My Beloved Chuka
Forever in my heart
May 4 1984 ----- September 16 1998
May 4 1984 - Sept 16 1998
The very first time I saw him at Fred Meyer in that cardboard box,
Packed in with littermates he resembled a little black and tan fox
I wasn't looking for a dog but he just would not leave me alone
And he picked me out of all the passersby to be his very own.
I begged Earl "Please let me take him home." And he reluctantly agreed.
Even if he had refused I am afraid I'd have paid him no heed.
For that cuddly little ball of fur with the cold nose and the licky tongue
Snuggled under my chin and a place in my heart forever he won.
With Arctic heritage and sled dog looks he needed a native name
From a character in an Alaskan movie... Chuka he became.
He quickly picked up basic obedience and a few tricks as well,
He seemed to understand all we said even those few words we would spell.
It didn't take him long to get me trained along with my loving spouse
And there was never much doubt who was really the boss around our house.
He could always wheedle Earl into playing "tow-rope" or spin the top
And his waistline expanded from the sweet treats I always seemed to "drop".
A bit of a tease full of fun sometimes he would push his bounds a bit,
Asking a command be repeated to be sure I really meant it.
But at the beach a horse show or a campground filled with kids and tents.
We received many compliments on his manners and obedience.
He always traveled with us wherever we went right from the first day
And it would break his heart and mine those few times I had to tell him "Stay."
I spent many long hours home alone while Earl was working at night
But Chuka kept me company and never let me out of his sight.
He was most content to sleep either on or closely beside my bed
Calm and quiet as long as he could see me or my hand touched his head.
But once he stubbornly woke me as if to say something's not quite right
Then scared off the intruder who was coming through a window that night.
Chuka delighted in romping with my horse and Jughead loved it too.
Once he accidentally kicked him; knocked him unconscious black and blue.
But just two days later he was back in the field with his equine friend
Racing through games of tag and chase the ball; maybe even let's pretend.
Often able to get his own way while we thought the idea our own
My sister sometimes kept him but did not allow him inside her home
One frigid evening at tie up time he failed to respond to her call
But then a whimper from somewhere so faint it was hardly there at all.
A frantic search located him shivering from cold and nearly dead
Exhausted from hours in their pool's icey water while struggling to tread.
Wrapped in a wooly blanket and laid by the fire there he spent the night
From that day on if he asked to come in my sister would say "all right."
Once when Earl had mildly scolded Chuka for some minor impudence
He beguiled him with those big brown eyes and pleaded his innocence.
And later there appeared a "doggie calling card" discovered by me,
Precisely deposited atop Earl's gift beneath the Christmas tree
I could not convince Earl that Chuka searched high and low until he found
The one package with his name and red ribbons wrapped tightly all around.
Perhaps it was mental telepathy or somewhere he learned to read,
but he did get his message across when he did that aromatic deed.
He almost died from a bladder stone but our caring vet pulled him through.
When he hopped on a stone wall atop a cliff I thought I'd lost him too.
He once leapt out of the pick-up and tried to hang himself with a chain
But Earl so quickly rescued him that he suffered no lingering pain.
Fourteen years rolled by and old age closed in on him much too soon for me
His ears grew deaf his joints were stiff; his poor old eyes tried so hard to see.
And the day came as I knew it would when those soulful eyes beseeched me,
"Life's no longer fun for me. I'll miss you; but please gently set me free..
Because you've loved me and always placed such value on my happiness,
I will trust you like I always have to do for me your very best
I know you'll miss me too but don't feel guilty; don't grieve too long for me
I'll be young and strong again able to romp through out eternity."
I fed him all the weiners he'd eat and his fav'rite marshmallows too,
I stroked his soft fur and reminded him of all our good times it's true.
Tears streamed down my face a suffocating sadness engulfed my heart
With that faithful old head cradled in my arms Chuka and I did part.
Earl and I grieved as we buried him so gently beneath fir tree's limb
But I'm sure there's a special place in Heaven for faithful friends like him
Please God feed him a marshmallow now and then; don't fret about his weight.
And when my time comes to leave this world please let him meet me at the gate.