Chile by Tricia & James Tylman / Mom and Dad

On December 23rd 2000 he turned 6 weeks old and we were able to pick him up. He was handed to us and a check was handed back. I held him in my arms as we backed out of the driveway. Before we got out of that driveway he sank into my heart. At that moment I knew I was in trouble.
We brought him home to our already 2 year old female Akita, Tyson. We thought it was time to bring a playmate home for her. Were we ever wrong. Little did we know she liked being the only dog. Chile was shy and quite the first 24 hours, after that all hell broke out. He liked to play or should I say pick on Tyson. He would follow her around biting any part of her he could get a hold of. We always had to keep an eye on him as he would get into anything in a moment. He was all puppy. It took her about a year to adjust to having a brother and get over being mad at us for bringing this unruly thing home.

Tyson was the good girl. She didn’t bark unless there was really something out there. On the other hand, Chile barked at everything. I mean everything…birds, planes, neighbors, trash cans, plastic bags that were blowing in the wind, passing cars, animals on TV, (He knew the difference between people and animals which amazed me) and liked to watch TV. I think he actually learned English from the TV.

Over the years the two became good pals. Chile became bigger than Tyson and was extremely hard headed. He needed more patience which my husband did not have a lot of, so Chile and I became a pair. I’m sure I didn’t do all the right things in his training but he was sociable to humans (kids and adults) that we approved of and scared off the ones we didn’t. He became my protector as I was his. I always felt safe especially on our early morning walks. I knew he wouldn’t let anyone approach me. Unlike Tyson, she would welcome it.

My husband and I are vary bonded to Tyson and Chile. Chile and I had that special bond. He was a sweet boy with a sweet soul. As a puppy he would love to race towards me and run through my legs. As he grew up this became a little difficult, he learned to duck and I up on my tippy toes, we did just fine. Sometimes he would mess with me and stop in the middle for a back scratch and arch his back which would throw me off balance. He knew after chores were finished on Saturdays it was nap time with Mom. He loved to be curled up with me as I did with him. Tyson was the queen of our bed so Chile would have to beat her to the bed or sneak up. Winter nights he would actually go to bed before the rest of us to get his spot. He loved attention and loved to be near us (Tyson could care less). He loved to lie in the sun to warm his bones. He loved his walks, listening to the birds, smell the air, and keep an eye on everything that moved. He loved the visits from the neighbor to give him a treat. And was especially a happy wiggly boy when I brought home a new toy for him and when we came home from a long day at work. He loved meeting his poppa at the door when he came home from work each night to get his daily kiss and chin scratch and a treat of course. I loved him so much; he would put a smile on my face by just looking at me.

I went out of town and returned the first week of August 2007. My husband was in charge for the week of the chores and doggie duties. When I returned all looked normal but I noticed Chile was drinking a lot of water. This didn’t alarm me because he was a drinker and we live in Las Vegas and the weather was hot. I noticed he was seeking out water and drinking water from places he normally wouldn’t. I got him to the vet, they took blood and he had an extremely high level of calcium in his blood which most likely meant a tumor. An x-ray made it become reality; he did have a tumor and most likely was cancer. My hart sank. All I could think was how is this happening, Why, why my baby boy. Why??? I was so devastated but kept my hopes up.

My vet did all they could do and sent us to a specialty vet that dealt with Oncology. It was confirmed that he had Mediastinal Lymphoma (cancer), all I could was cry.

The tumor in his chest was big and needed meditate attention. After a lot of discussion we decided to do chemo. I had mixed emotions about this decision and got on the internet and found some hope. Without chemo the vet gave him about 3 weeks. With chemo we might have 6 to 12 months with him. In some cases more. The vet gave him adrymison. He did well for the first 24 hours then the reaction started. He started vomiting, wouldn’t eat or drink and was having bad diarrhea. We rushed him back to the vet which he stayed there for 3 days in doggie ICU. The end of the 3rd day the vet called and said he could come home. He needed a lot of care because he wasn’t eating yet. I had to syringe feed him and give him medications every 4 hours for his stomach, diarrhea, nausea and other stuff. He wasn’t interested in food for the first 3 days home and fought me when I tried to syringe feed him.

