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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chaplin... Another sad day.

Roger here...  Nine years ago we visited a local kennel near Indianapolis, Wildaire Whippets, to find a playmate for our whippet, Jasper.  We came home with a nine-month-old whippet whose nickname was AWOL.  (I can't remember for sure, but his AKC name was something like "Catch me if you can" -- also appropriate! -- D.)  The name was appropriate.  He was an escape artist during his first few years.  We renamed him "Chaplin," due to the black eyebrows over each eye that reminded us of Charlie Chaplin.  Within a year, the spots disapeared.  (You can see them in the professional photo below of Jasper and Chaplin taken in the fall -- D.  In the photo below, you can see that Chaplin even lunched at Sloppy Joe's in Key West.  At least he didn't have a boring life. -- D.)


The breeders intended to keep him as a show dog.  He was a handsome boy.  However, his personality did not lend itself to the show ring.  He was a quiet, submissive, easily-frightened dog who was also a little stubborn.  He would never do anything unless it was his idea.  Good news for us, because he was also a loving dog.  He was a perfect fit in our family.


When he was younger, despite our efforts, he did escape a few times.  One time neighbors brought him back in the bed of a truck after we scoured the neighborhood with pictures.  Another, very notable time, he bolted (there was no catching a dog that runs at 35 mph) at Lake Cumberland State Park in Kentucky.   We tramped through the forest and along the roads for four hours.  People had seen him chasing the wild turkeys, but we could not locate him.  A very kind park ranger befriended him and brought him to us.


Chaplin was the most gentle dog I have ever known.  He did not bark.  He was never aggressive in any situations.  When he wanted attention, he would stand next to you, quietly begging to be petted and occasionally licking your hand.  He spent countless nights snuggling next to me on the couch while I watched TV.  If I became tense (while watching a Purdue basketball game), he would hop down and seek Dianne.


He loved playing with other dogs, especially when he was younger.  He ran like the wind.  He hopped around in a manner that reminded me of Tigger.  He was a chick magnet whenever people were around.  He always seemed to find ladies and girls who wanted to pet him.


When our granddaughter, Kaia, was a toddler, he reluctantly allowed her to play with him.  She used to dress him up and on one occasion put pink lipstick, a skirt, and a pink ponytail elastic with a bow on his head.  Poor little guy.  (Needless to say, the ponytail holder was removed from his head immediately after these photos! -- D.)






This has not been a good year for our boys.  We lost Jasper in January due to a tumor on one of his kidneys.  On September 11th, of all days, Chaplin lost his battle with subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive type of skin cancer.




Unlike the unexpected loss of Jasper, we knew that disease would eventually claim Chaplin.  We first discovered the disease 2 1/2 years ago at Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina, when we could not stop the bleeding from a sore on his stomach.  We had that tumor removed, but the local vet in Indiana did not recognize the disease.  Over the past two years, vets in Texas diagnosed the disease and removed multiple tumors on two occasions.  His last tumor was in an inoperable place.  We knew that when it inevitably started to bleed (With this disease the blood does not clot and the wounds never heal), that we would lose him.  


We truly miss our gentle, quiet dog that has been our constant companion for the past nine years.


Bandido, Mr. Energy, does draw our attention away from our loss.  BUT, things are not the same around here.  We miss our quiet, loving boy.


I guess we're no longer "Traveling with Whippets," but we're keeping the name, for now at least.  Jasper and Chaplin both will be traveling with us in spirit.  -- D.

16 comments:

Malone said...

I am so sorry that you lost your sweet dog. What a lovely tribute you wrote for Jasper. I felt like I knew him.

Gail Durham said...

Losing a great friend like your dog is never easy. Great tribute!

K and D in the RV said...

So sorry to hear he has passed. Our dogs or cats are never in our lives for very long, but what joy they bring. Take care.

Jim and Dee said...

I'm so glad we were able to meet Chaplin. I'm so sorry for the loss. Thanks for the great post.

Craig and Sue said...

SOOOOOO sorry for your loss!

Craig and Sue said...

Soooo sorry for your loss...very sad!

Nancy and Bill said...

We are sorry for the loss of one of "man's best friend". Great post and a nice tribute.

Gin and Syl said...

Furkids don't ask for much but they give so much in return. We're glad that we met both of your older boys and hope to meet Bandido someday too. (((hugs))) Cyber hugs to you both.
Syl and Gin

Sarah and Richard said...

What a lovely tribute to your two friends! You've done them both an honorable salute. This is a sad time indeed. Even when we know something is inevitable, nothing prepares us for the finality of it. Hugs to you both!

Diane and Rich said...

We become so attached to our pets. They become a part of our family. We refer to our two dogs as our furry children. We are so sorry for your loss.

Mike and Terri said...

We're so sorry for your loss. We know what you're going through right now. At least you have Bandido and Charlie. Many wonderful pictures and memories, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

We are so sorry to hear about Chaplin. Since following your blog for several years ago, last September we rescued/adopted Jake, a 4 yr old Whippet. Except for escape episodes, Chaplin's behavior matches our whippet. I will give Jake a special hug when I get home tonight & appreicate him even more. Run Free Chaplin!

Adventures in the MimiVan said...

Roger and Diane, what a horrible day for you to experience this loss. I am so sad to hear your news and even though you knew his time was coming I can only imagine how difficult this must be for both of you. He certainly was a sweet dog and he had two of the best people to take care of him ever. My prayers for your peace during this time are on the way.

Rob-bear said...

Sorry to learn of your loss on my first visit. But you've written a delightful tribute to your lovely travelling companion.
Hope the rest of the year is wonderful.

Laura said...

Condolences - it is never easy losing a friend and family member.

Margie and Roger said...

Oh I'm so sad to read that you lost sweet Chaplin. This has been a really tough year for you. Thankfully you have Bandito to help fill your days.

Travel safe to your "home".

Wonder if there will be another dog in your future?