June 27, 2009
Chatto is Spanish for “flat nosed,” or at least that is what the pug rescue told us when we adopted him (along with Selena who passed away last month) five years ago at approximately ten years of age. Everyone says they won’t give their pets stupid nicknames, but in spite of otherwise good intentions, Chatto sometimes was known as Chatch, and Chacci (as in Joni loves ____).
After Merritt’s swim lesson in the city and a trip to the Ferry Building farmer’s market earlier in the day, my mother-in-law (Suz) and I returned to the house to find Chatto gasping for air, apparently after suffering a stroke and/or a seizure and battling pneumonia. The sweltering heat didn’t help. We wrapped him in cool towels, and Merritt gave him a final petting – just in case – and told him he could go be with Selena now – if he wanted. I then rushed him to San Rafael emergency pet clinic since our animal hospital isn’t open on weekends (these things never happen between 9 and 5 M-F). They took him back to the examining room, and the vet came out and said it was time. I held his paw and stroked his head and tried to comfort him, “It’s ok Chacci. Good boy Chatch.” Then I echoed Merritt’s wisdom “Chatto you can go be with Selena now. If you want.” As the vet put the syringe in his IV, his painful strained breathing slowed to a peaceful pace, his panicked bulging eyes slowly closed and his frantically panting tongue settled gently in the space where teeth once lived. He looked just like when he is sleeping except without the loud snoring part. Then I left so I could remember him just like that.
I’m sure Selena will be glad to have her husband/brother back, but we’ll sure miss him.
– Nora, Coleman, and Merritt