Chester, my heart dog, by Becky S.

Chester was my “heart dog.” I lost him when he was only nine years old to lymphoma. It wasn’t until he passed, and I was reading about grieving and trying to figure out how to live without him that I realized the special bond we had was that of a “heart dog”.

Chester was a Toy Fox Terrier, the runt of his litter, weighing only five pounds. I got him to be a companion to my other Toy Fox Terrier I had at the time, Mickey, who was four years old then.

Looking back, I realize the special bond Chester and I shared started when I first went to see him at the breeder’s house when he was only four weeks old. At that moment I fell in love with him and knew he was going to be more than “just a dog.”

Throughout his short life, Chester and I went through a lot. He had reactive aggression when out walking. I hired a personal trainer to work with us and eventually he learned how to go on walks successfully.

A few months before he got ill, Chester ingested an acorn cap. I had no idea what was wrong with him. I took him to the emergency room vet, and they saved his life. Three months later he took ill again. After countless trips to our vet and the emergency room over a period of six weeks, we got the devastating lymphoma diagnosis. I did everything I could for him, but four months after being diagnosed, Chester passed.

I had no idea how I would go on. I developed anxiety and depression. It was through the Pet Loss Certificate program that I took with Dr. Sife and the APLB that I put everything into perspective. I also started to write about Chester’s life and that helped as well. I hope one day to publish Chester’s memoir as a way for him to live on.

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