This is the love story as told to me by my sister, Lisa Baren Lechner, mama of Chloe, the American Eskimo-Chihuahua mixed breed from Gurnee, Illinois.
Tell me about the first time you met Chloe, when and where was it?
I met Chloe at Petland in 2005. I wanted a puppy so badly. My sister, Pam was with me for support. Chloe was three months old and was a tiny white ball of fluff with little floppy ears. She was so freaking cute I couldn’t resist. Even Pam said, ‘I can see how much you want her, If you don’t take her home you’re crazy!’ As soon as we got into the car to take her to her new home, I looked at her, told her right away, “You are a Chloe!” And she was, never a doubt about it!
Thinking back, how would you describe Chloe’s personality as a puppy? And as an adult?
As a puppy, Chloe was energetic, sweet, funny, and very smart. She was extremely smart and learned very quickly. As she became an adult she was even more energetic, and she would be very stubborn. As smart as she was, she always had housebreaking issues. She was small – only about ten pounds full-grown, I heard little dogs had housebreaking issues, so I came to accept that there may be an occasional incident. I enrolled her in every class I could find to try to use her energy productively. She was first signed up for PetSmart’s puppy obedience class. It was there I became good friends with the teacher who loved Chloe. She created classes specifically to work with us. We did trick classes and then she introduced us to agility classes that Chloe loved and excelled at. She loved to run in the snow, I remember shoveling a small raceway for her in our yard.
And now how would Chloe describe your personality, Lisa?
Chloe would hopefully say I was a good, loving mom, who tried to do everything I could to keep her entertained and happy. She would probably mention I lacked a little patience. As I said, we did so much together. She knew a ton of tricks and would entertain everyone we met with her repertoire of stunts. We lived in a townhouse with no yard when I first got her, but I wanted a yard where she could really let loose, so I actually moved to a house with a huge yard… all for her! I continued to take her to agility classes, and she was good enough to compete. I was so proud of my Chloe. She won tons of ribbons. She was so good at it and really loved it! Unfortunately, I got very sick at this time and we had to stop doing all the things we loved doing together.
What did you learn from Chloe?
I learned patience and forgiveness. I always compared Chloe to my previous dog that I swore was human. I realized, just like people, everyone is different and special in their own ways and should be valued for what they are rather than what you think they should be.
What are top the three things you always want to remember about your love?
1. As she grew up, her cute little floppy ears stood up and were huge! Everyone said her personality was in her ears.
2. She would ‘bury’ her bones inside the house. At least she thought she was burying them. Usually, she would put them down, walk away and go back 5 seconds later and move them. The funniest thing I ever saw her do was pushing
fake dirt over the bone with her nose.
3. She would sleep in bed with me. I used to sleep with one leg straight and the other bent and she would plop herself down in the middle. It was so sweet.
When did Chloe earn her wings?
December 15, 2018
When did you join Paws?
August 14th, 2015 my sister “volun-told” me up as one of her first members.
Do you remember how you found Paws?
Paws found me; my sister made me join.
What has or is helping you get to the other side of grief? What advice would you share with someone who recently started grieving?
I rescued two older cats last year, Lucy and Ethel. I only planned on one, but they were sisters, and I didn’t want to separate them. They lived in a really bad situation and I needed to help them. They have helped me as much as I’ve helped them. I wasn’t sure I wanted to get another pet, but it’s hard living without one.
Where are you now in your grief?
I’m pretty good. If I let myself think about Chloe too much, it starts to hurt.
Using your spiritual and intuitive mind,
If I could get a message to Chloe from you, what would you want to say? What would you want to let Chloe know?
Chloe, I loved you so much. I have always felt bad that once I got sick and couldn’t do a lot with you physically anymore, that it was unfair to you. I felt you deserved so much more than I could give you at the time, I would never give you away but the thought of rehoming you so that you might have a better life weighed on my mind, but again, I couldn’t bring myself to do that to you.
And if I could get a message from you to Chloe what would you like to know?
Mom, I loved you more than anything (except treats), and I don’t blame you for getting sick. It wasn’t your fault. We had so much fun together. We did everything! For heaven's sake, you bought a house with a huge yard for us!! You took care of me when I was getting old and got sick. You were the best mom a doggie could ever
Is there anything else you would like to share with you Paws Pack about Chloe?
Chloe was very clever, a little too clever. She figured out how to get a snack when I was eating. She would tell me she needed to go out and once I stood up, the crumbs from my food dropped and it was easy access for a Chloe snack!
You guessed it, that's Roxy Kaplan in the last photo below. Chloe and Roxy are cousins and she was over for a playdate!