Our old dog, Chewy, passed away last night in his sleep. He was 14. He was a good dog all his long life. Fierce to anyone who came to the door, but a pussy-cat to the family, did his bit to deter would be salesmen and missionaries alike. He had a bark that would scare anyone. (He never bit a soul.) He was named for Chewbaca of Star Wars fame, because as a puppy he liked to “talk” and it sounded like a wookie. He liked chasing lights and reflections, and was known to chase the shadows of butterflies rather than the butterflies themselves.

In his younger years he could be encouraged to perform a few tricks for treats. Though he could do it, rolling over was always accompanied with a lot of wookie grumbling. He loved hiking, and back then, usually put in twice the milage of his human companions. He loved getting Christmas presents, and he mastered opening them with the family. He always seemed to know which ones were his. He stoically put up with two interlopers into his domain, first Simba, the female chow chow who barely tolerated anyone least of all Chewy, and then Pepper (aka Goofydog) the standard poodle who today seems a bit bemused, but is napping at my feet just the same.

He lived beyond a Chow’s lifespan and was riddled with arthritis in the last few years. His last few days were as normal as they could be, though he wasn’t walking anymore and had to be carried everywhere. He had a good meal the day before, then yesterday decided enough was enough. He slept peacefully through most of his last day, and drifted off sometime in the night. We could all hope for as much ourselves. Chewy, you were a great friend. We’ll miss you buddy.

Chewy looking ever like a great Grizzly bear. Chilling his feet after his last long hike in 2005.

“Is it time to open them yet?” Christmas 2003.