear. Ed was not so sure, as they already had two dogs and Ozzie was not feeling well. Linda said she knew from experience that introducing a new puppy to the home when there is an older dog can work well. The puppy can bring new life to the dog (in our case, with a vengeance,) and the older dog can teach the new puppy the ropes. They filled out the application and waited. Within a couple of days, they received a call from Lee Selman, the director of the nice shelter I had been taken to. My foster mom Karina worked with the shelter, and they had gone over their references and decided they were A-OK.
I was placed in a comfortable cage in a warm truck with lots of other dogs ready for the three-day trip to Connecticut where my new family would meet me. I was nervous, but the feeling of going to my forever family was amazing. Everyone was so nice, and we made lots of stops on the way. Volunteers were at every stop to walk and feed us and give us water and lots of hugs. My family was waiting for me when I stepped off the truck. They recognized me right away. My new mom was holding a big envelope with my name on the front. She was also holding a big stuffed animal for me. I slept on my new human sister Sarah’s lap for the long ride home. Meeting Ozzie and Fred was fun. Ozzie was kind of grumpy and Fred was, well, Fred was fun. I got to meet my human brother Liam when we stopped by his workplace to say hi.
Being a Texan, snow was just the most amazing thing ever! I loved to leap up and bite at the flakes when they came down. Romping through the snow in the backyard with Fred was the best. I got to meet the cats (fun…not.) I had a brand new cushy bed that was oh so comfy. There was a fire in the fireplace, and everything was cozy and nice. I loved my new home.
My mom and dad soon realized I would make a great therapy dog, and so “our” training began. Dogs pretty much know it all; it is the humans that the training is for. I passed my training with flying colors, as did my dad. Pam Murphy, my trainer, said mom was a soft touch, but with more training, she passed too!
Dad always said he and I had a relationship of mutual respect; he considered me a partner, a friend. Mom was mom with a capital “M.” She was the comfort when I was scared or not feeling well. I would find dad’s hand and push it with my head, always ready for a scratch or a head rub at any given moment, but mom was my go-to for safety. Ozzie showed me the ways of the house, and Fred was always ready to pounce and play. We were gifted with another year with Ozzie. Mom said I filled their hearts.
I easily made friends with everyone, especially when we would go for walks. In 2015, we decided to move to Maine. We had spent summer vacations in Damariscotta, so when dad retired, we went for it. My mom got a job at Mobius, and I soon became part of the Mobius family. I also got to be part of my most awesome vet Dr. Tichy’s office family. The Chunk’s advice column was mom’s idea. We thought it would be great fun. The Lincoln County News staff thought it would be great fun too.
I loved being a therapy dog, and had a blast visiting the folks at Chase Point every Saturday these last four years. Connie Bright, the volunteer director at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus helped me get my start there. I even have a file, complete with photo ID at the volunteer office! Pretty cool I’d say! When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we decided it was time to retire.
Writing my advice column has been a joy. Everyone at LCN has been so wonderful to us. One of my favorite things has been being referred to as a “columnist.” I have had the most wonderful time. I must say keeping the cats in line has been a challenge, and Boo, well, what can I say…she is a “foodie.” Avalon has, in her quiet way, been an inspiration….for naps. Look at me, going on and on about myself! Adventure calls and I am off to see what I can see.
Thank you all for reading my column and for the love.
Peace and love,
“To call him a dog hardly seems to do him justice, though inasmuch as he had four legs, a tail, and barked, I admit he was, to all outward appearances. But to those who knew him well, he was a perfect gentleman.” – Hermione Gingold
Donations in Chunk’s memory can be sent to Midcoast Humane, 190 Pleasant St., Brunswick, ME 04011. Bottles can be dropped off and labeled with Chunk’s name at Bonus Redemption, 116 Mills Road, Newcastle.