Update: November 13, 2015
CHURINGA (AKA Mrs Chow)
07/06/2003 - 13/11/2015
Those of you who have only started following us this year may not be aware of our Twilight Sanctuary program. About twelve months ago, we developed this concept as a way for us to help dogs that come to us at an advanced age, with ongoing medical issues or perhaps with a terminal illness. It means that they are provided with a safe and happy haven... to live out the rest of their time with one of our foster families and SHAMROQ covers all medical expenses. Basically, they are allowed to retire and be lavished with love as a permanent foster dog for the remainder of their days.
It is with both eternal gratitude for having her as part of our family for the last year and intense sorrow at her loss, that I bring you the news of our little teddybear's passing.
Senior citizens, Zany & Churinga (affectionately nicknamed Mr & Mrs Chow) entered our lives in October last year after they were dumped at a regional pound. They settled into my home - and heart - so seamlessly that it was like they had always been there. Simply put, they were the gentlest creatures that I've ever met. Inseparable, they would waddle everywhere together and sleep snuggled side by side. When we lost Zany suddenly in March, only 2 days after his 12th birthday, we fretted that Ringie would succumb to a broken heart. We need not have worried, as she quickly accepted her new widowed status by bonding herself even closer with us and becoming our little shadow.
While she was both the smallest and oldest dog in my home, she was always referred to as 'the baby'. "Shhhh...you'll wake the baby." "Go and get the baby a treat." "I think the baby wants to go outside." She knew it too.
For a dog that rarely barked, you still couldn't exactly call her quiet. Her snoring was epic and was known for being able to drown out the TV. And while she was a sweet little old dame, she was also as stubborn as a mule, refusing to come back inside the house after a toilet break, until she was offered a treat for her trouble.
Heaven is reverberating tonight with the sound of Chow snores. Oh, how I would give anything to hear that sweet music again! The one thing that makes me smile through tears is that Mr & Mrs are reunited, lumbering through paradise together, joined at the hip, just like they were here on earth. I only wish they'd found me sooner, so I could've loved them longer.
Ringie, wear your silver harness with pride and may you shine on forever.
Update: February 28, 2015
ZANY (AKA MR CHOW)
25/02/2003 - 28/02/2015
This morning, one of our beloved Twilight Sanctuary residents graduated to the Rainbow Bridge. He was known by many different names. His pedigree name, Hongchau Willy Wombat, seemed a little comical for such a proud, regal gentleman. His pet name for the last 12 years was Zany (or Zane-Zane, affectionately). But in our house, he was lovingly referred to as Mr Chow, Little Lionman, Ewok, Teddylion or Chowbear. And despite SHAMROQ only rescuing him in October last year, my family could not have loved him more if he had spent his whole 12 years with us.
As you may have seen on this page, earlier in the week we celebrated his birthday. He had an absolute ball and there was a wide smile plastered to his face all day long as we did all his favourite things. Little did we know that it was also to be his farewell party. Although he was elderly, fairly deaf, partially blind, arthritic and had a touch of dementia, he seemed strong and sturdy and his appetite was consistently ravenous. It was a shock last night to discover then, that a large, aggressive mass filled his belly. Our brave, stoic little soldier never complained or let us know his sad secret.
With a kiss goodbye on his sweet little nose, I asked for the angels to take over his care from here. While my heart is in a thousand pieces, I'm so grateful that fate brought this truly amazing dog to my doorstep and it has been my absolute honour to care for him in his twilight time. He is survived by his 'widow', Churinga (aka Mrs Chow), who we lovingly continue to provide care for, also as part of the SHAMROQ Twilight Sanctuary program.
Zany, wear your silver harness with pride and may you shine on forever.
Update: February 25, 2015
Zany (aka Mr Chow) turns 12 today & we're celebrating with a party! It was going to be too much to ask that all the guests dress up (shucks, it was too much to ask for a certain guest to smile...there always has to be one, right?). But the birthday boy rocked his party hat without any complaints whatsoever. His wife, Ringie (aka Mrs Chow), woke him this morning with a birthday kiss. I think the look on the guest of honour's face says it all...today is a good day :)
We'd like to celebrate two more Twilight Sanctuary retirees. Zany & Churinga are just the sweetest little old Chow Chow husband and wife team. (In fact, we lovingly refer to them as Mr & Mrs Chow.) They joined us the beginning of November 2014 after being abandoned at Bundaberg Pound. Anyone who has met these two would ask the question: "why didn't their people pick them up?" We believe that the answer may lie in how much care (and expense) is involved with their age-related conditions.
Both of them have eye conditions (Ringie has entropion and Zany has dry-eye) which require twice-daily cleaning and medication. They have arthritis, for which they take joint supplements. Zany has dermatitis on his back legs (that seems to be able to be kept under control with medication and good quality diet). Their eyesight and hearing are both failing. Zany has some early signs of dementia (like barking intently at nothing - but he can't hear himself because he's mostly deaf!). They shuffle along slowly like furry little tortoises, never in a hurry - unless there's food being shared around! Mostly they sleep the day away, just content to be together.
The lovely couple will celebrate their 12th birthdays in the New Year. Now, depending on who you speak to amongst Chow Chow circles, this pair has either exceeded or is approaching the breed's life expectancy. They may have stinky old-dog breath, drool continuously into their manes and oh my Lord, do they snore! But it is our privilege to maintain the dignity of these two gorgeous old souls in their twilight time. This breed is so regal and proud...we call them our little lions.
We would like to thank an anonymous sponsor for her contributions to Ringie & Zany's care. This kind lady has committed to a monthly donation for the rest of the pair's lives. She also recently surprised us by having 40kgs of premium food delivered by courier! Thank you to La Casa de Pooch for putting in the hard yards to clean these two up and primp and preen until their coats were as beautiful as they should be.
As you can see in the photos, whether it's exploring the yard, prancing (albeit very slowly!) around the pool, snoozing together, dressing up, going for car rides, getting cuddles or making new doggy friends, the happy couple is free to spend their retirement however they wish. We adore these two and hope that they enjoy their stay at the Twilight Sanctuary, where they will be cared for forever.
ZANY (AKA Mr Chow) 25/02/2003-28/02/2015
CHURINGA(AKA Mrs Chow) 07/06/2003 - 13/11/5015