On February 4, 2010 my daughter Linda who lives in Pasadena found a cute little dog wandering around her house. It had a collar and leash attached but no tags or microchip. She along with my other daughter Sherry brought the dog to our store and promptly said, “this is your new dog”. I immediately said, “that’s not my dog, take him to your house…I don’t want a dog”. After 10 minutes the dog was being bathed at Super Pets down the street. He came back looking a little cleaner and with a new harness and leash. We decided to give it a try and we named him Chester because my wife grew up on Chester Street in Pasadena. He also had a little hitch in his hind leg which mimicked Chester on the old Gunsmoke series, not to mention he walked like me.
We took him to the Vet for an examination and Dr. Joe Pavlik at Community Animal Hospital said, “this is a senior dog”. I said, “great! I am a senior also”. Chester was a mix of Jack Russell Terrier and full of energy. The next few months we became attached to this new addition to our family. He was somewhat well behaved and housebroken. We bought a dog house for him in the back yard. We quickly learned he did not want any part of it, he wanted to be in the house with us.
Fast forward 3 months to May 2010 at 5 in the morning. We heard a terrible noise in the den where Chester was. I ran over to Chester and he was convulsing on the floor. I was scared and did not know what to do or think so I called my daughter at 5 in the morning and said you need to come over to say goodbye to Chester, I think he is dying. This was the first of many seizures we would witness and help him get through.
We can only surmise that the owners who had Chester let him go when this started happening because they did not want, or could not take care of him. We took him to Dr. Pavlik at Community Animal Hospital that morning and he could not offer a cause for this behavior. There was something going on in his brain they could not explain. We began a regimen of Phenobarbital and Potassium Bromide twice daily to help bring his seizures under management. Dr. Pavlik said this will not stop the seizures but if you keep the seizures to one every 4-5 weeks you are doing good.
This went on for three years then several months ago the seizures came closer together. About 3 weeks ago he had 5 seizures in a 24 hour period. August 20 he had 7 seizures in a 20 hour period. The last one was very violent and long lasting. At 4 p.m. Pat and I agreed we needed to contact the Vet and possibly put Chester down for his own good. It was not an easy thing, I must admit I could not do it. My wife Pat, my daughter Sherry, and grandson Matthew took Chester for his last ride in the car which he loved. The staff at Temple City Animal Hospital were very compassionate and took good care of us and Chester. They said their final goodbyes and remained until he took his final breath. We all cried for this 16 pound dog who entered our home and hearts with unconditional love.
We broke all the rules with Chester. He ate very little dog food; he ate people food much to the chagrin of other pet owners and our Vet’s. He went to dinner with us almost every night. We purposely ate at restaurants that had outdoor seating and were dog friendly. I would always order something that Chester and I both liked. He was always excited to go to Mimi’s and have some hamburger or chicken. He never begged or barked, he sat there patiently for you to feed him. Speaking of barking, he barked at every customer that came in our store. It was his territory and he did not want you to come in. When I went to lunch he would run up to the back door when he saw my car. He would alert my wife Pat so she could come and unlock the screen door. He knew that I was going to have something special for him. It was a self-imposed diet as I only ate half my food and gave him the rest.
I am eternally grateful to my wife Pat. The burden for Chester’s care, feeding, and walks were her responsibility as I was physically unable to. I am 69 years old and have not had a dog since I was a little boy. I am glad God sent Chester into our lives. Chester made me a young boy again.
I am happy to announce my new website dedicated to everything Temple City. It captures the spirit and community of a great city. Check it out at: www.templecityphotos.com to see recent photo and video events. You can also like us on Facebook. I would welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you soon…