The 4th day I went to the fridge to get something and when I shut the door he was standing right there. It startled me because he wouldn’t even come in the kitchen since we brought him home. Seeing him standing there made me so happy. I grabbed some chicken out of the fridge and handed him a small piece. He looked at it for a moment then gobbled it out of my fingers. I hurried up and made him a small plate of food in fear that he wouldn’t eat again. But he did. From that point on he ate every 4 hours and I added more and more food each day. He lost about 10 lbs during this whole thing and I wanted to get the weight back on and get him strong again. I called the vet to let him know he was eating again. He was happy to hear the news and also informed me that he didn’t think Chile would make it. In other words, he was sending him home to be with us with little hopes of surviving through the 1st night night. But that tough strong boy did.

With his reaction to the first chemo treatment it was decided that we needed to use another drug for his chemo treatments. The second drug used wasn’t as strong as the first but in other cases had achieved remission.

The chemo treatments were still hard on him. He didn’t like going to the vet’s before all this, and really didn’t like it now. He mustered through it I think for me. By mid October we had another x-ray and good news finally. No sign of the tumor!

We continued with the treatments and he seemed to be the Chile he always was. He was sleeping through the night eating well and loving his play time. My heart began to settle again.
Our world was shattered again in the beginning of December. He had another routine x-ray done before a chemo treatment and when I went to pick him up they sent me to a room and I started to panic. The vet came in with a look on his face that gave me the reason to panic. All I remember hearing is, “I’m sorry, the tumor has returned” I couldn’t hold back the tears and the rest of the visit was just a blur.

His body had adjusted to the drugs and using a more aggrieve drug would most likely cause a bad reaction again and we didn’t want to put him through that. But we didn’t want to lose him during the Holidays either. So we had the vet do a low dose of chemo as a band-aid to get him through the year.

He was good old normal Chile until about the second week in January 2008. I started seeing a change in him, he no longer slept in our room, he became a little more picker with his food, and he started getting up during the night again ( I think because he was having a hard time with his breathing).

The third week of January I noticed his neck looked big, I started to feel around and found a lump. I called the vet, and realize the cancer was spreading into other areas of his body. The vet in not so many words confirmed it. In my heart I knew our sweet family would be changing sooner than I wished and a decision would have to be made on behalf of the best thing for our wonderful baby boy Chile. The last week with him being on earth with us went by too fast. He declined quickly, he was having difficulty lowering his head to get a drink and get up from lying down. We choose to take Friday off to spend one last day with him but retuning home from work on Thursday we decided our good-byes needed to be Friday. He would stand up for hours come to find out his chest was so swollen that was probably the reason he wouldn’t lie down. During all his pain he still wanted to go for his walk. I think it made him feel better in a way to be out in the fresh air even though his step was slower and he needed to stop to rest.

Before the vet arrived on Friday, he took one last walk with his Mom. He stopped often to rest against his Mom’s legs to get some loving and even mustered up the strength to chase off some birds that were resting behind some bushes. I so wanted to just keep walking forever in hopes that what I soon would be going through would just go away. I knew it wouldn’t and now I was the one that needed to muster up the strength to head home. When we arrived back to the house, he just stood in the court yard and stared at me. It broke my heart. Knowing that the vet would be calling soon to let us know she was on her way, I went into the house to fix him one last meal. It was his favorite stuff of course. When I went to call him in, he wouldn’t come in. So I took the plate out to him, at first he turned his head away so I took a piece of chicken and held it out for him. He looked at it for a moment then took it from my fingers then started eating from the plate as I held it up for him so he wouldn’t have to lean down to eat. He ate almost all of it, I was proud of him. I felt that if we were to hold off what was coming
that he would’ve refused food from that point on.

About ten minutes later the vet pulled up. My chest felt heavy and I tried my best to be strong and hold off the tears so Chile wouldn’t worry. He was a strong and brave boy. He did what was asked of him for one last time. As we held him in our arms he slipped away peacefully. All the pain and discomfort had left him and he was a free soul once again.
I miss him, I miss him a lot. A little piece of my heart left with him that day, as always happens when something you love dies. I’ve been through this before him and I’ll go through this again. He just had a hold of me in a way no other had. It still hurts real bad. I will love and miss him for the rest of my life.


We will love and miss you forever,
Tricia & James Tylman