Chiko–The Good Dog

   I met Chiko, a neighbour’s dog, a few years ago. Chiko would escape from the neighbours and appear at our front door. We also kept him a few times while the family went on trips. Chiko, a Shih Tzu and I had an immediate connection and whenever he was around he would lie at my feet or roll on his back so I could rub his stomach. I found Chiko one night at midnight beside my bed, wagging his tail. He had escaped from the neighbours, pushed open a patio gate and a patio door and come into my bedroom.

     Chiko would usually escape and come to our house, but on one occasion he went the other way and was struck by a car. Luckily, he was discovered by my wife and I kept him on my lap as his family drove around to find a veterinarian. I thought he was done for, but I had read the stories of Alfred Wight, aka James Herriot, and knew dogs could recover from very serious injuries. Chiko, with a pelvis fractured in 5 places, managed what looked like a complete recovery. Several years later, Chiko developed a fatal condition in the injured area and passed, a happy dog to the end.  As Robert E. Lee said, in a different context, “I can scarce think of him without weeping.”

    Here’s to Chiko and our unusual relationship. I give him the ultimate compliment for dogs–Chiko was a good dog.

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