My Chrissie Girl

It was Christmas Eve 2005, Eric and I were only married for two months; we didn’t have much money and we were still wrapping our minds around being married, owning a house and having to shovel our own walkways.

I woke up to an empty spot beside me and smiled. A couple of years before we were married, Eric started bringing me fake cappuccino from WaWa on Christmas Eve because he knew I liked it. (We joke that it’s ‘fake’ because, um, it is, and that was before I discovered the holy power of actual coffee.)  So, when I woke to that empty spot I assumed that’s where he went. Smiling to myself I skipped downstairs thinking how lucky I was to marry such a wonderful man.

Two hours later I was pissed. Where the hell was he? Our first Christmas Eve in married freaking bliss and he’s no where to be found. And where the hell was my fake cappuccino? I heard the front door open and I stalked to the front hallway, a lecture brewing in my mind destined to bring him to his knees while making his ears bleed.

He stood in the front hallway with a goofy grin on his face. Before I could even take a breath to support my rant a little furry foot fell out from under his jacket. All conscious thought left me and I was left squealing like a little girl rambling off high-pitched nonsense. “Oh my God! A puuuuuuuuuupppyyyyyyyy!”

Eric revealed a small, shaking Shetland Sheepdog. One look into her tiny little face, with her ears bent forward and I was gone.

Chrissie Christmas Eve 2005

I mean, look at that picture, how could you not fall in love? I named her Chrissie since she was a Christmas Eve gift, creative, right?

Eric did his research into the breed, but being the type of person I am I needed to find out everything I could about Shelties. I found out that although Shelties are mostly known as sweet natured, most are timid around strangers and can sometimes be high-strung. Keeping this in mind I kept the house quiet and nurtured my little furry friend as well as I could.

But Chrissie had her own opinions what her breed should be like. She broke every rule in the Sheltie handbook. Instead of being afraid of strangers she’d run up to them and beg to be petted. We would joke that she would invite a robber in and show them where we hid everything for just one pat on the head.

Chrissie

Chrissie kept us on our toes that first year. We got her Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day we had to take her to the hospital. She was very lethargic and not eating, turned out she had pneumonia. Luckily, her recovery was swift and in about a week we were busy chasing a very active, pooping and eating machine.  When she was about six months old  I came home during my lunch break to find out that she had taken a liking to DVDs, and I don’t mean watching them.

One day I came home to find a movie out from the cabinet, with the DVD laying next to the open case. Chuckling, and a bit amazed that this little puppy was capable of doing such a thing, I put the DVD back in its case and away in the cabinet. The next day I came home for lunch and the same DVD is laying out of its case. Next to it is a second DVD case, open, no DVD. Thinking she carried it off somewhere I started to look for it, until I noticed that the first DVD… was half eaten. To this day, that second DVD has not been found, we think she ate it.

That same week, I came home from lunch to find my cute little cuddly puppy with an orange face. The damn dog got into a 2pd container of cheeseballs and ate ALL of it except for a handfull. She sat there with orange fur and had the nerve to look at me, then the container and back to me with a face that obviously read “…but I saved you some!”

Ah, good times. :)

So, why this random post about a dog? Well, friends, Chrissie hasn’t been her usual, bouncy, energetic self lately. This past Monday we noticed that her throat was severely swollen making it difficult her her to eat, breath and bark. (Honestly, we were ok with that last one.)

Thinking it was an allergic reaction of some sort we gave her Benadryl. The swelling decreased to a point, but not all the way. On Wednesday I went to pick her up and found lump after lump on her body. The next stop was the vet. We ruled out infection which leaves us leaning towards cancer. There is still a chance that it’s not and I’m trying not to give up hope, but I admit, it’s difficult.

I was never one to be gushy over dogs. They’re dogs. I had one growing up, I was devastated when he died, but he was a dog. Chrissie tore down that wall for me. She became a part of the family and rightfully so. I don’t know what the next few days will hold; truthfully, I don’t know what the next few hours will hold. But she’s here now and that’s all that matters.

