Down the Lane: In honor of a dog named Cha Chi

Published 9:00 am Thursday, July 20, 2017

By Sue Staton

Those of you who own pets have learned how quickly you become attached to them and how quickly they become a part of you.

It is after their time on Earth has ended and they have gone on that you feel a longing for them so deeply.

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My daughter, Shanda, and her husband, Andy, had a dog that not only stole their heart, but mine also.

I first learned Shanda and Andy had adopted a fur baby in 2003. When I asked her what its name was going to be, I was told it was Cha Chi. I thought that was sweet and the name seemed to stick.

Cha Chi was easy to fall in love with. He was Shanda and Andy’s first child, so to speak, before their two sons came along. Cha Chi easily adapted to his new family and surroundings. I think he learned early in life he had hit the jackpot with his new home. He was always treated lovingly and with respect.

Unlike my other daughter’s dog, who was a registered pedigree Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cha Chi came from the animal shelter.

I always told Shanda I thought his previous owners must have been an elderly couple. Chach, as we called him, seemed to have so much patience in his demeanor and was so sweet and controlled.

He seemed to go slowly in his walks and not want to run ahead as other dogs do. He listened and minded well.

Cha Chi seemed to know who I was and wanted my approval. He would come running to see me when he heard my voice. He would remain by my side until I acknowledged and petted him. As soon as I did, he was satisfied to go back to whatever he was doing.

Even up to the end of his life he would want my acknowledgment as he slowly would make his way to me in the end.

He was such a good dog. He was like a protector over Hayden and later Simon. He seemed to understand Simon’s disabilities and took it upon himself to stay near him.

It never seemed to matter how rough Simon or Hayden yanked on his body or fell on him as infants, he never growled or snapped at them. He just took what the world offered him where they were concerned. He seemed to do that all his life.

Shanda and Andy never knew Chach’s exact age, but I know he had a wonderful home with them for 14 years.

I think Cha Chi was a prideful dog. I remember one time I picked him up from the groomers and his coat had been shaved really close. At first he acted like he was embarrassed or ashamed for me to see him that way. It took him a little while to adjust.

He was a brave dog and took great care of his family. If a snake wandered into the yard where Hayden was playing, it was taken care of by Cha Chi. It would soon be left dead as Cha Chi threw it in the air and caught it with his teeth. The snake was no match against our hero. This was a trait I loved about him since to me, the only good snake is a dead one.

Cha Chi never wandered away from his home unless it was to go to his godparent’s, Annie and D.J. Gabbard, home the next street over. To me, that was proof of how they treated him and it was his home away from home.

Cha Chi seemed to know who to go to at meal time to silently beg for food. All he ever did was look pitifully into your eyes and I could never resist. Also, I think he seemed to know who the messiest person was at meal time.

Cancer wreaked havoc with Cha Chi’s sweet body this past year and the tumors were many. Shanda and Andy had to make a very difficult decision to have him put down by the veterinarian. I knew they had made the right one but I, too, have had some tears shed for our sweet Cha Chi.

Thank you, Cha Chi, for giving my family the love, the care, the memories and the good times. 

Rest in peace in doggie heaven!

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.