The words cancer were the last thing I ever expected to hear, my heart sank as the emergency room vet checked over Chloe with great concern. She has really been having a tough time. It’s hard to imagine that this is the same dog that chased a squirrel 10′ straight up a tree, saved me from a charging bear and has literally sailed all over the country with me both east and west coasts.
When I adopted her 12 years ago we both made a pact that we would live forever and play and explore every inch of this country together. In all that time she has never failed to wake up with a wagging tail and a lets go play attitude. She is never grumpy and always has a glass half full personality no matter what the situation is. When the Vet said the word cancer I knew she was wrong, I know Chloe far too well and she is a fighter and a surviver and this is not the end, nowhere near it. It turns out I was right, she doesn’t have cancer but we still don’t know whats wrong with her, she is going down hill fast.
Chloe was laying under the shade in the cockpit drugged up and content when I heard my name called out across the marina. I don’t know what it is but the bond between Jessie and Chloe has been as tight as it gets from the moment they met. Chloe couldn’t get up but her little tail was wagging so hard as she struggled to get closer to Jessie. Sometimes all any of us need is a little love to brighten the day. I left the two of them and went back to boat work. I peered out to check on them and Jessie was curled up around Chloe laying on the dock and gently stroking her. It was the best medicine she could receive.
When Chloe first started going down hill I made every effort to make the boat more dog friendly and safer for her new condition. I haven’t been very successful, while the layout on the boat is perfect for two adults, it is not very good for a 12 year old dog that still thinks she has the agility of a pup. My first instinct was to sell the boat and get the dog on land but a sailing trip on a friends boat that is much safer for Chloe had me rethinking this. She can barely walk up to shore to potty but what if I had a boat with bulwarks to keep her safe, the larger boat would be her new yard. She has always loved sailing on both the Lyle Hess 26 and the Bristol Channel Cutter and they both offer her space to roam, and the safety and security that lets her make her way around the boat. A flush cockpit with no hole to fall into also makes sailing more fun for all of us. Chloe has always loved living in the marina, she knows every person on every boat. I have to say I have honestly never had the need or want for a boat as large as the Bristol Channel Cutter but I have started to search for one. The 26 would be more ideal for all of us but with only 9 built I doubt I will ever find one. I don’t know if finding a larger boat will be the answer but all I can do is try. If it doesn’t make it any better I can always loan it to my brother. We always have options but until you try you will never know what may have been. As with all things this will pass. Chloe is Xtratuff.
My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.