Chrissie, in the front, and our other Sheltie, Roxie

Note: This post was published Friday, June 3rd. Saturday, June 4th we put our dear Chrissie girl to sleep. She was in too much pain and the prognosis was not good. If we had money to spare the treatment would have been extensive and expensive. As it turns out we do not have money and we didn’t want to see our once vibrant dog waste away to nothing. Rest in Peace Chrissie :)

18 Responses to “My Chrissie Girl”

  1. Amy Cavenaugh Says:

    Awwwwwwwww! This breaks my heart. Chrissie is SO adorable! I’m praying for her & your family. Hope she will be back to herself in no time! I may or may not have cried a little at this blog. sniffle

    • Karen DeLabar Says:

      Aw, Amy! Thank you! It is tough, she is the first pet that I could call my own. She’s only 5 years old and it breaks my heart that she has to go through this. Thanks for your kind words and I’ll keep you updated :)

  2. Susan Borath Says:

    Awww, poor Chrissie. We are thinking of her and the whole family, hoping everything is ok. :-( hugs

  3. Alex Adena Says:

    Oh geez. This is so not fair to a 5-year-old dog. Hopefully things will get better soon.

  4. Lisa Says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m sending lots of positive thoughts your way. Give Chrissy lots of love. And @Amy, I cried too. No shame!

  5. Cathy Says:

    Karen keep thinking positive thoughts. I know how attached I am to my pets. They are family. I will keep Chrissy and all of you in my prayers.

  6. Pamela V. Mason Says:

    Keeping Chrissie in my prayers. She’s not just a dog, she’s your family! Keep us updated!

  7. Karen DeLabar Says:

    Wow. You guys are all awesome! Thank you so much for your kind words and well wishes. I just got back from dropping her off at the vet for an overnight stay. We’re hoping that with some IV fluids she’ll get some strength back and want to eat.

    I was doing ok until Lily walked up to the vet tech and said “My puppy is sick. Can you fix her?” Then she gave Chrissie a hug and a kiss and said “I love you Chrissie.” I couldn’t help it, I fell a part :)

  8. Kelly Says:

    Yeah…I cried. Praying really hard for all you guys.

  9. Mike P Says:

    Chrissie is a blessed little pup- fell into the perfect home and is clearly loved. Be brave, I’m pulling for the best!

  10. Janelle Jensen Says:

    Aw, hon, this just breaks my heart. It’s always so scary when our little furry children are sick, leaving us feeling helpless.
    I know I felt that way when I took my boy kitty to the vet recently when he dropped weight super fast. Luckily his was a treatable thyroid problem (unfortunately for me I have to chase him all over the apartment and sit on him to give him his daily pill, blood running down my arms – this was supposed to make you giggle ;-) ) I’m hoping with all my might that your Chrissie will get well soon. Big Hugs

  11. Rob "Sharky" Pruneda Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Chrissie’s ailment. I love dogs and was ROFLing when I read about what she did as a puppy (I swear she must be related to my dogs!), but now I’m sad to hear that she’s sick. Rest assured, Chrissie is in my prayers, Karen.

    I look forward to hearing about Chrissie’s recovery. BTW… what’s her favorite DVD. My Beagle’s favorite DVD is Ratatouille, well, the case at least.

  12. Rachel Butz Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this Karen. We are having trouble with Max the last week or two also, granted he is 13. I wanted to tell you though, maybe this will lift your spirits a bit and hopefully maybe be true for Chrissie, herding dogs are prone to benign cysts. Max has big lumps all over his body and has for years. We took him to the vet a couple years back horrified and he let us know. Max has been the same way with the breathing too. We also have been giving him benadryl… we even had to put gravy on his food to make him eat tonight! So I will keep my fingers crossed that maybe all this going on is just a sheep dog thing for the both of us!

    • Karen DeLabar Says:

      Rachel!! Thank you, that does help! She’s at the vet and they’re pushing IV fluids hoping to get her to eat. At dinner time she didn’t eat, but we’re still hoping that when we call tomorrow she would have eaten something.

      They can’t do the tests until she gets some strength back, in order for that to happen the poor thing needs to eat. Will keep you posted!

  13. Lora Jo Says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your puppy. I know how they can become such a part of your family. My heart goes out to you. I know they’re “just dogs” but dogs are a part of the family, too!

  14. Mac Perry Says:

    When I was 8 my mother moved to Wisconsin. A year later my sister and I followed leaving our father, extended family, and Boston behind. My mother bought us a rather shy kitten. Her gray-tabby stripes reminded us of Criss-Crosse’s hair cut, thus she became “Pump Up the Jam” but “Jam” for short. She was the only thing that grounded us through out our parents divorce. I feel your pain.

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