Thursday, October 13, 2011

Good-bye Sweet Chester

We lost a special family member over the thanksgiving weekend.  We knew the end was inevitable and soon, but it was still a very sad passing.

This was taken in May, the last time Lloyd and I saw Chester.

Chester was an eight or nine year old bull mastiff.  Mary and Greg got him from a breeder when he was a couple of months old, before they had any children.  When Mary got pregnant we were all concerned about how such a huge dog would interact with a baby, but he proved to be very protective of her, and of her brother Baron when he joined Chester's pack a few years later. 

For some reason, he didn't like men too much, but learned to like Lloyd eventually, and he was always happy to see me - dancing and peeing in his enthusiastic greeting when I came to visit.  He came to trust and like Lloyd too, but was very watchful one day when Lloyd was teaching 4-year old Layla to hit some golf balls.  When he saw Lloyd swinging a club around Layla, he moved in growling low in his throat to warn Lloyd that he better not hurt 'his' girl.

Lloyd and Chester

Layla and Chester

Lloyd, Chester, Layla and Greg

Chester always accompanied the family on their long walks in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of BC and particularly enjoyed playing in the river along their walking trails.

He was a great guard dog.  Whenever anyone came near the house he'd terrify them with his deep, throaty bark - there was no doubt to visitors that there was a large dog on the premises.  I think he topped the scales at 165 lbs.  But he was always gentle with his kids and let them crawl all over him and pull his ears and tail.  He even slept with Layla sometimes.

He's had health problems this past year and at the end had only the use of one front leg and one back one on the opposite side.  He still appeared happy though and it was only when he started moaning and looking sad and sick that the final decision was made.  The vet who had been treating him for several years kept him as healthy as he could for as long as he could, but when it became too much for Chester to bear, they had to put him out of his pain.  He had bone cancer which gradually affected all his limbs.

Family picture 3 years ago.
So it was a sad thanksgiving weekend for Mary, Greg, Layla and Baron.  But they know they did what was best for Chester.

RIP sweet Chester. We'll miss you.  




Chester sounds like he was a real sweetheart. I am so sorry to hear he has passed. He's in a better place now, being how his body was ravaged with disease. Losing a family friend is never easy. Now that he's gone, let all those wonderful memories keep him alive in your hearts. Take care.

Thisisme. said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Chester. He sounds like a real gentle giant, and he will obviously be sorely missed. They certainly couldn't let him go on suffering, and he is now at peace. What a beautiful last photo of them all together.

Holly said...

Chester sounds like an amazing pet and member of the faily and no doubt he will be missed for a long time. So sorry for your loss. He was beautiful.

Desiree said...

Oh, what a sad day, but at least Chester is no longer suffering! He was a wonderful family member by the sound of it as, as Diane said, clearly a gentle giant. It is never easy losing a much loved pet. They are always such an integral part of ones life! Rest in peace, dear, sweet boy!

just call me jo said...

Chester was so beautiful. He's undoubtedly running free and happy up in heaven. I really mourn the loss of pets. It's almost unhealthy. They're just so innocent and pure. My thoughts are with all Chester lovers.

Anonymous said...

It's always sad to lose a family pet - I still miss our dogs, although it is many years since they died.

Bouncin' Barb said...

Oh how sad for the family! I'm so sorry to hear but no one wants to see a family member suffer and this dog was clearly a family member! Great pictures and fond memories. Thanks for sharing them! Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Aw thanks Mom. It's so neat to see Chester's condolences from around the world. I enjoyed that, thank you. - Mary & Greg

Mickey said...

awe so sad and sorry for Chester's family! A dog's life is too short!

Granny Annie said...

What a wonderful dog. I am so very sad over his passing. My mother's one pet as a child was a Bull Mastiff named Duke. Duke had been a guard dog for Continental Oil and my grandfather brought him home when the still young animal was retired. My mom always spoke of Duke so fondly and I've always wondered what it would be like to own a Mastiff. You've given a pretty good idea to all of us with your story of Chester. They are truly grand animals.

Ellie said...

Awe what a wonderful dog. I'm so sorry it is always painful to see loved pets suffering.
That is a lovely family photo you put up.

Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

Sad to lose such a beloved pet.

Are you feeling better again?